Warm everyone's spirits before they venture out in song by serving hot mugs of Wassail. Not only is Wassail a warm spiced and sweetened beverage made from ale or wine, the word is also a salutation as well as the action of "toasting to one's health."
Mull a pot of Wassail and keep it warm on the stovetop for guests to indulge in before and after caroling. Serve a selection of cheese and crackers as nibblers and or consider a potluck of appetizers.
1 gallon apple cider
1 (750 ml) bottle pinot noir or a light red wine
2 Red Delicious Apples, washed, cut into wedges
2 Bartlett pears, washed, cut into wedges
4 cinnamon sticks
1 Teaspoon ground ginger
Place cider, wine, apples, pears, cinnamon, and ginger in a large pot. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, remove cinnamon sticks. Keep Wassail in pot over low flame on stove for guests to help themselves.