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                                     Obviously the most important thing was the season, revelry and cheer and of course a bowl! The larger the better. Made of wood if you can get it. Ok! yes you are right! Loving cups are good too with handles and with ribbons - ribbons on bowls and cups! Spices of course are essential. cloves, mace, cardamom, cinnamon nutmeg ,ginger.....all the holiday spices. You shall also have to have lambswool! It is not wool at all but the pulp of the roasted apples that floats to the surface. Never ever strain this off! Remember! Then find a good container there are a few in images below.  To learn more about drinks and tradition  clickit right here.
This is only a small collection try our Book of Wassail for much much more!

Now available. A five volume study of wassail-music, literature, folklore, recipes and more. Hundreds of songs. Nothing like it has ever been published. Get yours today!

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17th Century Wassail Bowl
Made of lignum vitae


Bowl with liner from 1720

Fancy! Fabrege Wassail

About the Drink  You bring it with you to the houses you visit- usually- but there are  of course exceptions!  But, do not worry about them- exceptions are wonderful! I shall have one of each! Thanks! It was also often the custom to float toasted bread on top of the steaming liquid, hence the origin of our expression "to propose a toast". And there is warmth too! The warmth of heat, of roasted apples exploding in the mixture and the warmth of alcohol- rum, port, sherry, and fine ale.  Wassail: "a liquor made of apples, sugar, and ale; a drunken bout; a merry song". Samuel Johnson's dictionary 1756. 

I have a special page for winter warmers and "wassail" beers and ales click it right here!
On this page we address the issue of  the Liquor!  Click here for a recipe index.

The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale,
The toast, the nut-meg, and the ginger,
Will make a sighing man a singer,
Ale gives a buffet in the head,
"But ginger under proppes the brayne;
When ale would strike a strong man dead,
Then nut-megge temperes it againe,
The nut-brown ale, the nut-brown ale,
Puts downe all drinke when it is stale-

from: The Player's Song,Histrio-mastix,in:Specimines of Songs by Dramatic Writers"
Brit. Bibliog. vol.ii. p.167.as cited in: Crhistmas Carols, Anceint and Modern.William Sandys,London,1833.

Lamb's Wool
Next crowne the lowle full
with gentle lamb's wool;
Adde sugar, nutmeg and ginger;
with a store of ale too;
and thus ye must doe
to make the wassaille a swinger.
-Robert Herrick (1591-1674)
Wassail is many things! There are as many varieties of wassail as there are types of ceremony: Wassail in the Hall, Wassail in the apple orchard and wassail door to door. In any case the drink must be hot. However, don't be daft and make it too hot! What a counterproductive thing that would be! All the alcohol would be totally resurrected and gone to heaven if it was too hot! Either heat to warm only, or add the alcohol at the last minute! Anyway....I digress. Back to my tale. I have discovered many recipes which are known today as wassail . There are three famous hot drinks of Britain.These three are: Bishop(as in the smoking Bishop promised by Schrooge to Cratchit in the Christmas Carol.), Posset and Apple/Ale.The recipes in my collection, as it turns out, fall into one of  each of these traditional categories. Click on the terms Bishop, Posset, and Apple/Aleto go to a generalized recipe for each.  For a mead Cyser click here.

I don't know what category  the Jell-O shooters should fall into,  but they should enliven the cheer and that is an important task! And the evolution of tradition is a matter for the ages and not for me!   A note: when and if you use bread or toast  I suggest  you use bread use white bread as that is the bread mentioned in the songs. Recipe is here just click and you shall receive! (I think it was selected because it soaks up more than the heavier breads! You can test this out! )  When you use ale you should use one with body. A brown ale or hand crafted ale.  Remember the toast goes like this: was hail!  to which the reply is  drink hail! To practice it click here  Enjoy!
To go to the collection of  recipes click here. Do you know of an ancient recipe? e.mail us! Just click it right here!
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Apple/Ale -A general recipe. See others below. click here
Generally the term wassail should have something more to do with ale than brandy, eggs, or fortified wines. I would think  that the cider/ale wassails could be related to the "Wassail in the Orchard"  traditions. As one thinks of the season - and then  of the harvest it is possible to connect this form of wassail with the concept of preserving a crop of apples by transforming  them to cider and drink. Just enough time would pass between harvest and 12th night to produce the cider. I believe that  this is also the drink of the wassail tradition of wassailing "door to door".  It would also fall into the category of tradition of convenient disbursal of alcoholic beverage via custom so as to avoid the revenuers however, there is no evidence for this.  We should perhaps look for it!


