Herbal Wassail Recipe

Herbal Wassail Recipe

Ever since the first Christmas I can remember, I woke up to the warm smell of cinnamon, apple, cranberry and orange simmering in the crock pot. It was a tradition that came from my grandparents (and perhaps their parents) of making a drink called Wassail for holidays.

Wassail is a traditional German drink made with apple cider, citrus of some form and winter herbs. It’s delicious, and will warm you up on a cold winters day! This year, I found a way to incorporate herbs into the recipe for some added health benefits.

Making Wassail has now become a family tradition with my own family (as well as making Gluvine, a spiced wine punch that my husband used to drink when he studied in Austria). They say that smell is closely tied to memory and the scent of this homemade wassail definitely brings back good memories for me, just as I hope it will for my children.

Check out some of my other favorite drink recipes here.

Herbal Wassail Recipe




Yield 6


  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 1 quart freshly brewed tea made with Red Raspberry leaf (3 parts), Alfalfa (2 parts), Nettle (1 part), and Dandelion (1 part) - You can also just use regular tea for this or more apple cider
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • 8 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 organic oranges,
  • whole cloves
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
  • small slice of fresh ginger root or a dash of dried ginger powder


  1. Peel oranges, section, and put 1 clove in the middle of each section.
  2. Mix juices and tea in large pot. (Or reduce quantities and put in crock pot)
  3. Put cinnamon sticks and oranges in the mixture.
  4. Simmer in large pot for one hour and serve. Can also be kept in crock pot all day.

Courses Drinks

Cuisine German

Ever made Wassail? What’s your favorite holiday drink? Share below!

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Reader Comments

  1. Borax is just now known to cause cancer, is a hormone disrupter, and is toxic. Now only good to kill ants. Now not for sale in Sweden, or Europe.
    Never use ammonia, just by opening one arm length away from my face to pour on husbands work, sweat armpit stains,a small amount,the smell was toxic, I closed the lid, ran out of laundry room. It burnt the inside of my nose, and throat. Headache and dizzy with nasal drip. Go natural with baking soda products forget borax,ammonia, and also forget bleach as well. I never mixed anything with the ammonia, did not add laundry soap, nothing. Very dangerous, get it out of all homes. Being hurt is no fun!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe. It was a joy to make it and a joy to incorporate the wassail tradition into our new years eve spectacular family night. What a gift. Thanks for sharing your wisdom on this and the many other tidbits I have learned from you and haven’t taken the time to thank you for (til now). Peace, prosperity, and happiness be yours this year! Wassail!