Wassail is a mulled spiced beverage made with mulled cider and spices. The drink is heated and served in a mug. Wassail has a long history and was originally made as a way to toast to good health. The word “wassail” comes from the Old Norse ves heill, meaning “be of good health.” 

This history led the drink to become a toast, to become a song. “Here We Come A-Wassailing” is a traditional English Christmas carol. It’s essentially a song about a bunch of drunk English folk pushing back Wassail until they’re tipsy and walking the streets singing about how they are drunk and spreading cheer. 

I’m not going to post the lyrics here. That’s a waste of time and space. Instead check out this version on Youtube from The Eggnoggins of Skagit County. It’s phenomenal.

That song also became a song you might more easily recognize. The watered down, PG, non-alcoholic, kiddy cocktail version called “Here we go a Caroling.” Way less fun and tied to awkward treeing and holiday family gatherings everywhere, which could have been eliminated by consuming Wassail.

Wassail is also the name of a Wassailing ceremony, which is still practiced in some parts of England. The Wassailing ceremony is a way to bless the apple trees and ensure a good harvest. 

The delicious beverage is traditionally drunk during the Christmas season, but can be enjoyed any time of year. Wassail is a delicious and festive drink that is perfect for the holiday season. Made with mulled cider and spices, this cheery drink is heated and served in a mug. 

Wassail Recipe

Wassail can be made with different types of alcohol, but cider is the most common. Wassail can also be made without alcohol by substituting cider with apple juice. It’s is a festive drink perfect for holiday gatherings. 


– 1 gallon apple cider

– 1 cup sugar

– 1 orange, sliced

– 1 lemon, sliced

– 2 cinnamon sticks

– 10 whole cloves

– 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg


1. In a large pot, combine the apple cider, sugar, orange slices, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, cloves and nutmeg. 

2. Heat over medium heat until simmering. 

3. Ladle into mugs and enjoy! Wassail can also be served cold if desired. 

Enjoy this delicious and festive drink this holiday season! This drink is sure to warm you up on a cold winter day. Get out there and get singing. Here we go A-Wassailing!