Traditional Christmas Wassail

Traditional WassailWassail is a traditional British Christmas drink whose praises many a troubadour has sung. Mentions of Wassail date back to the 13th century. There are many recipes, and this one leans toward the more traditional.

Apple slices are roasted in brown sugar and ale before being added to more ale, sherry, lemon peel and spices. Some recipes call for eggs, but we decided to forego them.

The result is a warming and delicious drink that is filled with holiday flavors.

Yields approximately 2 quarts

1 quart Samuel Smith’s Nut Brown Ale
8 ounces Hartley & Gibson’s Sherry
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 apples
finely grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Peel and core two apples and cut into thick slices. Place the apples in layers in a baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Drizzle with 2 ounces of brown ale. Bake until the apples are very tender (about 45 minutes).

Chop the apples and their cooking juices in a food processor until smooth. Place in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the remaining ale, sherry, lemon peel and spices.

Simmer gently for a few minutes. Peel and core the remaining apple and slice. Add the slices to the bowl and serve while still warm.

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