Wassailing is an ancient pagan custom most common to the West Country. To this day, mulled apple juice or cider (with or without additional spirits) remains a popular warming drink all winter long.
To go the whole hog and serve a wassail punch in all its glory, the drink should be fired in steaming measures through the branches of the most prolific apple tree in the orchard.
More festive mulled drinks:
The tree must also be adorned with cubes of cider soaked toast hanging from the branches. Pots are banged, songs are sung and yet more cider still is poured on the roots of the tree – evils spirits are warded off and a bountiful harvest is henceforth ensured.
If you just want to make the recipe, however, follow the steps below.
Here’s how to make wassail punch
- pears 2
- cloves 12
- Apple juice 1.4 litres
- Cinnamon sticks 2
- Whole star anise 4
- sugar 1 tbsp
- Juice of one lemon
- Bourbon or whiskey (optional, but highly recommended)
Recipe by Claire Thompson.