1 1/2 pounds apples, cored
1 quart ale
1 tablespoon (or more) sugar
1/8 teaspoon each, ground ginger and nutmeg

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Bake the apples in a large dish for 45 minutes, or until
they burst. Set them aside to cool.
When the apples are cool enough to handle, remove the peel
and mash the pulp. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.
In a large pot, heat the ale. With a whist, blend the apple pulp,sugar and spices. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
Place the mixture in a heat proof bowl and sprinkle the top with some additional nutmeg.

Source: "Christmas Feasts", by Lorna Sass, from Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

"Next crowne the bowle full
With gentle lamb's wooll;
Adde sugar, nutmeg and ginger'
With store of ale too;
And thus ye must doe
To make a Wassaile a swinger."

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The Bishop  involves citrus brandy and fortified wines, but,  does not favor the addition of eggs. Citrus was considered an expensive ingredient. Wine and brandy would also be more accessible for the resident of a large hall. Perhaps Bishop was the hot drink of choice for the loving cups of the Wassail in the hall tradition.

Possibly first reference:

Come buy my fine oranges, sauce for your veal,
And charming, when squeezed in a pot of brown ale;
Well roasted, with sugar and wine in a cup,
They'll make a sweet bishop when gentlefolks sup.

-J. Swift, 'Women who cry Oranges' from Works. (London:1755) IV. i. 278.

In Dicken's :A Christmas Carol (London 1842).

Scrooge says, 'we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob!'
For more on bishop click here

A general recipe click here for others


One unpeeled orange
12-18 whole cloves
Brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Pinch powdered cloves
Pinch mace
1/2  tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 strip lemon peel
1 cup water
1 quart port wine
1 quarter cup brandy: heated


Stud orange with whole cloves. (you may also include a whole lemon baked and studded in the same way)
Pack thickly with brown sugar. Roast in 350 degree oven till sugar caramelizes and forms a crust on the orange. Cut orange in quarters and place it in a punch bowl. Simmer remaining spices and lemon peel in the water until water is reduced by half. Heat the port wine until hot but not boiling. Combine spiced syrup,wine and heated brandy in punch bowl with the orange and sprinkle with nutmeg to taste. Some recipes dele
te the brandy and nutmeg. (To make this an archbishop substitute claret or table wine for the Port)


For 20 people at approximately is. 6 d. per glass).


1 quart port.

Cloves. 2 ozs.

lump sugar. 2 lemons.

Mixed spices.

1 pint hot water.


Stick a lemon with j cloves and roast it. Put a quart of port into a saucepan and bring j to nearly boiling-point. Boil one pint of water, adding a good pinch of spices. Add boiled water and j spices and roasted lemon to the hot wine. Then rub the 2 ozs. of lump sugar on the rind of another lemon, put it into a bowl, adding half the juice of the lemon and pour in the wine. Serve very hot. Happy Wassailing

-Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News, Wednesday 26 December, 1956

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Posset- A general recipe. click here for others.
Posset is the ancestor of that which is commonly referred to as Eggnog today. It has eggs as a central ingredient. It is not quite as fancy as Bishop so it might qualify for Wassail in the tradition of wassailing door to door. But, it would be a bit fancy for this and in my opinion a wassail based upon apples, cider and strong ale would be more suited for this tradition. So here is another candidate for the wassail in the hall tradition.

1/2 cup sugar
1 qu. dry sherry
2 tsp. ground nutmeg
18 eggs well beaten
2 quarts of milk or half and half


Combine sugar sherry and nutmeg in a saucepan. Heat but do not boil. Stir frequently till sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and cool. Beat eggs till thin and frothy. Pour into sherry with milk. Place over low heat. Cook stiring constantly until mixture coats a metal spoon. Dust with nutmeg before serving. Serve hot.

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  The Wassail Recipes

Here below you can scroll down to experience my collection of wassail recipes. This list is far from complete. Do not be alarmed if your favorite recipe is not here! Simply send it in to me click here for inclusion along with a bit of a note as to its history. Remember! When you heat alcohol it rises up to heaven! Do not heat hotter than warm if you wish to preserve the medicinal value!



