This is a traditional Christmas hot alcoholic brew made with apple cider, sherry wine, brandy, apples, an orange stuck with cloves, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, allspice berries, sugar, and molasses. This drink is sure to keep you warm on a cold winter night!
-By Carrie (Strommen) Lennie
10 small, tart apples
10 tsp brown sugar
1 large orange, thin skinned and/or with little rind, stuck with whole cloves
2 bottles dry sherry or Madeira
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
3 allspice berries
2 or 3 cinnamon sticks
2 1/4 cups sugar (use fine sugar, no raw sugar for this recipe)
1 tsp molasses
1 gallon of apple cider (from the co-op’s produce case!)
1 cup brandy
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Core the apples and fill each with a teaspoon of brown sugar. Place in a baking pan and cover the bottom with 1/8-inch of water.
- Take whole cloves and press them right through the skin of the orange; scatter in decorative pattern.
- Put the orange on a separate sheet from the apples, with no water in the pan. Bake both the apples and the orange for about 30 minutes.
- After pulling the fruit out, poke the orange with a fork in several places so the juices can be released into the punch.
- Combine the sherry or Madeira , cider, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, allspice berries, cinnamon, sugar, molasses, apple and orange juice in a large, heavy saucepan. Heat slowly without letting the mixture come to a boil.
- Leave on very low heat, until you are ready to serve the wassail, up to 3 or 4 hours (30 minutes minimum).
- You can strain the wassail (or not) and add the brandy. Float the apple and the orange on top and let merriment begin!