Hey plant friends! Today we’re going to change things up and try something new. It’s Thanksgiving! Here in Cache Valley, even in the greenhouses of the garden center, it’s cold. One of my favorite ways to warm up on cold days is some lovely wassail. I know, some of you have tried different mixes that attempt to copy the flavor of wassail, but they really fail! Don’t be scared off by those. When it’s made from scratch, it’s delicious! With the perfect blend of citrus, apple, and spices, it will make your tastebuds dance! It also makes your home smell amazing.
Wassail is great anytime, but Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite times to drink it. Ready for the recipe? Here we go!
First, in a large pan, boil 4 c of water, then add 2 c sugar and dissolve. If you want to replace the sugar with an alternative sweetener, feel free, as long as it can dissolve in the water.
Next, steep these spices in the sugar mixture for 1 hour: 3 cinnamon sticks, 6 whole cloves, and 6 whole allspice. You can put them in a mesh bag and toss them in, or I just toss them straight in. After 1 hour, take them out. If the end result is too strong on these spices, you can just take them out sooner next time.
Now toss in a pinch of salt, then add 12 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate, 6 oz. frozen lemonade concentrate, ½ gallon of apple cider, and ½ gallon of cranberry juice. Simmer together for at least an hour. I like to pour it into my crock pot on high for this step, and then forget it for a few hours. Ohhh it smells heavenly.
Before serving, make sure to stir it up, because the orange and lemon sink to the bottom a bit. If I have any leftover wassail, I like to put it into the containers that the apple and cranberry juices came in and freeze it.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. It’s one of my favorites! And as always, thanks for gardening with the Gardening Moose!