2, 4, or 6 bottles Port, Sherry, or Madeira wine

12 egg yolks   1 teacupful water
6 egg whites   1 1/2 lbs. granulated sugar per 4 bottles wine
12 roasted apples

For Each bottle of wine used, take the following whole spices:
10 grains mace; 46 grains cloves; 37 grains cardamom seeds; 28 grains
cinnamon; 12 grains nutmeg; 48 grains ginger; 49 grains coriander seeds.

Simmer a small quantity of the following spices in a tea cupful of water,
viz.: ≠ Cardamums, cloves, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander.
When done, put the spice to two, four, or six bottles of port, sherry, or
madeira, with one pound and a half of fine loaf sugar (pounded) to four
bottles, and set all on the fire in a clean bright saucepan; meanwhile,
have yolks of 12 and the whites of 6 eggs well whisked up in it.  Then,
when the spiced and sugared wine is a little warm, take out one tea cupful;
and so on for three or four cups; after which, when it boils, add the
whole of the remainder, pouring it in gradually, and stirring it briskly
all the time, so as to froth it.  The moment a fine froth is obtained,
toss in 12 fine soft roasted apples, and send it up hot.  Spices for each
bottle of wine: ≠10 grains of mace, 46 grains of cloves, 37 grains of
cardamoms, 28 grains of cinnamon, 12 grains of nutmeg, 48 grains of
ginger, 49 grains of coriander seeds.
(From The Book of Days, etc., ed. by R. Chambers, 1863, p. 28.)"
Excerpted from "A Sip Through Time", p. 204,  Cindy Renfrow.

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Lamb's Wool

                 Place a pound of sugar (I use light brown) in a large bowl and pour on a bottle of hot ale (A good hand crafted brown ale).  Stir well.  Grate  about 1/2 of a nutmeg into this.  Add 1 cup of sherry and five more bottles of ale.  Let stand for several hours, then top off with several lemon slices  (roasted apple slices are perhaps more traditional) and two slices of toasted bread (the bread is traditionally white- better to absorb than the heavier breads?.

-Served by Sir Watkin Wynne to the faculty of Jesus College, Oxford
                           University, in  1732:

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Royal Lamb's Wool

                 "Boil three pints of ale; - beat six eggs, the whites and yolks  together; set both to the fire in a pewter pot; add roasted  apples, sugar, beaten nutmegs, cloves and ginger; and, being well brewed, drink it while hot."

-Royal Household of 1633

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6 cups ale              pinch of cloves
1 cup sugar             pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cinnamon       6 eggs, beaten
pinch of ginger         4 roasted apples

Pour ale in a saucepan and heat. Add sugar and spices
and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Gradually add a
small amount of the hot mixture to the beaten eggs, as
for custard. Return to saucepan and cook, stirring
constantly, until slightly thickened. Place apples in a
heat-proof punch bowl, and pour the hot mixture over.

Source:  "How to Cook Forsoothly", by Mistress Katrine de Baillie du Chat, OL. From Raymond's Quiet

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1 gallon apple cider                    12 small apples, peeled
1/2 cup sugar, if cider is tart.          with cores removed
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg              2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon powdered cinnamon          1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger            2 tablespoons brown sugar

In a large enameled pot, slowly heat 3/4 of the cider, until warm but not boiling. In another enameled pot, pour remaining cider and add the apples, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger and bring to a boil. Vigorously simmer the apples until they lose their shape and become "frothy". Combine the two liquids and pour into a heat proof bowl. Whip the cream with the salt and brown sugar until it peaks. Spoon the cream onto the wassail, or add the cream to each tankard as it is served. apple cider listed can be substituted by hard apple cider, dry white wine, light ale or stout beer.

Source: "Medeival holidays and festivals", by Madeleine Pelner Cosman,

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6 bottles ale
12 small apples
3 whole cloves
3 whole allspice
3 broken cardamom seeds
1 broken 3" cinnamon stick
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 fifth dry sherry (1 750 ml bottle)

Bake the apples at 350 for 20 minutes, or until tender. Tie the cloves, allspice, cinnamon, and cardamom into a cheesecloth bag, place it with 1 bottle of ale, the ginger and nutmeg, into a kettle and heat gently for 10 minutes. Remove the bag, pour in the rest of the ale, the sugar, and the sherry. Heat for 20 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and float the apples on top. Serve hot. Use a good hand crafted or brown ale

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Holiday Wassail Bowl

                    5-12 oz. bottles stout or porter
                           5-12 oz. bottles English bitter (or brown or hand crafted ale)
                           2 lbs. cooking apples
                           1 bottle (750 ml) medium dry sherry
                           3/4 lbs. light brown sugar
                           2 cinnamon sticks
                           1 tsp. grated nutmeg
                           4 whole cloves
                           2 thinly sliced lemons
                           12 beaten eggs /egg substitute

                      Preheat oven to 375įF. Core the apples and pare 1-inch strip of skin from around the middle of each apple to prevent splitting. Place apples upright in a buttered baking dish. Place 1 tablespoon of brown sugar in center of each apple. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes. (or till apples are done.)

