Aunt Essie’s Holiday Wassail

Renée G.


My Great Aunt Essie was quite the rebel, as the tea-totaling members of the family tell it. But, she loved to cook and entertain. When I was 12, she began allowing me to have just half a cup of this special brew she made each and every Christmas. I thought she was the most glamorous lady I’d ever seen. This is delicious, tummy warming and just like sipping a warm apple pie.

NOTE: Prep time does not include time to bake the apples.


★★★★★ 1 vote

A party
10 Min
Stove Top


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1 gallon apple cider
2 cups baked apples, peeled
¾ cup water
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon mace
6 whole cloves
6 allspice berries
3 - 5 cinnamon sticks
2 cups cream sherry
1 cup brandy

How to Make Aunt Essie’s Holiday Wassail


  • 1Pour apple cider and 2 cups baked, peeled, and cut up apples into large sauce pot; bring to boil, then reduce to low simmer.
  • 2In another saucepan, boil for 5 minutes: water, brown sugar, nutmeg, ginger, mace, cloves, allspice berries and cinnamon sticks.
  • 3In another saucepan, heat cream sherry and brandy just until you see tiny bubbles beginning to form.
  • 4Pour everything into the large pot with cider and apples. Set on back burner and keep hot – right below a simmer.
  • 5Right before serving try to remove allspice berries, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Warn guests that there “might” be one or two left you couldn’t find, so don’t choke on them.
  • 6This wassail can be made then left to cool if making ahead of time; then, just reheat and enjoy.
  • 7Serve warm.

    It's okay to reheat the next day if it's not all served on day one.

Printable Recipe Card

About Aunt Essie’s Holiday Wassail

Course/Dish: Hot Drinks
Main Ingredient: Fruit
Regional Style: Southern

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