Writer’s Kitchen: Wassail Punch

On December afternoons, while trimming the tree, doesn’t it sound nice to have a pot of wassail simmering on the stove, filling the house with its aromas of citrus and spice? This has been one of those lovely late-fall Seattle weekends: fair, sunny weather, tree lots bustling but not yet chaotic, and plenty of cars driving with the perfect Christmas tree strapped to the roof. It’s the type of weekend that makes one want to get outside and breathe in the fresh air for a while, then return home to warm up while decking the halls, maybe even jotting down story ideas that pop up while basking in the festive delights of the season.

Wassail Punch
Adapted from The Kitchn

While the original recipe calls for sugar, you may want to taste the juice first after adding the lemon to see if it’s sweet enough for your taste. Keep in mind that the drink’s flavors intensify while simmering. This is an alcohol-free version, perfect for the whole family, though bourbon would also be a nice touch.

3 cups apple cider
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cinnamon sticks
3 whole star anise
1/2 Tablespoon sugar, optional
Dash of allspice
Juice of half a lemon

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for several hours, allowing the flavors to develop and mingle.

Serves 3.

One Response to Writer’s Kitchen: Wassail Punch

  1. Tonya December 6, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Sounds delightful! It’s nice to know what wassail actually is.

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