This Hot Wassail recipe is a delicious drink made with warm apple cider, juice, brown sugar, and spices. This warm holiday drink is made in the slow cooker for ease and is perfect for serving at gatherings!
The first time I ever had Wassail was at the Christmas Markets In Poland back in 2016. It was life-changing. Okay, that might sound a bit dramatic, but since then it has now become a holiday tradition in our own home.
This wassail tastes primarily like hot mulled cider, but it’s slightly sweeter and laced with tart flavors of citrus.
Wassail means “be in good health” and Wassailing was an English Yuletide and New Year’s Eve tradition where people went door signing and offering a drink from the wassail bowl to their friends and neighbors.
Over the years, wassailing turned into caroling and the tradition faded in popularity but it is still practiced in some parts of Scotland and England. In many places, Wassail has become a drink that extends from the harvest season right through to the new year.
The original recipe for traditional wassail seems to be unknown. Many believe it was made with ale, eggs, and apples while others claim it was made with hard liquor.
Whenever I have had it in Europe during Christmastime, it’s always been non-alcoholic and made with juice and spices. So that’s the way I made it!
Why I Love This Recipe
- It’s Delicious! The blend of cider, juice, and spices is perfect for enjoying on chilly nights or holiday gatherings.
- It’s Easy! All you have to do is add everything to the crockpot and let it cook for a few hours before serving.
- It Freezes Well! If you aren’t hosting a big crowd but still want to make this part of your holiday tradition, you can freeze any leftovers!
What’s In Wassail?
This classic mulled drink recipe is made by mulling cider with orange, pineapple, and lemon juices. It’s sweetened and spiced with brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, star anise, ginger, and nutmeg.
I always add slices of fresh apples and oranges too, but you don’t have to. It’s doesn’t add much to the flavor but does make for a pretty presentation.
How To Make Wassail In A Crockpot
As I said before, this is a really simple recipe to make. The only real effort you’re going to put in is slicing up and apple and orange and even those two things are entirely optional in this recipe.
Add the fruit slices, spices, sugar, juices, and cider to the crockpot and stir to combine. Cook for 2 to 3 hours before serving hot mulled wassail in mugs and garnish with orange slices and cinnamon sticks.
How To Make Wassail On The Stove
If it’s late on Christmas Eve and you don’t have time to use the crockpot, you can add everything to a large pot and cook over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.
How To Freeze Wassail
This recipe makes a big batch, but it’s really easy to freeze if you have leftovers!
Allow the liquid to cool in the crockpot to room temperature then add it to freezer bags, squeezing out as much excess air as possible.
Lay the freezer bags flat on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer until frozen. Remove from the baking sheet and store for up to 3 months.
Thaw in a bowl in the refrigerator and reheat in the crockpot, microwave, or on the stove.
More Delicious Drinks
- Crockpot Hot Chocolate – This thick, rich, and decadent hot cocoa is perfect for winter!
- Christmas Punch – An iced drink recipe the whole family can enjoy this holiday season!
- Cranberry Apple Cider Punch – The perfect non-alcoholic punch for Thanksgiving!
- Cranberry Cooler – A tart and minty mocktail that takes just a couple of minutes to make!
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Slow Cooker Wassail
- Add all ingredients to a large crockpot and cook on high for at least 2 hours or low for at least 4 hours.
- Keep on warm and serve straight from the crockpot.
- For best flavor, make sure to use fresh apple cider and not the shelf stable kind or apple juice. Usually fresh apple cider is found in the produce section or at your local orchard.
- If you don’t have time to use the crockpot, you can add everything to a large pot and cook over medium-low heat for 30 to 45 minutes.
- Store extra in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze.
- This drink is really easy to freeze if you have leftovers!
- Allow the liquid to cool in the crockpot to room temperature then add it to freezer bags, squeezing out as much excess air as possible.
- Lay the freezer bags flat on a baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen. Remove from the baking sheet and store for up to 3 months.
- Thaw in a bowl in the refrigerator and reheat in the crockpot, microwave, or on the stove.