Feeling a little bit of that post-holiday melancholy? Here’s one great way to lift your “spirits.”
Because while Christmas may be over, there are still plenty of culinary opportunities to continue the spirit of togetherness and cold-weather deliciousness all winter long.
Take for instance, the classic holiday beverage wassail. For a long time, I didn’t really know what wassail or “wassailing” was. From context, I’ve always taken it to be Christmas caroling, which is more or less correct in a modern sense. But the name itself derives from a drink of spiced, fermented cider consumed in medieval England and a related tradition in which toasts were made and songs sung at year’s end. Revelers would make their way through the village carrying a large bowl of the brew, stopping at houses to ask that their bowl be filled. The celebration ended with a gathering in the orchards where they would sing to the trees, encouraging a good cider apple harvest in the new year. Did I mention that the cider was fermented?