                      In a kettle, heat, but don't boil, the ale with remaining brown sugar and cinnamon sticks for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sherry, nutmeg, ginger, lemon slices and cloves and heat five more minutes. Remove from heat, add
beaten eggs while mixing well. Remove cloves, lemon slices and cinnamon sticks.

                      Serve the brew from the kettle or pour it into a punch bowl after allowing it to cool slightly. Add the baked apples. Serve in  cups. The apples may be eaten.

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Wassail Jello Shooters

1 small box of Cranberry Jell-O
1 Cup hot Apple juice
1/3 Cup fine ale
1/3 Cup Wine
3 tablespoons Lemon juice
pinch of Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pour:boiling Apple juice into Cranberry gelatin until completely dissolved.
Add: the Beer, Wine, Lemon juice, Pumpkin Pie Spice and stir until mixed.
Pour:into 2-3 oz.(60-90 ml) cups.
Refrigerate: until firm.

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Serves 7

Ale or dark beer - 3.5 litres (6 pints)
Sugar - 110g (4 oz)
Sweet sherry - 200 ml (7 fl oz)
Grated nutmeg - 1 tsp
Ground ginger - 1 tsp
Apples - 7, hot, cored, baked


   1.Gently heat all the ingredients except the apples in a large saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
   2.Place the apples in individual Wassail bowls and add the hot liquid.
   3.Serve with dessert spoons.


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1 gallon (4.5 L) apple cider
                                        1 tbsp (15 ml) whole cloves
                                        1 tbsp. (15 ml) whole allspice
                                        4 cinnamon sticks 2" long
                                        1/2 tsp. (2 ml) mace
                                        1/4 tsp (1 ml) powdered ginger
                                        1/4 tsp (1 ml) grated nutmeg
                                        1/4 tsp (1 ml) salt
                                        1 cup dark brown sugar (200 ml)
                                        1 pint gin or vodka (0.56 L) - this is optional
                                        2 lemons, sliced thin, seeds removed
                                        3 oranges, sliced thin, seeds removed

 1.Pour cider into large kettle, add spices and salt. Bring to a hard boil,  reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes

 2.Remove from stove, add sugar to taste, if needed.

3.Cool. Strain wassail. Keep in a cool place till ready to use, but it is not necessary to refrigerate.

4.To prepare a wassail bowl: Use a heavy china bowl, a crock pot or  a punch bowl.

5.Heat it over a large kettle of boiling water. Add lemon and orange  slices.

6.When warm, add gin or vodka and let it heat, but do not boil or spirits will evaporate. Remove from heat.

7.Pour in the boiling wassail. If possible keep the bowl hot over a candle or alcohol burner. Ladle into punch cups and serve.

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 1 gallon apple cider
 1 quart orange juice
 1 cup lemon juice
 1 large can pineapple juice
 24 whole cloves
 1 cup granulated sugar
 4 cinnamon stick

 Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan, over medium heat, and
 simmer 10 minutes.

 Strain and serve hot. Refrigerate to store.

 Makes 1 1/2 gallons.

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 4 red eating apples
 2 pints brown ale
 1/2 pint dry sherry
 2 oz soft brown sugar
 2 or 3 strips of lemon peel
 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
 1/4 tsp ground mixed spices

 Set oven to 350.  Wash the apples and score a line through the skin
 around the centre of each one.  Place in a casserole dish which
 can also be used on the cooker hob and add the sugar and 1/4 pint
 of the brown ale.  Cover and cook in the oven for 30 minutes until
 the apples are tender.  Remove the apples and keep to one side.
 Add the remaining brown ale, sherry, lemon peel and spices to the
 casserole dish and simmer for 6 minutes on the hob to allow the
 flavours to mingle; add the apples and serve hot.


Rockford College, 1954

"Wass Hael!

