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!!!