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Traditional English Wassail
(recipe, Nina Lary)
The most traditional Old English wassail recipes call for whipped eggs and roasted crab apples, which makes for a rich and creamy, even frothy, drink. If you or your guests are averse to imbibing raw egg with your punch, simply skip that step; you’ll end up with a deep, spicy brew that’s just as delicious.
This recipe has been adapted from the traditional Wassail Bowl in the book [%amazonProductLink "Some Like it Hot: 50 Drinks to Warm Your Spirits" asin=0811844048].
- 12 small red apples (or crab apples if you can find them)
- 10 whole cloves
- 10 allspice berries
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 square of cheesecloth
- Kitchen twine or undyed string (about 3 inches long)
- 12 cups brown or amber ale
- 2 cups dark brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 Tbsp. ground nutmeg
- 3 cups sweet sherry
- 10 eggs (optional)
- 2 lemons, cut into wedges for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Core the apples and place them in a baking pan; add water to cover the bottom. Bake until soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, tie the cloves, allspice berries, and cinnamon sticks into the piece of cheesecloth. Place the spice bundle, ale, brown sugar, ginger, and nutmeg into a large pot, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the sherry and reheat briefly (do not allow to boil).
- If you are adding the optional eggs, beat the egg yolks and whites separately, then combine them. Slowly pour the hot wine mixture into the eggs, whisking constantly.
- Finally, place the baked apples into a large punch bowl or two medium-sized bowls, and pour the ale mixture over them. Drink from the bowl communally, or serve in mugs garnished with lemon wedges.