In ancient England the lord of the manor at Holiday Season assembled his household around a bowl of hot spiced ale or cider from which he drank their health, then passed it to the others that they might
drink too. As they drank they said the old Saxon phrase, 'wass hael', meaning 'to your health.' Hence this came to be recognized as the wassail or wassel bowl. For many years the wassel bowl has been a part of
the Christmas festivities at Rockford College and the recipe, handed down from one generation to another of collegians, is given here: For One Gallon of Wassail----

1 pound sugar 4 allspice berries
1 quart water 3 cups orange juice
12 whole cloves 2 cups lemon juice
4 sticks cinnamon 2 quarts cider
2 tablespoons chopped ginger
Make a syrup by boiling the sugar and water ten minutes. Add cloves, cinnamon, allspice and ginger, and let the syrup stand covered in a warm place for one hour. Strain. Add orange and lemon juice and
cider. Bring quickly to the boiling point and serve at once."

(for 10 or 12 people at approximately 1s. per glass).


 1 bottle red wine.
 1 sliced lemon.
1 cup of granulated sugar.
Grated nutmeg.
 1/2 sherry glass of Cherry Brandy.
2 ozs. honey.
1/2 sherry glass of Brandy.
 1 bottle hot water.


Heat wine, honey, nutmeg, lemon, sugar, in saucepan to near boiling-point. Add half a bottle of hot water and serve piping hot. This was served to me from a superb chased silver Georgian wassail bowl by a dignified-looking gentleman who was attired in a peruke, knee breeches and buckle shoes. The drink was so good that after the third glass I fell to wondering what had caused its excellence. Studying the individual ingredients, I saw that the sickly sweetness of the honey, the sugar and the cherry brandy was delightfully counter acted by the considerable acidity of a whole lemon, peel and all.

-Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News - Wednesday 26 December 1956


A very old and popular mull of the eighteenth century (for 10 or 12 people at approximately 1s. per glass).


1 bottle red wine.
Water (hot).


Pour wine into sauce pan, put with it sliced orange, twelve lumps of sugar and six cloves. Bring these nearly to the boil. Boil one pint of water and add to the mixture. Add one wine- glass of Curacao and if you want to give your guests something to remember add a wineglass of brandy. Pour into glasses and grate nutmeg on top.

-Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News - Wednesday 26 December 1956

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Ingredients for: 5 U. S. Gal.     5 Imperial Gal.

Light Clover Honey   7 lbs. (3.2 kg)     8.5 lbs. (3.9 kg)

Apple juice                4 2/4 gallons       45 3.4 gallons



Yeast nutrient           5 tsp.                   6tsp.


Adequate wine yeast

1/3 tsp sodium or potsssium metabisulphite.

An adequate amount of acid blend to bring acid level to .4 to .5 percent level. Acid test kits are inexpensive and may be bought at any home wine making supply shop. Instructions are clear nad simple to understand.


Procedure number two using metabisulphite should be followed it is not desirable to boil grape or any other fruit juice because the fruit pectin will "set" and the mead may not clarify as a result.

Procedure Number 2:

Add honey, acid blend and yeast nutrient to one gallon of hot tap water to blend and dissolve honey.  Add to sanitized fermenter with enough cold water to make five gallons.  Add sodium metabisulphite and let stand for at least twenty-four hours with the top of the fermenter allowed to release sulfur dioxide gas from the fermenter.

Because of mead's often slow fermentation, it is advisable from a sanitation standpoint to ferment mead in a closed fermenter.  A closed fermenter is one that is sealed away from ambient air yet allows for overflow foaming and carbon dioxide gas to escape.  This method of closed fermentation can most easily be achieved by fermenting in glass carboys. ( In the U.S. carboys are usually 5 or 6 1/2 gallon glass containers with a narrow neck and opening.)


When the honey, water, and yeast mixture is added to the carboy, fermentation will soon begin.  When this happens, there is vigorous foaming during the initial stages.  A drilled rubber cork with a three-foot plastic tube leading out into a catch bucket allows foam to be expelled.  When vigorous fermentation has subsided, then the hose may be removed and a standard fermentation lock can be affixed, allowing gas to escape during the ensuing period of fermentation.


Allow fermentation to proceed at 65 to 75 degrees F (18-24 degrees C) in an area away from direct sunlight or bright direct, artificial light.  Initial fermentation may take from three weeks to many months, depending on the type of honey, yeast, temperature, etc.  When initial fermentation is complete, the yeast settles to the bottom of the fermenter and the mead becomes fairly clear.

