Weeknight Wassail

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Cocktail History

The Weeknight Wassail is a modern cocktail that was created by the editors of PUNCH and was first published in their book Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails. A term that evolved over hundreds of years from an Old Norse phrase meaning “to good health,” the wassail is now known as a mulled cider punch that is served hot usually around the holidays. This weeknight version, made with apple brandy, sherry, cider, and baking spices, is named as such because it’s both easy to make and low proof enough to be an acceptable drink for a school night.

Cocktail Ingredients

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Apple Brandy: This is a type of brandy made with apples, pears, spices, sugar, and alcohol. We used Calvados because it’s a high-quality apple-flavored brandy with notes of pear, apricot, and baking spices. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative and apple cider in place of the apple brandy.

Oloroso Sherry: This is a type of fortified wine made in Spain with palomino grapes. We used Emilio Lustau Dry Oloroso Don Nuño Sherry because it has a rich and nutty flavor. For a mocktail version of this drink, try Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry.

Apple Cider: This is a beverage made with freshly pressed apple juice and baking spices. We used The Glass Orchard Apple Cider because it’s fresh, delicious, and made locally to us.

Brown Sugar: This is white sugar that has been processed, crystallized, dried, and flavored with molasses. We used C&H Pure Cane Dark Brown Sugar.

Whole Cloves: This is the flower bud from the clove tree. We used whole cloves from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Whole Allspice Berries: This the dried unripe berry of the Pimenta dioica tree. We used whole allspice berries from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Ginger: The is a root that is used as a spice.

Cinnamon Stick: This is a dried spice that has been rolled into a stick. We used cinnamon sticks from the bulk section at our local grocery store.

Apple: This is a red fruit with a mealy texture. We used a Honeycrisp apple.

Bartending Tools

To make this cocktail, you’ll need the following bar tools:

Paring Knife: This is used to cut ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips 3.5 Inch Paring Knife.

Jigger: This is used to measure and pour ingredients. We used the Japanese jigger from the A Bar Above 14-Piece Silver Bar Set.

Saucepan: This is used to warm the ingredients. We used the Cuisinart 3-Quart Stainless Steel Saucepan with Cover.

Spoon: This is used to stir the ingredients. We used the OXO Good Grips Silicone Spoon.

Fine Mesh Strainer: This is used to remove solid ingredients. We used the Barfly Stainless Steel Fine Mesh Strainer.

Tasting Notes

The Weeknight Wassail features aromas of apple and cinnamon with a sharp and spicy warming taste that is mostly apple-forward with a hint of ginger, mulling spices, and a bit of effervescent spirituousness, and it goes down with an aftertaste that leaves sherry’s medium-dry flavor to linger in the throat with the spices.

Our Opinion of This Cocktail Recipe: We both really liked the Weeknight Wassail, even though we overdid it on the ginger. And we’ll definitely be pulling out this recipe on a chilly evening with friends when we all have to turn in early.

Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

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Which of our palates is yours most like?
Find out if your palate is most similar to Alex’s or Kendall’s by answering five questions.

Take Our Quiz →

Alex’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“This fairly low-ABV drink was perfect on the cold day we tried it. Combining apple flavors with the oloroso sherry’s medium-dry taste made for a delightfully apple-forward sip, while the mulling spices added a wintry kick before the sherry came back again for a signature aftertaste. Since the original recipe was for a large batch and we pared it down for a single drink, some of the spices (namely ginger) ended up being a bit overwhelming. For this reason, we recommend inviting your closest friends over and sharing a large pot of this weeknight-approved drink next to the fireplace.”

Kendall’s Take: ⭐⭐⭐
“I don’t usually go for hot beverages when given the choice, but this one is now on my list of batch cocktails that would be great for gatherings with friends. Like Alex said, we tried to pare this one down to two servings, which ended up making the taste quite a bit more spiced than it likely would’ve been if we made ten. It was still delicious, just a little heavy on the ginger burn, in my opinion. The sherry does a great job of muting the apple just enough to make it a unique take on an apple cider. Definitely worth a try in the fall or wintertime get-together!”

Recipe

This cocktail recipe was adapted from Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails by the editors of PUNCH.

