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+ servings

Boozy Hot Wassail

A semi-traditional wassail recipe made with baked apples, hard cider, wine and brandy. See notes to make non-alcoholic!
Boozy hot wassail made the traditional way!
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4 from 1 vote


  • 4 small apples
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar or demerara sugar (55 grams)
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup water (125 ml)
  • 1 quart hard cider (1 liter)
  • 2 cups port or sweet madeira wine (500 ml)
  • 1 cup brandy (250 ml)
  • 1/2 lemon , halved
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove core of apples with a small knife or melon baller. Place in a 4-quart or larger dutch oven or other oven-proof pot. Fill the cavity of each apple with 1 tablespoon of brown or demerara sugar. Stud the orange with the whole cloves and place in the pot. Add the water.
  • Bake until apples are tender but still maintain their shape, 35-45 minutes.
  • Remove pot from the oven and place on the stove. Cut orange into quarters and return to the pot. Add hard cider, wine, brandy, lemon, cinnamon sticks, and whole allspice.
  • Barely bring to a boil over medium high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve immediately or keep warm until ready to serve.
  • If you'd rather not have spices floating in your beverage, wrap spices in cheesecloth and tie with string. Steep in the wassail as it heats to impart flavors, and remove before serving.
  • To make in a slow cooker: Cook apples on high for 2-3 hours. Add remaining ingredients and cook on high until hot, 1-2 hours more.
  • To make non-alcoholic: Use 6 cups apple cider and 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice in place of the hard cider, wine, and brandy.
  • Feel free to save the baked apples for another use. Top with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream!
Parts of this recipe inspired by Nourished Kitchen, Lavender and Loveage, and Farm Flavor.


Calories: 298kcal, Carbohydrates: 34g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 15mg, Potassium: 206mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 25g, Vitamin A: 86IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 36mg, Iron: 1mg
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