After the mead is clear, siphon it off leaving the sediment behind, into another clean and sanitized fermenter.  Care should be taken not to splash the mead as it enters the new fermenter.  Attach the fermentation lock to the second fermenter.

During its time in the secondary fermenter, the mead may undergo a "secondary fermentation."

At any rate, leave the mead to sit for at least three weeks or until secondary fermentation is complete and the yeast once again settles to the bottom as a sediment.

When the mead is clear it is ready to bottle.

( Note: it has been discovered that a very small number of people who suffer from asthma may have adverse reactions to sulfur dioxide in wines and many other foods. If in doubt, consult your physician.)


Ferment and bottle as you would a mead.

Bottling Procedures

All equipment and bottles must be cleaned and sanitized before use. Immersing requipment and bottles in a solution of household bleach in five gallons of cold water is a very effective sanitizer.  Rinse bottles and equipment thoroughly with hot tap water.

When transferring the mead by siphon, take care not to aerate it, as oxidation dramatically changes the flavor of the mead to its detriment.  Quietly siphon the mead into the bottles it will be served from.

Beewer and Champagne bottles may be filled and capped with standard bottle caps using a bottlecapper.

Wine bottles may also be used and sealed with corks. These are best laid on their side while in storage in order to prevent the cork from drying out.  If sidewise storage is not possible or practical, simply dip the cork end of the bottle in melted parafin.  This prevents the cork from drying out and ruining the seal.

Source: Papazian, Charlie, " Brewing Mead" in: Gayre, Robert, Lt. Colonel, Gayre & Nigg, with Charlie Papazian, Brewing Mead, Wassail! IN Mazers of Mead, 1986. pp. 175, 182.

Mead or Cyser based Wassail

1 gallon cyser ( semi-dry) (you may wish to use one and one half gallons if you like mead more than apple)
1 gallon apple juice (cider ok)
2 sticks cinnamon
4 cloves
1-2 slice fresh ginger root (thin)

Heat the apple juice to warm- not too hot or the alcohol will depart!  Place the spices into  cheescloth bag and soak them  in the  juice. Cover
juice  and insulate to  retain heat and allow to sit 12 hours. Combine  cyser with  apple juice/sider. Serve warm.  Sliced oranges can be added, however,
this would seem to give the recipe more of an exotic character.  It was good with a few roasted apples.
(NOTE: the spices and their proportions can be adjusted to taste, but the above spices were what I usually used.)
 cyser is a mead made with apple juice instead of water. The best way to do this (at least for the purposes of my wassail recipe) is to add honey to the same apple juice
and spices that the recipe called for and ferment as you would for wine. (Then mix an equal amount of the same juice and spice combo to add to the cyser to make your wassail. This
dilutes the alcohol, giving a pleasant warth while allowing more consumption, but does not dilute the taste, since it is using the same ingredients.)

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Scrumpy (use at your own risk!)
(source: Stoutbilly)

     12 pounds, mixed apples (make sure they're clean with no blemishes)
     1/2 pound, raisins
     1/2 pound, raw meat
     1 gallon, water at 70 degrees
     champagne yeast (tradition calls for bakers yeast)


     Chop all ingredients. Then grind the apples and raisins. A food processor is helpful. Toss the ingredients into the water and stir. Add the yeast and seal the brew bucket with an  airlock. Each day, stir the ingredients by swirling the ingredients in the closed bucket. After the first fermentation slows, about 8-10 days, move to a secondary fermenter. If you  like a dry cider, add a second dose of yeast to the secondary fermenter. Seal with an airlock. Let sit until it the fermentation slows to a very slow, almost imperceptible bubble.
     Move to a carboy to get out more of the particulates. Let it sit for about a week and bottle.
     The scrumpy will need to mature for about four months before you will want to even try it since it will give off a strong unpleasant smell and almost vinegary taste. The longer it is
     allowed to mature, the better, smoother and drier it will get. ampden tablets. Add yeast after two days. Ferment for three weeks at approximately 68 degrees.
     Oops! That's a little too dry. Rack to keg, adding three ounces lactose. Force carbonate for two weeks.
     Damn! Still doesn't taste quite right. Add some apple juice concentrate to get an apple taste.
     Filter with 0.5 micron filter and force recarbonate. Bottle using counter-pressure bottle filler. have left are still improving. (I think the oak flavour was important.)
     This mead was a real hit, especially among my grape-wine drinking friends (and especially among the ones who've been conditioned to turn their noses up at anything that's not
     BONE dry).
     The procedure I took to make this mead was full of accident and serendipity: I'd hate to try and reproduce it exactly. But I think there's good info in the recipe, which can be
     applied to other attempts.


