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Photo by Alan Benson/McRae Books

Traditional Wassail
Wassail is a traditional part of English Christmas celebrations, dating back to the 13th century. There are a myriad of recipes, but his more traditional recipe comes from Carla Bardi’s lovely The Silver Book of Cocktails.

 

1 qt. brown ale
8 oz. dry sherry
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 apples
finely grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp. each ground nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Peel and core two apples and cut in thick slices. Place in layers in a baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar. Drizzle with 2 oz. of brown ale. Bake until the apples are very tender, about 45 minutes. Chop the apples and their cooking juices in a food processor until smooth. Place in a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the remaining ale, sherry, lemon peel and spices. Simmer gently for a few minutes. Peel and core the remaining apple and slice. Add the slices to the bowl and serve while still warm.

 

The Silver Book of Cocktails, Carla Bardi (McRae Books 2009)

 

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For more holiday cocktail recipes like this, check out the November/December 2008 and 2007 issues.