This traditional Wassail recipe has been handed down for generations and is one of my favorite easy holiday drinks. It’s a delicious warm cider drink that balances the flavors of orange and apple with cinnamon and spices!

Looking for more drink recipes? Try this Homemade Eggnog, Creamy Hot Cocoa, Christmas Punch, or Slow Cooker Caramel Apple Cider!

A couple mugs of homemade wassail.

Why I love this drink:

  • Tradition – This is a treasured family recipe that will always remind me of the holidays. We love to make a batch to enjoy with neighbors as we pass out treats on Halloween to the trick-or-treaters. We always enjoy it on Christmas morning as well.
  • Cozy – One batch will fill your house with the most wonderful aroma of apple and cinnamon. It’s the best drink to enjoy on a cold, snowy day.
  • Delicious – this hot wassail recipe is not overly sweet and has all the perfect flavor balance.

What is Wassail?

Wassail is like the tastier sister to Apple Cider.  Traditional wassail was made with hard liquor, apples, brandy, and other spices.  This recipe is made with cloves, apples, cinnamon, lemon, orange, ginger, and nutmeg and is a nonalcoholic wassail recipe.  You could certainly add alcohol if you wish by adding a splash of brandy, bourbon, rum, or whiskey, to taste.

All the ingredients needed to make the best Wassail recipe.

How to make Wassail:

Prep Apples: Poke the whole cloves into the apples on all sides. 

An apple with whole cloves poked into it, getting ready to make Wassail.

Combine Ingredients: Add all of the ingredients, including the apples, to a large pot over medium low heat then bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. 

All the ingredients combined in a pot to make hot wassail.

Serve: Remove the apples and whole cloves then ladle hot wassail into mugs and enjoy!

A close-up image of a mug filled with homemade Wassail and a cinnamon stick, apple slice, and orange slice on top of the mug.

Storage and Reheating Instructions:

To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also make this in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat and enjoy.

To Reheat: Use the microwave, stove, or slow cooker to reheat this hot wassail. Just heat until it’s your desired temperature.

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Recipe

A mug of hot Wassail, with a cinnamon stick, apple slice, and orange slice on top of the mug.
Prep 5 mins
Cook 30 mins
Total 35 mins
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Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 apples
  • 8 cups apple cider
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 15 whole whole cloves ,or ½ tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar , optional

Instructions
 

  • Poke the whole cloves into the apples on all sides. 
  • Add all of the ingredients, including the apples, to a large pot over medium low heat. 
  • Bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30-45 minutes. 
  • Remove the apples and whole cloves. Ladle into mugs and enjoy!

Notes

Storage Instructions: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. You can also make this in advance and store in the refrigerator until ready to heat and enjoy.
Reheating Instructions: The microwave, stove, or slow cooker can be used to reheat this hot wassail. Just heat until it’s your desired temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 142kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gTrans Fat: 0.004gSodium: 13mgPotassium: 361mgFiber: 3gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 128IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg

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I originally shared this recipe November 2013. Updated October 2017 and October 2022.

 

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. First time I have ever made this and it was a hit with Rum. Yummy. I love this stuff with or without the rum.

  2. How many quarts/cups of wassail does this make total? I need to make wassail for a church activity and i have never made it or heard of it before. But i need to make 8 gallons

  3. How long will it keep in fridge? I wanted to make it ahead of time for Thanksgiving and us bottled lemon juice ok to use?

  4. 5 stars
    I made the wassail for Christmas. Everyone loved it and asked for the recipe. Sometimes wassail recipes are too tart or too sweet. This was a perfect blend.

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