     OG: 1080


     This is a recipe for a strong British cider called scrumpy. It is really strong. One glass and the world begins to glow. A second glass, makes it all go.
     It is wonderful served cold when mature. I have let it sit for a year and it is quite fine.

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Scrumpy 2

1) Get your apples, best if cider apples but if not use a mixture of about 2/3rds normal apples and 1/3 cooking. To make it worth while youíll need about a bin bag full upwards. Here you might have a problem as youíve just missed the
     season in the UK.

     2) Stick them in a freezer for about 3 days until they are all frozen.

     Point of this is it breaks open all the cells in the apples and makes them gooey for the next part.

     3) Get yerself an apple press. If you havnít got one you can rent them from most UK homebrew shops for virtually nothing, like 50p or something for the night. While your at it get some cider yeast, again thisíll only cost you 50p or

     4) Now time to press the apples. Youíll need a couple of days at least for the apples to thaw from the freezer. This is pretty striaght forward, just crush everything and get as much juice as you can. At this point you may be concerned
     about the state of some of the apples going in, some Iíll be half rotten etc. Myself, Iíve never had any problems with using them, but itís up to you. They could in theory introduce nasty bugs thatíll spoilt the final flavour.

     5) Stick the juice into demijohns, filling them up to about the shoulder (they are going to bubble alot), add the yeast, and add a stopper with airtrap (the bubbly thing).

     6) The above should bubble like goodness knows and stink the house out.

     This will last for a few days, and then itíll slow down. After about two to three week the thing willíve stopped bubbling all together and the yeast willíve settled to the bottom. Decant into some fresh demijohns, making sure you leave
     all the yeast behind you can, and also filling upto the top this time. Now youíll need to leave this for about three months ideally, but if youíre just after the booze or something (why else does anyone drink this stuff?), then in theory
     you could drink it.

     7) Now youíll probally want to bottle it. As itís flat you can stick it in any old bottles, it doesnít matter, up to you. Before you bottle it you might want to add a "campden" tablet at a dose rate of about half a tablet per gallon. These
     are just chemical tablets you get from any homebrew shop. Idea is they stop anythink nasty growing in your cider, although they should be enough alcohol in this moonshine for that.

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Martha Stewart's
       12 Lady apples
        2 tb Brown sugar, firmly packed
        1/2 ts Cinnamon
        1 tb Water
        72 oz Dark beer
        2 c Sweet sherry
        1 1/2 c Granulated sugar

        3 Whole allspice berries
        2 One-inch pieces of cinnamon
        2 Whole cloves
        1 Whole cardamom pods
        1 Dried or candied ginger
        1 One-inch pieces of dried
        Orange peel
        1 Star anise
        1/2 Bay leaves
        Kitchen twine

        Toast the health and good fortune of family and friends with this
        holiday drink, the origins of which date all the way back to
        thirteenth-century England.

        1. Heat oven to 350F. Place whole lady apples, stems up, in a small
        roasting pan. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and the
        cinnamon. Sprinkle mixture over apples. Add water, cover with foil,
        and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil, and set the
        apples aside.

        2. While the apples bake, combine the beer, sherry, granulated sugar,
        and one sachet of Mulling Spices in a heavy-bottomed pot. Over medium
        heat, warm the Wassail for 10-15 minutes, until it is very hot, but
        not boiling; make sure the sugar is totally dissolved. Place a lady
        apple in each cup, fill the cup with Wassail, and serve immediately.

        Mulling Spices: These pungent spice sachets impart rich flavor to
        Wassail and apple cider. A decoratively stamped muslin pouch of
        sachets makes a fragrant stocking stuffer.

        Fold cheesecloth into a double layer, and cut a 6-by-6" square. Put
        spices in square. Gather cheesecloth around spices to create a
        pouch. Tie pouch up in a knot, then add a bow made with kitchen twine.

