Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Twelfth Night, the eve of January 5, is in English folk custom the end of Christmas merrymaking and in ancient Celtic tradition the end of the 12-day winter solstice celebration.

On this night, it was customary for the assembled company to toast one another from the wassail bowl. In Old English, wassail means “Be in good health,” but the term also was applied to the drink itself (usually spiced ale).

Here is a recipe I received from The Old Farmer's Almanac:

Yield: about 1-1/2 gallons

* 1 gallon apple cider
* 2 cups orange juice
* 8 sticks cinnamon
* 10 to 12 whole cloves
* 2 to 3 whole star anise pods
* 1 tablespoon allspice berries
* 1 lemon, quartered
* 2 oranges, sliced
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 gallon white wine
* 2 cups rum

In a large stockpot over low heat, combine cider, juice, spices, fruit, and sugar and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from heat. Strain and discard solids and return liquid to pot. Add wine and rum and return to heat to warm through. Ladle into mugs and serve immediately.

Posted by Debi

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