Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.
Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.
My dear friend Wikipedia taught me that the old English wassail song refers to ‘wassailing‘, or singing carols door to door wishing good health. And according to Readers Digest; “the Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or, let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. The wassail bowl itself was a hearty combination of hot ale or beer, apples, spices and mead, just alcoholic enough to warm tingling toes and fingers of the singers”
Anyhow, one thing that always reminds me of holiday fare is hot Wassail Punch. It’s perhaps one of my most favorite hot things to drink (next to a good cup of coffee you know,) but because it has several ingredients, it’s not really one that you whip up just a cup of for yourself. It makes your entire house smell AMAZING, and it’s just cozy and good. It pretty much dominates basic hot cider in the flavor department, and well….it’s just worth making ya’ll!
My wassail doesn’t have toast on top (something they used to do to sop up every last bit,) and while it’s good with a little spike or wine as a base too, this time I’m making it non-alcoholic. So, I thought I’d share this fun Yuletide drink that is great to serve up to your family, or friends, or whomever.
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 1-1/2 cups orange juice
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- Dash ground cinnamon
- Dash ground cloves
- In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs. Yield: 10-12 servings (2-1/2 quarts).
That’s it! It does keep for a little while after you make it, so if you do want to make a pot, put the rest in the fridge and then you CAN have a cup at your leisure! And while you’re at it…call a friend to enjoy a cup with you!
That song at the beginning is totally one that I knew, but I never realized what it was about. When I looked it up to make sure I got the lyrics right for this post, I came across several more verses of it and thought that I’d share.
We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children,
Whom you have seen before.
Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a mouldy cheese,
And some of your Christmas loaf.
God bless the master of this house
Likewise the mistress too,
And all the little children
That round the table go.
Good master and good mistress,
While you’re sitting by the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who are wandering in the mire.
Tis the season for giving…so as you make your wassail this year, and share it with a friend….remember the people who would love just a cup of something warm to drink… and think about what you can do to make a difference in their lives….