Learn how to make wassail cocktails with real apple cider, ginger, lemon, spices and, of course, bourbon. Wassails are perfect for warming up on cold days! Recipe yields 4 to 6 cocktails, depending on how much of the warm cider mixture you use per drink.
4 cups apple cider (or unfiltered apple juice, doctored up with warm spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)
1/2 inch nub of fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely minced
2 lemons, sliced
1 cinnamon stick
3 star anise (optional, but they’re pretty!)
1/2 vanilla bean, slit down the middle with the insides scooped out (or 1/4 ounce vanilla extract)
Bourbon (plan on about 1 1/2 ounces per drink. I used Jim Beam)
In a medium saucepan, combine all of the nonalcoholic ingredients and simmer for at least thirty minutes, preferably over an hour.
Use a jigger or shot glass to measure bourbon into mugs. Pour in your hot spiced cider. Ideas for garnishing: cinnamon sticks, star anise, lemon slices and/or thinly sliced red apple (highly recommended).
Recipe adapted from The Seasonal Cocktail Companion by Maggie Savarino. Change it up: Substitute some of the cider for brown ale or real cranberry juice. Add other whole spices like cloves, allspice berries and/or white peppercorns. You can keep a big batch of cider warm in a crock pot!
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