Well Peter, I don’t like alcohol! I do like cold apple cider though…............. (but not hard cider which does have alcohol in it) I do have about half a cub of hot wassail at Christmas sometimes : http://kathleen-duffy.suite101.com/make-at-home-mulled-wine-and-wassail-a171175
Basic Mulled Wine Recipe:
The word ‘mulled’ means heated and spiced and such wines have been around for a long time. They were particularly popular in cold, northern climates where they were thought to be good for the health. This is a basic recipe, but of course there are many variations, including different spices, white or red wine and plenty of different fruits. Experiment and enjoy.
A pinch of nutmeg
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
Juice and rind of 1 lemon or orange
1 stick of cinnamon
300 ml/ ½ pint hot water
1 bottle of dry red wine – cheap plonk is fine.
In a pan place the nutmeg, brown sugar, juice and rind of lemon or orange, cinnamon stick, cloves and hot water.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the wine
Reheat but don’t boil.
Serve immediately in thick glasses – or pottery mugs (preferable).
A Simple Wassail Recipe:
The term ‘wassail’ comes from the Ango-Saxon phrase, waes hael. It is a term that was often used when toasting friends and family and wishing them good health. The wassail drink became associated with Christmas and New Year celebrations and there are many varied recipes, but the majority seem to have ingredients that include baked apples or oranges, nutmeg and brown sugar. Some use beer, wine or brandy or all three, the latter not being for the fainthearted.
6 cooking apples
Soft brown sugar
15 g/½ oz ground ginger
Half a grated nutmeg
Pinch of powdered cinnamon
225 g/8 oz Demerara sugar
1.75 litres/3 pints ale, mild or brown
¼ bottle sherry
Core apples, but leave the peel on. Fill the holes with soft brown sugar and roast in a moderate oven, Gas 3, 325°F, 160° C, for about 45 minutes to one hour. Make sure they don’t burn.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan mix the ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and Demerara sugar. Add 600 ml/1 pint of the ale and bring to the boil.
Stir in the rest of the ale, the wine and 10 cubes of sugar that have been rubbed on the rind of the lemon. Heat the mixture, but do not allow it to boil.
Put the roasted apples in a bowl and pour in the hot ale mixture with half the peeled and sliced lemon.
Serve in thick glasses or pottery mugs (preferable).