Old Family Hot Wassail Recipe

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Every year as a child, my mother made hot wassail at family gatherings. I loved to push the hard cloves into the orange and see it bobbing up and down in the wassail.  As I got older and my younger cousins saw my grandfather make it after my mother passed, the next generation took passed on the tradition during our holidays.  This is an old family hot wassail recipe handed down a few generations. A great holiday beverage you can make in a large and small amount for those holiday parties or gatherings like office parties or Christmas Eve.  

What is Wassail? Wikipedia says that “ Wassail (Old English wæs hæl, literally ‘be you healthy’) refers both to the salute ‘Waes Hail’ and to the drink of wassail, a hot mulled cider traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, an ancient southern English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year.”  It has been around a long time. There are many versions of the drink. Our family’s wassail recipe is not traditional version of hot mulled apple cider but  has a lot of citrus as well. It is a delightful combination of flavors that make it a great hot drink. You can taste the citrus and cider.

oranges and cloves

  We quickly realized that the crock pot was probably best for a half recipe and a stockpot better for the recipe. I have provided the recipe and you can cut in half and judge for yourself which is better for you and how many people you will be entertaining.  We never added spiced rum but I have heard it is a great addition.

Old Family Hot Wassail Recipe
A traditional holiday warm beverage
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
  1. 1 gallon Apple Cider (Fresh gives the best taste)
  2. 1 42 oz. can of Pineapple Juice
  3. 1 42 oz. can of Orange Juice or 5-1/4 Cups
  4. 1 small frozen lemonade concentrate with one can of water
  5. 2 cups Strong Black Tea (Let tea steep for an hour or more)
  6. 2 or 3 Cinnamon Sticks
  7. 16 whole Cloves
  8. 1 small Orange
  9. Spiced Rum (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients together in a large/extra large crock pot or stock pot on stove.
  2. Stick cloves in orange and let bob in beverage.
  3. Heat until hot but not boiling.
  4. While serving keep on low to keep warm.
  5. If desired, add Spiced Rum to your liking, but don't add if boiling. Add last or mix in separately.
  1. If using a crock pot, the full recipe will fill it completely and you may want to cut recipe in half. Make sure to warn guests the beverage is hot and drink carefully.
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I hope you enjoy this beloved holiday family recipe. From our family to yours, Happy Holidays! 




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Angela Swanson
Hi! I am Angela, founder and eclectic blogger of My Personal Accent!. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. I learn by doing or by trial and error. Don't we all at some point? I love to take something old and unwanted and turn it into something awesome and new. I like to treasure hunt and I know where to find the best deal and if you can google it, I can find it!. Thank you for stopping by and reading my post! You can find me on , Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
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  1. Regina Partain December 19, 2013 Reply

    I love wassail. This looks like a great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing it.
    Regina Partain recently posted…Gift of LifeMy Profile

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      Angela Swanson December 20, 2013 Reply

      Thank you for the kind words! Our family loves it. It is not the traditional wassail but it is really tasty and a great hot drink on cold nights.

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