How to make Wassail Recipe

How to Make Wassail Recipe

  • Author: Joyce Pinson
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 Minutes
  • Total Time: 45 Minutes
  • Category: Cocktail
  • Method: Simmering
  • Cuisine: American Holiday


Apple Cider and bourbon steeped with fruits and spices is a tummy-warming crowd-pleasing Christmas tradition.  At Friends Drift Inn we serve wassail from October to April.  A winter warming bourbon cocktail with a kick!  


  •  1 gallon Apple Cider
  •  2 quarts Cranberry Juice
  •  2 cups of Kentucky Bourbon (we add at last-but you can simmer all together-your choice)
  •  4 sticks of Cinnamon
  •  1 tablespoon Allspice
  •  1 tablespoon White Pepper
  •  2 tablespoons Friends Drift Inn Orange Marmalade
  •  2 tablespoons Friends Drift Inn Apple Butter
  •  2 Oranges studded with Whole  Cloves 
  •  3 medium Apples 


1.  Slice oranges into rounds (halves if doing stovetop and snifters method).   

2. Using paring knife, make small incisions in orange skin and press whole cloves in.

3. Slice apples – either in wedges or in thin rounds.  (We usually add a few slices to the simmering pot-but reserve raw sliced apples for garnish-so guests get crunch apples not soggy ones) 

4. Combine all ingredients (your choice to add bourbon now or at end).

5. Bring to a simmer on low to medium heat.

6. Serve in Brandy Snifters making sure to float oranges and apples on top. 


You can make this in the slow cooker or on the stove top.  Stove top version takes about 45 Minutes.

A  6-7 quart slow cooker will make the wassail more mellow, the stove-top version has a seriously vibrant flavor.   If you opt for slow cooker, increase cooking time to 3 hours.  

If you substitute apple juice for cider add an extra 2 tablespoons of apple butter to help develop the apple ginger flavor.  

We add bourbon at the very last minute to showcase the bourbon flavors against the apples and fruit.  Adding during the simmering process gives a more mild flavor profile.  It’s your choice.  

Like all our recipes, this bourbon cocktail celebrating winter, features Friends Drift Inn orange marmalade and apple butter.  We cannot predict how other products will taste or perform.  

Keywords: how to make wassail, wassail recipe, christmas punch, wassail, christmas holiday punch recipe, apple cider and bourbon cocktail, Christmas, holiday cocktail, winter, Thanksgiving, fall cocktail

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