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‘Tis the season and that jazz.

As such, I’ll be making another batch of my Spiked Spiced Hot Apple Cider.  I make it at Thanksgiving if we’re lucky enough to get a cold day. (Yeah, California… what can you do?)  But I always make it at Christmas and it cooks ALL DAY.  I just add more apple juice and booze to it as the day goes on.

Little did I know that my Spiked Spiced Cider is just a version of the classic “Wassail”… yes, as in “Here come a’ wassailing!”

See, back in ye’ olde times, there weren’t laws against public drunkenness.  Mostly, I’m guessing, because clean drinking water was a rarity so booze found its way into everything as a way of “cleaning” it.  Anyway, at Christmastime, carolers who were about to head out to the streets and assault the ears of sing to the masses would pour themselves a hearty mug of wassail and carry it along to keep away the cold.

Fixin' to make Wassail!

Fixin’ to make Wassail!

Some recipes for the stuff call for eggs or cream, which brings to mind Egg Noggin’… which I’ve already discussed ad nauseum.  And if you want an Egg Nog-like beverage, then have Egg Nog!  HOWEVER: hot Egg Nog sounds like a disturbing quiche to me, so I’m avoiding the egg/cream component altogether and sticking to the classic apples & spice portion of the discussion.

You can go poke around the web for all the crazy spices that folks might put into Wassail, but it boils down to at least these three: cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries.  And if I’m using those, I’m using orange peel as well.  And if I’m using all four, I’m just using “Mulling Spices.”  If you’re going to use the real deal spices, please use the WHOLE stuff (like in the picture) and not some weird tea-bagged powder.  That said, I’m also going to post a twist on my twist as well, for those who prefer a higher-proof zero-mulling version.

So, Version One:

The BoozeGuru’s Spiked Spiced Hot Apple Cider – a.k.a. Wassail

  • 1 bottle Martinelli’s Apple Juice (32 ounces)
  • 1 jar Ole Smokey Apple Pie Moonshine
  • 2 ounces Spiced Rum – Captain Morgan (1671 or Reserve) or Mount Gay Eclipse recommended
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons mulling spices (more if you like it spicy)

Add all ingredients to a steel or copper pot.  Place the pot on your stove or hotplate and set to low heat. Cover and let simmer for at least 2 hours before consuming.
Once mulled: Enjoy!
Note: if you want, you can place the spices into a cheesecloth bag, but they’ll all sink to the bottom of the pot anyway.

If you think the cider needs more booze, I recommend adding a shot of rum directly to your glass when you’re ready to drink it.  Trust me.

* * *

Now, Version 2 is for those of you who:

  1. Don’t want to bother with mulling spices
  2. Have lots of random booze lying around
  3. Don’t want to wait 2 hours

Here’s my quick, highly-charged version of Spiked Spiced Cider that I call:

The BoozeGuru’s Snowkiller – a.k.a. Fast Wassail

  • 1 bottle Martinelli’s Apple Juice (32 ounces)
  • Half of a jar of Ole Smokey Apple Pie Moonshine
  • 1/2 cup Spiced Rum – Captain Morgan (1671 or Reserve) or Mount Gay Eclipse recommended
  • 1/2 cup Cinnamon Schnapps
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) Orange Liqueur (Triple Sec, Cointreau, Curaçao)
  • 1 ounce of your favorite nut liqueur (Hazelnut, Macadamia, Amaretto, or Nocello)

Add all ingredients to a steel or copper pot.  Place the pot on your stove or hotplate and set to high heat.  Once it just starts to boil, drop the heat to low and serve!
If the alcohol content is too low for you, add a shot of cinnamon schnapps or rum directly to your cup.

Of course, you can tweak any of the amounts of the ingredients to suit your taste (personally, I like more rum and orange in mine) and more Ole Smokey just ups the apple content.

The Snowkiller is an excellent party beverage and will certainly drive away the cold of a long winter’s night.

Merry Newtonmas!