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Wassail Cup

4.5 liters/8pints water
4 cinnamon quills
2 teaspoons whole cloves
8 tea bags
1 cup sugar
150 ml/ 5 fl. oz orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup lemon juice

In a large saucepan heatthe water, cinnamon sticks and the cloves until
boiling.  Turn off the heat and add the tea bags, orange juice concentrate,
lemon juice and sugar.  Let them steep for 10 minutes.
Remove the tea bags and cinnamon quills and serve....

(I include this strange recipe to be comprehensive! I can not however, understand
a recipe for wassail so devoid of alcohol, apples, cider or apple juice! but it
is out there and thus we have it attached to the tradition)

Wassail to anyone who tries it!

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Southern Wassail Punch

Yield: 12 servings

     1/2 gallon apple cider of apple juice
     1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
     1 3-ounce can frozen lemonade, thawed and undiluted
     1 3-ounce can frozen orange juice, thawed and undiluted
     1/2 tablespoon whole cloves
     1/2 tablespoon whole allspice
     12 1-inch cinnamon sticks

Mix the cider, sugar, lemonade, and orange juice together in a large pot. Place the cloves and allspice in a
cheesecloth bag, tie the open end tightly, and add it to the cider mixture. Cover the pot and simmer for 15
minutes. Remove and discard the spice bag. Ladle the hot punch into cups garnished with a cinnamon stick.

At least this non-alcoholic sacrilege has apple juice....

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Bishop's Wassail


1 Bottle red wine

1Pint/Ĺ litre water

Ĺlb/225g Honey

1 Lemon and orange, thinly sliced

4 Cloves

1 tsp. Cinnamon


Heat the ingredients, stirring constantly, to just below boiling point.
Pour into a punch bowl, at this point you can add some spirit and raisins.
If you add a generous amount of Brandy, it is possible to set a flame to it as a
seasonal spectacle !

The Pastor's Wassail

        1 c Sugar
        4 ea Cinnamon Sticks
        3 Lemon Slices
        2 c Pineapple Juice
        2 c Orange juice
        6 c Claret Wine
        1/2 c Lemon Juice
        1 c Dry Sherry

        Boil first three ingredients with 1/2 cup of water for 5 minutes.
        Remove lemon slices, any seeds, and cinnamon sticks. Heat the
        remaining ingredients until very warm. Do not boil! Combine with the
        syrup and serve very warm.


Cecil Bloxham's Plum Jerkum (Harbury)Worcestershire

Cecil learnt the method from an Evesham man who came to live in Harbury
temporarily in the 1930s.

Collect rain water in a barrel and leave some plums in the barrel for a
few weeks. They should start to ferment on their own, he said. Then,
strain the mixture through muslin into a container with an airlock and
start adding brown sugar, little by little. The 'knack', as he described
it, was knowing how much sugar to add and when to bottle it. And that's
about as precise as he got, apart from leaving it for at least 6 months
before drinking it (when it should taste 'like velvet', he said).
Basically, he emphasised soft water, brown sugar and not adding all
the sugar in one go."-Source:Des Patalong


'This be a very auld resippee. Charley bein' a well known chap from Bretforton, which be a village 4 miles from Asum. You can make it in small lots to be put in bottulls or in bug uns to be put in borrulls, like some peepul round ear do. Wether it be in bottulls or borrulls it be sum jolly gud tak and as bin nown to put some folk on thur backs and to leave um feelin far from well nex mornin.'.

Thee wants 3lb plums. 3lb shuggur and 6 pints watter'. Fust of all boil the plums in a cottun or muslin bag in the six pints of watter. Boil the plums until um be tendur, then squeeze all the joose out into the lickwid left in the pan. Add the shuggur when lookwarm and stur until it be all gon.

Then put the lickwid into a gallon demijar and top up with watter until thur be a fur inch space at the top. This ull allow it room to wurk. Mak surton thee hast an airlock in the cork. Leave fur a cuppell of wicks after it ave finished bubblin to allow the segmunts to settul. Then syfun it off into yur bottuls. It be best left fur at leest 2 munths befor thee trys it." Those of you with some brewing knowledge will spot the flaw in this recipe - boiling the fruit will kill off any natural yeast. There are therefore, two options. The first is to
extract the juice by other methods and hope there is a natural yeast to start the fermentation. The second is to add a yeast.  The drink has been successfully made over the last few years following this recipe and by adding a yeast (brewers and wine yeasts have both been tried). We feel that originally a yellow plum would have been used so that the drink looked more like a cider, but a pink cider is also very palatable.
-Source: Plum Jerkum Border Morris


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