I hear of these olden drinks in songs and literature and never really give them a second thought. Wassail, however, has always stuck in my head. I think primarily because the song is so catchy.
I went through easily a dozen variations of Wassail recipes looking for one that seemed appropriate. The historical drink was most likely made with mulled beer or mead. Modern folk make it primarily with cider. I split the difference and made it with hard cider and beer.
2 bottles light beer
2 bottles hard cider
2 teaspoons cloves
1 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 clementine oranges
1 medium lemon
Quarter the clementine oranges and put them in the crockpot. Slice the lemon and add it to the oranges in the crockpot. Pour the beer and cider over the fruit and then add all the spices. Turn the crockpot to low and let it warm for a few hours. Make sure it doesn’t boil.
The resulting punch will not be sweet. If sweetness is required, honey can be added to the cups as it is served. I float a slice of clementine in mine as a garnish. It is warming and delightful. The cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg always smells like the holidays. I prefer clementine oranges because they are sweet and seedless but any sweet orange would work.