Add some history to your festivities with a glass of wassail punch…

Tastes a bit like apple crumble in a glass.

WassailPunchThe smell of toasting apples and cinnamon that fills the house during preparation is reason enough to make this drink, but it’s also a wonderfully warming tipple, perfect for the festive period.

Wassail punch dates back to the Middle Ages and, in the south-west and southeast of England at least, was drunk as part of a ceremony or ritual that took place to ensure a good cider-apple harvest the following year … We’ll drink to that!

Whether it’s to take the edge off a long, frosty walk, kick off a party, or finish dinner properly, there’s nothing like a cozy winter warmer like Mulled Cider.

Total Time (including roasting apples) : 1 hr
Serves : 4 glasses


  • 6 small apples, washed and cored
  • 1 litre cider (We used dry)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, crushed
  • 2 pinches ground cloves
  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • Sugar, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/gasmark 5.
  2. Score the apples and place in an ovenprooftray and roast for 45-50 minutes, or until skin is soft and starting to split.
  3. Heat the cider in a saucepan over a low heat and add cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. Stir well and heat through until the liquid starts to foam.
  5. Add the lemon slices and roasted apples, and give the liquid a good stir – if there is any apple juice left in your ovenproof dish, add this, too.
  6. If you want to add sugar (We added about 4 tablespoons), now is a good time to do so – add it gradually and taste as you go along.
  7. Serve hot.

Here We Come A-Wassailing

Depending on how much of this fruity punch you imbibe you may find yourself wanting to sing. So to help you on your way we’ve included the lyrics here for that most ancient of English Carols Here we come a-wassailing

[wos-uh l, wo-seyl]

  1. a salutation wishing health to a personespecially when presenting a cup of drink or when drinking to the person.
  2. a festivity or revel with drinking of healths.
  3. liquor for drinking and wishing health to others on festive occasions, especially spiced ale, as on Christmas Eve and Twelfth-night.
  4. Archaic. a song sung in wassailing.


to revel with drinking.

Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green;
Here we come a-wand’ring
So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,
And to you your wassail too;
And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
And God send you a Happy New Year.

Our wassail cup is made
Of the rosemary tree,
And so is your beer
Of the best barley.


We are not daily beggars
That beg from door to door;
But we are neighbours’ children,
Whom you have seen before.


Call up the butler of this house,
Put on his golden ring.
Let him bring us up a glass of beer,
And better we shall sing.


We have got a little purse
Of stretching leather skin;
We want a little of your money
To line it well within.


Bring us out a table
And spread it with a cloth;
Bring us out a mouldy cheese,
And some of your Christmas loaf.


God bless the master of this house
Likewise the mistress too,
And all the little children
That round the table go.


Good master and good mistress,
While you’re sitting by the fire,
Pray think of us poor children
Who are wandering in the mire.