Christmas Wassail (Nonalcoholic)

A simple, but satisfying, hot Christmas punch which I usually serve as the nonalcoholic alternative to my Christmas Eggnog.  This, of course, is not an original recipe, but it's been in a card file, copied in part from my mother, for a long while—perhaps from one of my Grandmother Deitz's recipes given to my mother.  But it was so long ago.  Wassail traditionally is a an alcoholic drink, of northern European origin.  My Grandparent Deitz's were definitely prohibitionists, and rather strict Baptists.  My parents were of a similar ilk when I was young, but were known to drink wine and beer in later life.


1 orange
1 lemon
1 1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 gallon fresh apple cider
2 cups orange juice
1 cup fresh lemon juice

  1. Peel orange and lemon, making a spiral of the rind as much as possible. Insert cloves into the rinds.
  2. Combine the rinds, cinnamon sticks, sugar and apple cider in a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover,  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. When it is time to serve, add orange and lemon juices.  Warm to steaming.  Do not boiling. (I have a large crock pot I use to keep punch hot until time to serve, then I place in a punch bowl).

Makes 5 quarts.