Wassail Traditions & Mulled Ciders

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Mulled Cherrykriek Punch

In a pot, warm 120 mL Cherrykriek and 120 mL water on low heat. Do not let the liquid boil, just slowly come up to warm. As it warms, dilute 15 mL honey into the mix, and add a cinnamon stick or two as well as 2-4 cloves. Stir occasionally. 

When the liquid is warm, remove from heat and stir in 30 mL Sweet Vermouth and 45 mL Apple Brandy, Calvados, or Pomme Jacques

Serve in a hot mug and garnish with a cinnamon stick and brandied cherries. Scale this recipe up to fill a punch bowl - it's great for parties!

Cocktail Recipes are from Ian Mansfield
Cellar Master

Wassail Traditions

Wassail is an ancient West English tradition, typically celebrated on January 17th, or the Old Twelfth Night of Christmas. Hailing from Wales and West English cider country, wassail is a night of revelry and caroling.

Traditionally, a group of people go to an orchard to recite wassail blessings to encourage good health and harvest for the tree in the coming year. Mulled cider, sometimes called wassail itself, is served to the group, and some cider should be poured on the roots of the tree for it to "drink." Often, toast is brought along as well, dipped in the cider, and placed on the branches of the tree to "feed" it, again encouraging good health! 

At the end of the wassail, participants should bang pots and pans and make a ruckus to scare away evil spirits. Some celebrants shoot a gun through the top branches of the apple trees to scare spirits even further! Wassail is often celebrated in the middle of the night to ward evil away from the orchards. 

There are many wassail blessings and rhymes like the following: 

Old apple tree, we wassail thee, 
And hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we shall be
Till apples come another year.
For to bear well, and to bear well
So merry let us be.
Let every man take off his hat,
And shout to the old apple tree!
Old apple tree, we wassail thee,
And hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls
And a little heap under the stairs

Here at MillStone, we celebrated our cider wassail a bit early, on December 30th, with traditional rhymes, caroling, a bonfire, mulled cider, and toasts for our trees! Celebrate your own wassail this January 17th - There's still time for you to find an apple tree near you and go wassailing! Don't forget your mulled cider - two recipes are below!

By Caiti Sullivan
Events and Markets Coordinator


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Wassail Mulled Cider

Makes about 3 servings.
Warm 500 mL Gingeroot, 250 mL Bonfire, and 250 mL orange juice in a pot over low heat. Do not let the liquid boil, just slowly come up to warm. As it warms, dilute 15 mL honey into the mix, and add a cinnamon stick or two as well as 2-4 cloves. Stir occasionally. 

When the cider is warm, remove from heat and serve in warm mugs. Garnish with orange bitters and cinnamon spice!