Medieval brews for merry-making 

Did you know that the first Christmas carols were actually Anglo-Saxon drinking songs? That's the legend surrounding "wassail," a sweet, spicy winter brew that takes its name from the Old English toast "waes hael," or "be whole."

The recipe has many varieties, but here's one from the archives of House and Garden magazine. Simmer a gallon of apple cider on the stove for 15 minutes. Add four cinnamon sticks, a cup of dark-brown sugar, and spice to taste with cloves, allspice, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add slices of apples and oranges. Now add a pint of gin, vodka or brandy -- whichever you prefer. If possible, keep the wassail warm in a crock pot. Ladle into punch cups. Cheers!

For another recipe, go to the Epicurious website.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.

Speaking of On The Side


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues


© 2020 Orlando Weekly

Website powered by Foundation