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Old Fashioned Wassail

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Old Fashioned Wassail takes apple juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and spices and transforms them into the ultimate winter warm-you-up drink. It’s like a hug from your grandma, but in a cup.

 We have a tradition in my house that started in October, but whenever October got too busy because of kids activities it moved to November and now it’s called Mocktoberfest. This is my own made-up holiday. On this day we all get together and go walk down to watch our small town’s holiday parade, we celebrate my sister’s birthday, everyone brings a crock pot of soup, and we spend the whole day talking and eating.

Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever done a small town holiday parade in north Missouri, but I’ll fill you in on how it goes. You get up pretty early and you go stand outside in the freezing butt cold for a couple hours to watch everyone you know and their uncle on their handmade parade floats and you stand there until you can’t feel your fingers or toes or your nose.

I started making this old fashioned wassail as a way to warm us up when we got back from the parade. Let me tell you there is nothing like walking into my house after standing outside in the cold and just being enveloped with the scent of this rich, spicy, and fruity apple cider drink. It is one of those things that just warms you from the inside out.

Real quick let’s  talk about wassail. I need you to help me settle an argument. How do you pronounce this word? Because I say wah-sail, like sailboat. My husband says wossil like rhymes with fossil. The internet says we are both right, which does nothing to settle this debate! So tell me how you say it!

Old fashioned wassail is the perfect drink for any holiday gatherings or parties, because it’s so easy to throw together. Simply pour 2 quarts of apple juice, 1 quart of cranberry juice, and 1 can of Dole pineapple juice into a 5 quart or larger crockpot. Slice an orange into 4-5 slices and stick 5 or so cloves into each orange slice. Add your clove studded oranges and 5 cinnamon sticks to the crockpot and cook it on low for 4-5 hours. That’s it! Easy peasy and it looks so pretty. If you don’t have a crockpot this large, you can make old fashioned wassail on the stove top. Just put the ingredients in a large stockpot and simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Old Fashioned Wassail

Old Fashioned Wassail

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 5 minutes

Old Fashioned Wassail takes apple juice, cranberry juice, pineapple juice, and spices and transforms them into the ultimate winter warm-you-up drink. 


  • 2 quarts apple juice
  • 1 quart cranberry juice
  • 1 (46 ounce) can Dole pineapple juice
  • 1 orange
  • 20-25 whole cloves
  • 5 cinnamon sticks


  1. Slice the orange into 4 to 5 slices. Push 4-5 cloves into each orange slice and set aside. 
  2. Add the juices to a 5-6 quart crockpot. 
  3. Add the oranges and cinnamon sticks to the juice mixture. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Serve hot. 


This recipe can also be prepared in a large stockpot on the stove top.

If preparing on the stove top, simmer on low for 25-30 minutes.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a review or a photo! I'd love to hear your feedback!

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Monday 28th of December 2020

I've been reading a little bit about the history and origin of wassail, and according to the sources I've researched the correct pronunciation is WOS AYL (sail has two syllables and rhymes with trial).

Amy D

Monday 28th of December 2020

That's a new one to me! I've never heard that pronunciation before. Thanks for sharing Julie!


Thursday 17th of December 2020

I am making this Christmas Eve. It looks and sounds wonderful. Having 20 for that day. They will love it.

Raydeen Graffam

Monday 2nd of November 2020

SAIL - we sang the carol in college as part of the Glee Club

Amy D

Wednesday 4th of November 2020

Yay, another vote for SAIL. I think I've pulled ahead in the votes.

Renee G

Thursday 29th of October 2020

Does it matter if I use 100% cranberry juice or cranberry juice cocktail? Thanks!

Amy D

Thursday 12th of November 2020

No, use whichever is available where you are Renee. Either should work fine.

Eric Ericson

Sunday 12th of January 2020

I found this a little late for Christmas, But it's still winter and never to early for next Christmas. We pronounce it sail although I have heard the Gloucestershire Wassail sung wassil, wassail, and that is no help at all...

Amy D

Monday 13th of January 2020

Wassail is great any time it's cold out. In fact, I'm sitting here looking at a bunch of iced over trees outside wishing I had some right now. Thanks for your vote in the sail-sil debate. I'm beginning to think that there is no right answer.

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