How to make wassail: A hot, comforting drink on a cold winter day

Wassail is a hot, mulled punch that is often associated with Christmas but can be made and enjoyed any time of the year, especially on a cold winter day.

Wassail is a hot, mulled punch that is often associated with Christmas but can be made and enjoyed any time of the year, especially on a cold winter day.

Dean Neff, head chef and co-owner of Pinpoint restaurant in downtown Wilmington shared his secret to making a perfect batch of wassail.

What you’ll need:

  • Apple juice – standard cider will work as well
  • Orange juice – Neff uses freshly squeezed satsuma orange juice
  • Cranberry – Neff uses elderberries instead of cranberry. **If you use elderberries, make sure to cook them for about 15 minutes to release any toxins**
  • Citrus fruit such as pomelo, orange, grapefruit, lemon
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Ground turmeric
  • Pink and black pepper corn
  • Elderberries – make sure cook 15 min to release toxic properties
  • Star anise
  • Allspice berries
  • Cinnamon stick – whole stick
  • Nutmeg
  • Clove
  • Any type of brown liquor – dark rum, bourbon, brandy

 

Steps:

  1. Slice your citrus fruit, pomelo, orange, grapefruit, lemon, and put it in the bottom of a pot
  2. Add in apple juice or cider. As much or as little. This is going to be the base so add in as much as you want to make
  3. Add in satsuma orange juice
  4. Zest in some fresh ginger
  5. Add a pinch of turmeric
  6. Add in all spice berries
  7. Add in elderberries (or cranberries)
  8. Add in 2 pieces of clove
  9. Add in cinnamon stick
  10. Zest in nutmeg
  11. Add in any remaining citrus fruit
  12. Put on burner and let it steep at a low simmer for about 15 minutes
  13. Pour about an ounce of brandy into a mug once the rest of the cider has reached a simmer
  14. Fill the rest of the mug with the mix from the pot
  15. Garnish with a star anise, cinnamon or anything else you want!

Serve and enjoy!