Sale
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Winter Drinks: 70 Essential Cold-Weather Cocktails
Hardcover Book; Editors of PUNCH (Author); English (Publication Language); 160 Pages – 10/02/2018 (Publication Date) – Ten Speed Press (Publisher)
$14.58 Amazon Prime

AuthorWinter Drinks

Yields1 ServingPrep Time10 mins

Ingredients
 1 ⅔ oz Apple Brandy
 1 ⅔ oz Oloroso Sherry
 3 ¼ oz Apple Cider
 ¼ oz Brown Sugar
 2 Whole Cloves
 1 Allspice Berry
 1 ½ Cinnamon Sticks
 1 Small Knob Ginger
 1 Apple Slice

Method
1

Add brandy, sherry, apple cider, brown sugar, cloves, allspice, ½ cinnamon stick, and ginger to a saucepan over low heat.

2

Heat for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.

3

Strain into a mug.

4

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 ⅔ oz Apple Brandy
 1 ⅔ oz Oloroso Sherry
 3 ¼ oz Apple Cider
 ¼ oz Brown Sugar
 2 Whole Cloves
 1 Allspice Berry
 1 ½ Cinnamon Sticks
 1 Small Knob Ginger
 1 Apple Slice

Directions

Method
1

Add brandy, sherry, apple cider, brown sugar, cloves, allspice, ½ cinnamon stick, and ginger to a saucepan over low heat.

2

Heat for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally.

3

Strain into a mug.

4

Garnish with a cinnamon stick and apple slice.

Weeknight Wassail

Make It a Mocktail: Use Escape Mocktails Non-Alcoholic Cognac Alternative and apple cider in place of the apple brandy and Non-Alcoholic Sherry Flavoring in place of the sherry to try a booze-free version of this drink.

Shop Glassware & Tools

Find collections of cocktail glassware and bartending tools we recommend for your home bar in our Amazon shop.

Libbey Irish Coffee Mug, 1 Count , Clear
Libbey Irish Coffee Mug, 1 Count , Clear
Twelve 8-1/2-ounce clear glass irish coffee mugs; Dishwasher safe; Made in usa
$6.28 Amazon Prime
HISTORY COMPANY Original San Francisco Irish Coffee Glass 2-Piece Set (Gift Box Collection)
HISTORY COMPANY Original San Francisco Irish Coffee Glass 2-Piece Set (Gift Box Collection)
Unconditional 100% Quality and Satisfaction Guarantee
$38.00 Amazon Prime
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Libbey 10.5 Oz. Irish Coffee Mug(pack of 12)
Libbey 10.5 Oz. Irish Coffee Mug(pack of 12)
Capacity: 10.5 Oz.; Height: 5″; Top Diameter: 3-1/16″; Bottom Diameter: 2-3/4″; Maximum Diameter: 4-1/4″
$24.99 Amazon Prime
Sale
Libbey 8-1/2-Ounce Irish Coffee Mug, 4-Piece Set, 0.24liters
Libbey 8-1/2-Ounce Irish Coffee Mug, 4-Piece Set, 0.24liters
Four 8-1/2-ounce clear irish coffee mugs 5 7/8-inch tall; Material: glass; Dishwasher safe
$19.23
OXO Good Grips Silicone Everyday Ladle
OXO Good Grips Silicone Everyday Ladle
Flexible ladle conforms to curves to scrape up every bit of sauce for serving; High heat-resistant silicone is gentle on non-stick surfaces
$18.01 Amazon Prime

More Hot Cocktails

If you like this hot cocktail recipe, here are a few others we’ve tried that you may enjoy:

Mocha Rum Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Mocha Rum Toddy: A rum cocktail made with coffee, dark crème de cacao, simple syrup, whipped cream, and cocoa powder

Pumpkin Cider Cocktail Recipe

Pumpkin Cider: An apply brandy and dark rum cocktail made with apple cider, pumpkin cubes, butter, sugar, whole cloves, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and grated nutmeg

Banana Buttered Rum Cocktail Recipe

Banana Buttered Rum: A dark rum cocktail made with hot water, banana butter, star anise, and a cinnamon stick

Tokyo Toddy Cocktail Recipe

Tokyo Toddy: A sake cocktail made with mandarine Napoleon liqueur, brown sugar, ginger slices, and an orange slice

This post contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission each time you purchase a product using our links. Product images sourced from Amazon Product Advertising API. Amazon affiliate links last updated on 2024-05-20.

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