The dog may have licked my oat chocolate chip muffin.

He probably just sniffed it though.

At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.  Because no one wants to eat a muffin that’s been licked by a dog, but a muffin that’s been sniffed?  That’s a grey area.  And I’m all about grey areas.  I live in grey areas.

My husband is the KING of the black and white world, and I constantly remind him how difficult that makes life for anyone who might happen to be married to him.  Not that that changes anything.

Case in point, this Wassail.  Truth be told, it’s not really Wassail in the traditional sense.  The real stuff is this old English drink made from mead or ale or wine, or a combination thereof, heated and spiced.  I’m not a drinker, so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about here, but really, English?!  Hot mead Does. NOT. Sound. Appealing.hot wassail recipe


Perhaps that’s why the version of Wassail you probably had at Grandma’s house every Christmas was more like hot apple juice mixed with orange and lemon.  I looked up some Mulled Cider recipes, and guess what?  They’re pretty much the same.  Which gave me a dilemma.  Should I title this post “Wassail” or should I title it “Mulled Spiced Cider?”  It’s not really Wassail, and it’s also not mulled.

Full on grey area.

I asked Robb for his opinion.  He gave me a look that said What-Must-Your-Life-Be-Like-That-This-Is-Even-A-Question-You-Ask-Yourself and simultaneously communicated I-Don’t-Care.

I ultimately decided to name it Wassail, because I like that better.  And because that’s what the family calls it.

This is one of those things that I guess you could make up really quickly if you were in a pinch, but it’s really supposed to simmer for a while to let the flavors stew together.  I have learned a couple little tips about making Wassail, if you’re interested.

  • 2 cinnamon sticks is not enough.  I know this because 2 sticks was all I had in my house.  I ended up putting dry spices in cheesecloth, and that flavored the Wassail much better.
  • I squeezed the juice out of the lemons and then threw the rest of the lemon in the pot.  I probably won’t do that again.  Robb said it tasted a little “rindy” and I suspect the lemon halves floating in the drink had something to do with that.  An apple floating in the pot is no problem at all, though.
  • Simmering Wassail makes your entire house smell fantastic.  Which makes everyone hungry.  Plan accordingly.

This is such a perfect holiday drink.  You can adjust the spice and sweetness level to your liking, and everyone in the family will have something warm and autumnal to drink on a cold day.  It goes great with a turkey dinner, too!


Find more great beverage options on this “Beverages” Pinterest Board!

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Cook time
Total time
A hot spiced apple and citrus drink.
Recipe type: Beverages
Serves: 12
  • 6 cups apple juice
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • ½ cup lemon juice (about 4 fresh lemons)
  • 2 cups water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • 1½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 apple
  1. Combine juices, water, and sugar in a large pot.
  2. Place cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves in a layered piece of cheesecloth, and tie with a string. Place cheesecloth package into the pot.
  3. Slice the apple into large chunks, and add to pot.
  4. Let the mixture simmer on low for 1-2 hours.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

 Mulled Cranberry Juice from Kitchen Simplicity

Spicy Hot Chocolate from Joylicious

Lime Thyme Mocktail from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

This post linked up at: Lady Behind the Curtain; Back 4 Seconds; Pounds 4 Pennies; My Girlish Whims; Semi Homemade Mom; Comfy in the Kitchen; Tidy Mom; Shabby Nest; Romantic Home; Rattlebridge Farm; Simple Living with Diane Balch; I Should Be Mopping the Floor; Skip to my Lou;

13 thoughts on “Wassail

  1. Toia

    I don’t think I have ever heard of wassail. I think I might have to try it, just in time for fall.:) Thanks for sharing!! Congratulations on your SITS Day!!

  2. kitchenriffs

    I’ve never had wassail, but I have had hot, spiced cider. Never with OJ, though – interesting idea. We do something kinda sorta similar but add dark rum to it. Anyway, wassail, mulled or spied grog – whatever, it looks delish! Fun post – thanks.

  3. Debi @ Adorned From Above

    This looks delicious. I have a link party on Wednesdays, and I would love it if you would link this and any other posts. It is called Wednesdays Adorned From Above Link Party. It runs from Wednesday to Sundays.
    I hope to see you there. I am your newest follower, and I would love for your to follow me also. Have a great Day.
    Debi Bolocofsky
    Adorned From Above

  4. Adelina Priddis

    Mmm, wassail is so yummmy! I’ve always considereed any drink with frsh fruit juices, and spices, heated up, wassail. I’m also not a drinker though, so what do I know? lol. Thanks so much for linking up to Foodie Friday! (be on the watch out, because I”m almost certina I’ll be featuring this next week!)

  5. April

    I make this one too!! Sometimes we just leave it warming on the stove for hours. I got it from an old cookbook, they called it “Russian Tea”, but we call it Wassail too. It’s more fun!

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