The season is changing, and with this change comes that cravings for comforting and traditional Fall foods and drinks, made from fresh fruits and vegetables that are currently in season.
One of my favorite traditional hot beverages, and the one which sparks some of my best holiday memories, is Spiced Hot Apple Cider, or as the old English called it - Wassail (Mulled Apple Cider) meaning 'Good Health'.
refers both to the salute ''Waes Hail'' and to the drink of wassail, a hot mulled cider traditionally drunk as an integral part of wassailing, an ancient southern English drinking ritual intended to ensure a good cider apple harvest the following year.
When I was in college I sang in a madrigal group, and we dressed up in renaissance garb, and had a large production for Christmas! We sang traditional old English songs, like this one:
(Here is a picture of a picture, of our group singing at a Renaissance Fair in 2002- I'm in the middle)
"Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
Old Apple tree, old apple tree;
We've come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs."
video uploaded by the: SeleyaCommunity
Luckily I happen to live very close to an old Apple Orchard
located in Oak Glen, CA called Los Rios Rancho's
where they sell fresh pressed raw Apple Cider
It is a beautiful orchard and Ranch where you can pick your own apples, visit their amazing gift shop for beautiful homemade crafts and home good, and many tantalizing old fashioned and new cookbooks!
You can even watch them working their press during the day to observe their process..They still use the old pressing methods. Sarah's favorite snack there are their caramel apples dipped fresh daily!
Here is the traditional recipe I like to use:
1 5qt. Pot
1 Gallon Apple Cider or 1/2 gallon (However much you want to serve)
Pour 1/2 gallon - 1 gallon of Apple Cider into the pot set on High Heat to boil
1-2 tsp of Nutmeg, Several 'shakes' of cinnamon or 1 tbsp. About 8-12 cloves
Add slices of orange and apple
Bring to a rolling boil for about 3 minutes, then set to low heat to keep warm for serving.
Pour into mug with cinnamon stick and place a garnish (small apple or orange slice, with a dash of nutmeg) on the top if desired.
* Add Brandy, Spiced Rum, or Wine -
to make Mulled Spiced Apple Cider for adult holiday parties.
Time: 10-15 minutes Servings: 6-8 servings for 1/2 gallon
I hope this recipe brings you as many wonderful memories as it has for me, and gives your taste buds an amazing burst of Spiced Apple flavor and your body health for this fall season and the holidays!
This recipe is perfect for parties, and bringing together your family and friend to harken in the good harvest for next season!
~Peace and Love ~
What is your favorite holiday beverage, and what memories are triggered when you smell or drink it?
Leave a comment below.