Wassail doesn't go with ANY alcohol... said no one... ever!

One of the most frequent questions I get is - What alcohol would you recommend I mix my wassail with?

I have a long answer. First, wassail is VERY mixable with a wide range of adult spirits. Because of my own childhood experiences with wassail (children are still my most important people!) my favorite way to enjoy wassail is hot straight from the bottle… no alcohol. That said, I do enjoy it with alcohol as well.

My personal favorite is red wine. I will go so far as to recommend a Bordeaux. If that is not available, I will mix with a Merlot. (So, let’s just say red wine.) My mother, who was the inspiration for me in creating my beverage, would say to add rum or brandy. My friends most often say to mix with bourbon or whiskey. My son would say to drink it cold with a pale ale. (This, by the way, would create the closest thing to the historic original version of wassail. I’m not a huge beer drinker myself, but I will admit that it’s actually really good with a pale ale.) With wine or pale ale, I recommend mixing at 50/50. With the red wine, heat the wassail to a boil, pour into a cup half full, then pour in the wine. I do NOT recommend heating any alcohol in the pot with wassail while the wassail is heating; that just burns off the alcohol… and what’s the fun in that!???

Wassail is extraordinarily versatile. It mixes well with Fireball, Grand Marnier, Cognac, Apple Crown, Spiced Rum, Cinnamon Schnapps,… etc. etc. When mixing with hard liquors or liqueur, heat the wassail to a strong simmer (like a hot tea), fill a cup almost full, then add the alcohol to your own desired strength. Of course, vodka (and flavored vodkas as well) is always the shortest distance from point A to B, so to speak. Tequila also works.

The point is this - PLAY with your wassail! Have fun!!! Everybody has their own unique way of enjoying wassail, so let them all experiment and enjoy it in their own way.

The spirit of wassail is to allow everyone (EVERYONE!!… children… expectant mothers… teetotalers… and those who may enjoy a little somethin’-somethin’ added) to enjoy the drink… EVERYONE should be included! That’s what wassail and the Holidays is all about!

From my house to yours - Wassail!!!

The Prime of Wassail Season!

Christmas Eve, 2017...

Merry Christmas to All!... and to All a good night!

The Holiday Season is, without doubt, a favorite time to enjoy special gatherings and time with friends and family.  The Colorado Wassail Company wishes everyone peace, blessings, good health, and prosperity in this Season and throughout the whole year.

While wassail is a wonderful addition to the family gathering atmosphere, it is not only a beverage for the season between Halloween and Christmas, it holds a central place in Twelfth Night celebrations (the twelfth day of Christmas).  Don't know about Twelfth Night???  The twelve days of Christmas (as, from the song of the same name) actually begins on December 26th and runs through the Feast of the Epiphany, also known as the Feast of the Magi (the day the three wise men brought gifts to Jesus), or Eastern Orthodox Christmas.  In days of yore, a grand season-ending party was held the night of the Epiphany, and this was known as Twelfth Night.  The wassail bowl was the centerpiece for liquid refreshment at this celebration where friends and family would gather one final time to close out the Holiday Season.

Wassail from the Colorado Wassail Company is crafted in part to honor the Holiday Season.  Wassail is also a wintertime beverage (best served hot!... and maybe with a little somethin'-somethin' added for adult enjoyment) to be enjoyed throughout all the cold winter months, but particularly as a commemoration of this final feast day of the Holiday Season.

From the hearts of those of us from the Colorado Wassail Company, and from our household tor yours - wes heil! (be well!; to your health!)


Where did the name McGowan's come from?

In my last post, I explained how wassail became a family tradition and that it all started with my mom.

My mom's maiden name is McGowan, so that's the short story.  For the longer story, check out my last post (below).  

I used the word "tradition" in that post.  I am a believer in tradition and giving credit where credit is due, and my mom deserves full credit for this whole wassail thing in my family.  Given all the good that is bottled up inside this wonderful drink, I couldn't think of any other name that would ever have been more fitting, or a better homage than to name it after the one who introduced it to me those many years ago!

So - As they would have said back in the olden days - Wassail!!!! (Cheers!... To your health!)... to my mom, Ms. McGowan!

Sooooo.... What's the story????

Now - I would normally tell you about wassail, it's history, how I got into selling wassail, but you can read about that on my About Wassail page.  (Do that later.)

My story - Wassail isn't just a drink, it's an experience!  I'll take you back to my childhood.  My parents were those 1960s cardigan-wearing type who hosted cocktail and holiday parties full of grownups.  You can probably picture the scene with the crowded living room, kitchen, family room, etc. full of people swapping business stories, talking about their kids and whatnot.  And, my parents would conduct the obligatory ritual of marching my two sisters and me into the room for a quick introduction, and then promptly march us back out and relegate us to our bedrooms, and maybe (maybe!) patronize us by letting us have a cup of sprite or something cliche and non-threatening.  

One year when I was still quite young, a friend of my mother's introduced her to this drink called wassail.  My mom took to it quickly and started making it for the family during the holidays.  It was an extraordinary drink!... and... we children were allowed to drink it and mingle with the adults thereafter at their parties. 

Here's the thing - This drink... wassail... was much more than the glib soft drink my parents would have given us previously.  It was special!  It was unique! AND, it was a drink that even some of the grownups would enjoy instead of alcohol.  Suddenly, we kids felt included... part of the group!  This simple little drink gave us a sense of belonging and acceptance among the grownups, and we were actually able to engage with them and participate in their conversations and camaraderie.  If you think about it, that's one heck of a gift to give a child!  It was so very much different than being separated from the adults, akin to being relegated to the children's table.

Here's how much of an impact this gift from my parents had.  My two sisters and I are now in our 50s.  Each of us has made wassail in our own households for decades, and we share it with our own families and friends now.  In short, my mom single-handedly created a new and lasting holiday tradition that has now carried on to two new generations... and my mom's grandchildren now also love this drink!

What's wassail? ( - is usually the first question I get) - I just tell people - It's Christmas in a cup!  That will get me a momentary deer-in-the-headlights look... momentarily.  But, as soon as they taste it, and the twinkle suddenly appears in their eyes, they get it!  And, almost to a person, they then respond immediately with - Yeah!... It IS Christmas in a cup!... good way of saying it!  Wassail is the liquid summation of all that is good!... It evokes tradition, warmth, togetherness,... love!

Wassail is an amazing drink!  It is much more than a beverage; it's an experience; and one that I hope you and your family will enjoy just as much as mine does!