Curl up with a good movie, a great book, or some wonderful conversation while you enjoy a cup of easy hot Wassail. Find out why I keep singing “Here we come a-wassailing”
What are your favorite Christmas movies? With three boys at home we love Elf and Home Alone. I wouldn’t call them Christmas movies, but Littlest is really getting in Harry Potter this year so I’m sure we’ll be watching those around the holidays.
One movie that I love watching around Christmas is Little Women. I actually fell in love with the movie years before I read the book. The version I always watch is the one with Winona Ryder, Susan Sarandon, Kirsten Dunst, Claire Danes, Gabriel Byrne, and Christian Bale. A few years ago my sister and I had a book club and over the holidays we read Little Women. We also watched the movie and live tweeted, which may have been one of the most fun things we ever did. My sisters and I quote this movie a lot. If you ever hear me saying ‘blast,’ blame Little Women. Plus we love Christian Bale.
One thing that they do in the movie, that they don’t in the book, is sing a little song as they deliver their Christmas breakfast. That song? Here we come a-wassailing. I don’t remember hearing that song prior to the first time I watched Little Women. But now it often gets stuck in my head at Christmas.
Apparently, carolers would exchange songs for a drink from the wassail bowl. The wassail bowl being a combination of hot ale, apples, and spices. The drink would warm up the carolers and let them continue on their way. My easy hot wassail is a more family friendly version. But still delicious and perfect to serve for Christmas or watching Little Women.
Easy Hot Wassail
4 cups apple cider
1 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 whole cinnamon sticks
6 whole cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a large pot on the stove.
Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour.
If desired, strain wassail through a fine mesh sieve before serving.
Ladle wassail into cups and enjoy.
Recipe can easily be doubled, tripled, or more depending on the size of your group.
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.