Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Here We Come A-wassailing

Wassail (wos-uhl, -eyl, was-, wo-seyl), n.
1. a salutation wishing health to a person, used in England in early times when presenting a cup of drink or when drinking to the person;
2. a festivity or revel with drinking of healths;
3. liquor for drinking and wishing health to others on festive occasions, esp. spiced ale, as on Christmas Eve and Twelfth-night;
4. Archaic . a song sung in wassailing
On my trip to wine country earlier this year, I sampled a spiced merlot at a place called Sort This Out Cellars, heated and steeped with mulling spices. I knew I'd have to have it again come the holidays.

Some day, I might feel adventurous enough to make my own mulling spices (this looks like a good recipe), but this year I figured I'd just buy a pre-made bag from Sort This Out.


Their bags come ready-to-go, with a recommendation to add water and brown sugar. The cork attached to the bag is for flotation, which is a nice touch.


As per their instructions, I added 12 ounces of water, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and heated the mixture in a crock pot for an hour. That mix was a little bitter, so I added another four ounces of water and an inexact amount of brown sugar (I was in "flavor-to-taste mode" at that point).


After a little bit of trial-and-error, it came out great. I'd gone with a cheap wine; next time, I'm not skimping out in that department. It might be a good idea to sample wines beforehand, and go with one that's already a little juicy and sweet to begin with (although a dessert wine like moscato, concord, or riesling would probably be overdoing it).


This is a fantastic holiday treat to keep the adults warm on a winter night.

No comments:

Post a Comment