Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wassailing . . . Florida style

Wassailing is an old family tradition for we socks with roots in the apple-growing regions of Merry Olde England.

In fact, the odd sounding word wassail comes from the old English drinking toast "Waes bu hael!" ("Be thou hail!)

Basically, the holiday tradition of wassailing began after you harvested your apples to make cider. Then you went staggering around the neighborhood to share your brew and sample others. Of course, raucous singing generally ensued, and thus wassailing began the more recent tradition of Christmas caroling. But, I digress.

This year, yours truly is going to modify ye olde family recipe to give it a little taste of Florida. Try it yourself, if you dare!

1. Boil 1.5 cups of sugar in 2 cups of water, then turn off heat.
2. Add spices: 6 cloves, half tsp of allspice, 1 tbsp of ginger, 2 cinnamon sticks.
3. Let concoction sit uncovered for about an hour.
4. Juice 3 lemons and 5 oranges.
5. Add juice plus 2 cups of apple cider to cooled concoction.
6. Bring back to a boil.
7. Serve hot.
OPTION: Add your favorite "adult beverage" to the base at this point.
8. After consuming a coupla cups, put some in a thermos and go visit your neighbors!


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