Cranberry Wassail


As the weather cools off, we crave warm hearty meals and hot beverages to keep warm and for comfort. Wassail is a traditional holiday drink of mulled cider, usually drunk as part of wassailing, an old English drinking ritual to bring about a bountiful apple harvest the next year.

While we no longer follow this tradition of singing and drinking in apple orchards (though it sounds pretty fun…) you can make your own low-key version of wassail at home any time. Traditional wassail is made with a base of wine or hard cider, or even brandy or sherry, to which you add spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger, and add apples or orange slices and simmer it for hours.

This version requires a microwave and five minutes.

Ingredients (per cup):

  • 1 tbsp wassail spices
    • (if you don’t have this, make your own by combining 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp nutmeg, 1 tbsp ginger, and 1 tbsp cloves)
  • 1 1/2 cups any juice (I used cranberry pomegranate)

That’s it if you want it virgin, or add:

  • 1/2 cup rum, vodka, or brandy
  • or 1/2 cup red or white wine


Step 1: Mix the spices into the juice, and microwave or heat on a stove until warm. Serve with a cinnamon stick stirrer to be fancy.


Step 2: Optionally, add some red wine or hard liquor to really amp up the warming capability of the drink. A guaranteed holiday party pleaser.

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