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Christmas Punch That Warms the Soul: 20 Wassail Recipes

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Rose Mary's mother and all of her aunts are great Southern cooks. She likes to think she's not so bad herself.

Make alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this classic holiday beverage.

Make alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions of this classic holiday beverage.

What Is Wassail?

Wassail is a traditional Christmas punch that has roots as far back as 1066, when the Normans likely introduced this warm brew to England. Some may use other names to refer to traditional warm holiday punch, such as mulled cider or mulled wine.

Most wassails have an apple juice base and spices, such as cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cloves. Some add orange juice or other juices. My favorites tend to be the ones with pineapple juice added.

Wassail, a traditional Christmas punch.

Wassail, a traditional Christmas punch.

I spent some time on a couple of my favorite recipe sites and pulled together this collection of twenty recipes. I tried to make sure that each was sufficiently different from the others, and I divided them up into three broad categories:

3 Types of Holiday Punch Recipes

  1. Classic wassail (and a few unusual ones)
  2. Wassail with fruit
  3. Wassail with alcohol

These recipes include a variety of combinations of juices. One recipe uses apricot nectar. Other ingredients include grapefruit juice, lemonade, and tea. Some of the recipes use interesting ingredients like cranberry jelly, Red Hots candies, or black pepper! I even found a sugar-free version using Crystal Light. I have included versions with wine, sherry, brandy, and whiskey at the end.

Try traditional and non-traditional versions of this punch.

Try traditional and non-traditional versions of this punch.

1. Apple and Orange Juice Wassail

Serves 16

Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 10 cloves
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 8 cups apple juice

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 1 1/4 hours

Directions

  1. Add water and sugar to a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Add spices and cover for 60 minutes.
  4. Add juices and bring to rapid boil.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

Original recipe from Food.com.

2. Cider, Orange Juice, and Lemon Juice Wassail

Serves 24

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 12 cloves
  • 12 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 quarts orange juice
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 cup lemon juice
Scroll to Continue

Read More From Delishably

Prep Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

Directions

  1. Add water and sugar to a pot.
  2. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Add spices and cover for 60 minutes or overnight.
  4. Add cider and juices and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from heat and serve.

Original recipe from Food.com. You might also try a crystallized ginger version or a pineapple juice version.

3. Cranberry, Pineapple, and Orange Juice With Fruit Punch Wassail

Serves 32

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 7 cups water
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen fruit punch concentrate
  • 40 ounces pineapple juice

Directions

  1. Heat cranberry juice, water, and sugar on medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Place spices in a cheesecloth bag and tie.
  3. Add to the pot and simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Remove spices.
  5. Add fruit juices and concentrates.
  6. Serve hot.

Original recipe from AllRecipes.

4. Apple, Orange, and Grapefruit Juice Wassail

Serves 16–24

Ingredients

  • 8 cups apple juice
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 12–24 cloves
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 4 cups grapefruit juice

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Directions

  1. Heat apple juice, sugar, and spices until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat.
  4. Add orange and grapefruit juice.

5. Pineapple and Orange Juice and Tea Wassail

Serves 7

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 orange pekoe tea bags
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 3/4 cup pineapple juice
  • Honey
  • Lemon juice
  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon stick

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

Directions

  1. Boil water in a pot.
  2. Add the tea bags.
  3. Cover and steep 10 minutes.
  4. Discard the tea bags.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients.
  6. Heat over medium-low for 15 minutes.
  7. Discard the spices and serve.

Original recipe from Food.com.

6. Cider, Orange Juice, and Lemonade Wassail

Serves 12–16

Ingredients

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 allspice berries
  • 12 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate

Prep Time: 1 1/2 hours Total Time: 2 hours

Directions

  1. Combine sugar and water in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  3. Add spices.
  4. Cover and let stand 1 hour.
  5. Strain to remove spices.
  6. Add thawed orange juice, lemonade concentrates, and apple cider.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Serve.

7. Juice, Tea, and Cranberry Sauce Wassail

Serves 4–8

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1 family-size tea bag (or 3 regular tea bags)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup real lemon juice
  • 1 can cranberry jelly sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 1/4 hours

Directions

  1. Place spices in a paper coffee filter and tie off with a tea bag string.
  2. Steep the spice pouch and the tea bag in 2 1/2 cups water in a large pot for 5 minutes.
  3. Combine cranberry sauce, 1 1/2 cups boiling water, and 3/4 cups sugar in a large bowl.
  4. Mix with an electric mixer until the lumps are gone.
  5. Add orange and lemon juice and 1 1/2 cup boiling water.
  6. Remove the tea bag and spices from the pot.
  7. Add the cranberry mixture to the tea in the pot.
  8. Heat all ingredients in the pot or use a crock pot.

Original recipe from Food.com.

8. Wassail With Fruit Juice and Apricot Nectar

Serves 22

Ingredients

  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole nutmeg
  • 1 gallon apple cider or apple juice
  • 4 1/2 cups pineapple juice
  • 4 cups orange juice
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans apricot nectar
  • 1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade

Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 1 1/4 hours

Directions

  1. Make a pouch of spices in a cheesecloth.
  2. Add all ingredients to a large Dutch oven pot.
  3. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes.
  5. Uncover and simmer another 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the spice pouch. Serve hot.
  7. Transfer to a crock pot to keep warm.

Original recipe from Food.com.

9. Wassail With Fruit Juice and Red Hots

Serves 12

Ingredients

  • 1 quart apple juice
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Red Hots candies
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Heat, stirring frequently until Red Hots are dissolved.

Original recipe from Food.com.

Try adding pineapple, apricots, and more.

Try adding pineapple, apricots, and more.

10. Apple, Pineapple, and Cranberry Juice Wassail With Lemon Slices

Serves 18

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cranberry juice cocktail
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 4 cups apple juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 cloves
  • 4 lemon slices

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot.
  2. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Original recipe from Food.com.

11. Crystal Light Wassail

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 1 large can apple juice
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 pouch Crystal Light Raspberry Ice
  • 1 pouch Crystal Light Cranberry Breeze
  • 1 orange, sliced

Prep Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 3 1/4 hours

Directions

  1. Add apple juice, water, and cinnamon sticks to a crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for 2 hours.
  3. Stir in Crystal Light.
  4. Add orange slices.
  5. Cook 1 hour.
  6. Remove cinnamon and orange slices and serve.