Get Ready to Wassail at Winter in the Woodlands!

It's DIY Mix-Along Time!

Nif is back with another DIY Mix-Along cocktail panel at Rosé Forêt's Winter in the Woodlands. This is your reminder to order any ingredients in advance so you can follow along live. Now, are you ready for some...hot wassail?

Wait...what?

Don’t mind our gnarly stove…pictured: a jug of Litehouse honeycrisp apple cider, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and a lemon, our fave Bulleit bourbon, and the mulled cider bubbling away on the stove.

According to Wikipedia, wassail is an old British tradition - either petitioning for blessings of a good apple harvest or a rowdy Yuletide celebration, depending on who you ask. Or, it refers to a hot alcoholic drink, usually consisting of mulled (spiced) apple cider.

You can make your wassail with, well, basically anything you've got laying around - wine, ale, or juice; a little citrus; your favorite spices; and some fortified wine or liquor. We'll be using a recipe adapted from The Seasonal Cocktail Companion - wassail is usually served as a punch, so our recipe is scaled down for you and 1 friend...or just you!

Winter in the Woodlands Wassail

3 cups apple cider (not the alcoholic kind)

1/2 lemon, sliced into thin rounds

1-2 cinnamon sticks

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or minced

(optional) your favorite spices, to taste

to serve: 2 oz bourbon

In a small saucepan, warm the cider, lemon slices, cinnamon, ginger, and spices on the stove over low heat for at least 1 hour, or until you're satisfied with the taste. Ladle 8 oz of cider into a mug (reserve the remaining cider for later) and top with 2 oz bourbon per serving. Stir with cinnamon stick and use as garnish. Enjoy hot.

Variations:

* For a non-alcoholic version, simply leave out the liquor.

* Try substituting other juice, or wine, or even beer for apple cider!

* Use your favorite citrus, or whatever is available locally, instead of lemons.

* Top off with rum, brandy, port, or sherry instead of bourbon. Fortified wine instead of hard liquor will make a less-alcoholic drink.

If you don't have time to heat your wassail in advance, try our party-time version:

All Party/No Prep Winter in the Woodlands Wassail

1 mug of apple cider (leave room for alcohol)

2 oz Fireball or other cinnamon whiskey

(optional) Apple slice, lemon slice, or cinnamon stick for garnish

Heat apple cider in microwave for 2 minutes or until steamy-hot

Pour Fireball over the top and stir gently to mix. Garnish if you feel like it.

Serve!

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