This Witchmas Wassail can be used to hail the old gods in the orchards or simply to stay warm and cozy while we day dream. Either way, we witches can certainly enjoy these spiced drinks and appreciate their magick.
Yuletide spices like cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger are commonly found in wassail recipes. These herbs are fiery and warming in the cold, winter months. They also aid in magick ranging from aphrodisiac love spells to prosperity and money magick. With these associations in mind, witches can add the apple (also common in love and sex magick) and/or the orange (a key player in prosperity spells across many traditions) when performing a little kitchen witchery.
Small Batch Witchmas Wassail
My go-to-recipe for wassail is a relatively easy one and can be made in small batch (necessary as I am the only one at home that enjoys it). For this recipe I use a bottle of a favorite apple ale or apple beer – this can also be made with cider (hard or soft).
I add a pinch of cloves, ginger, and nutmeg with a stick of cinnamon and 2-3 slices of orange to a bottle of apple ale in a sauce pan. I warm it through (hot but not boiling) strain and enjoy.
Lavender and Lovage Twelfth Night Wassail
6 small apples, cored
6 teaspoons soft brown sugar
200g caster sugar
2 litres cider
300mls sherry or Madeira
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 lemon, halved
Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
Cut around the middle of each apple with a sharp knife and place them in an oven proof dish. Fill each apple core cavity with a teaspoon of sift brown sugar. Stick the cloves in the orang and place it with the apples in the dish. Add a little water, about 6 tablespoons and roast in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the apples are soft but still retain their shape.
Leave the apples in the dish to keep warm and take the orange out – cut it in half and place it on a large sauce pan. Add the rest of the ingredients and the juices from the apple roasting dish to the sauce pan and gently heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Bring the mixture to the boil and then turn it down immediately and keep it warm until you need to serve it.
Wellness Mama Herbal Wassail Recipe
1/2 gallon apple cider
1 quart freshly brewed tea made with Red Raspberry leaf (3 parts), Alfalfa (2 parts), Nettle (1 part), and Dandelion (1 part) – You can also just use regular tea for this or more apple cider
2 cups pineapple juice
2 cups cranberry juice
8 cinnamon sticks
3 organic oranges,
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
small slice of fresh ginger root or a dash of dried ginger powder
Peel oranges, section, and put 1 clove in the middle of each section.
Mix juices and tea in large pot. (Or reduce quantities and put in crock pot)
Put cinnamon sticks and oranges in the mixture.
Simmer in large pot for one hour and serve. Can also be kept in crock pot all day.