In a recent phone conversation with my sister we talked about spiced cider/wassail. Don't worry, we also talked about fun, juicy stuff too. But we spent a significant amount of time pitying the throngs of people who spend this crisp season drinking sub par fall drinks. Apple juice with melted Red Hot candy? Seriously? Prepackaged spice mix dumped into microwaved juice? Don't even get me started. Sarah and I grew up with heavenly nectar-ish Wassail. Our grandmother passed the recipe to Mom and she passed it to both of us. It's great for cold nights, dreary mornings, and is an excellent source of vitamin C for the sniffles that often accompany this season. So put down that mug of sad-slightly-spiced-blandness and warm up your percolator!
4 cups apple juice (I use Simply Apple)
2 cups cranberry juice (cocktail is okay)
1 cup orange juice (Simply Orange plus calcium for us)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (allow some of the pulp into the mixture)
1/2 cup sugar (raw is yummiest)
1 teaspoon WHOLE cloves
1 teaspoon WHOLE allspice
5 sticks cinnamon
Pour all juices and sugar together into percolator. Place the spices in the basket. Allow mixture to percolate for at least an hour for best taste.
If you don't have a percolator you can use a stock pot and simmer the wassail over the stove. Put the spices in a tea infuser and allow mixture to simmer and slightly boil for an hour. Enjoy in your favorite mug, preferably with a special someone.