Today's carol is the sing along favourite, Here We Come a'Wassailing. Composed in the mid 1800s, the carol tells of the tradition of wassailing where people go from door to door to wish their neighbors good health. Tradition has it that bands of beggars and orphans would sing and dance in the snowy streets for their wealthier neighbors if they would share a bit of food, the warmth of their hearth or a bit of their wassail bowl.
Ok, we admit that we choose this carol because it would be fairly easy to come up with a drink recipe. Wassail typically involves some form of mulled apple cider with just enough alcohol in it to warm the carolers' fingers and toes. We added a little fat to the cider as well (mmm .. buttery) and concocted a hot buttered cider with enough booze both to warm the carolers and convince the listeners to shell out a few pence.
Here We Come a'Wassailing Cocktail
4 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
6 kumquats, sliced length ways
1/2 orange, sliced
1/4 cup Grand Marnier
1/2 cup Calvados
2 cups apple juice
Add butter, brown sugar, fruit and cinnamon stick to a large heavy pot. Warm over medium heat until the butter and sugar melt together and the fruit becomes fragrant. Turn the heat to low and simmer until the fruit is tender. Combine the liquids into a pourable container. Slowly add to the pot and stir to emmulsify. Once combined, simmer on low for about 30 minutes. Strain and serve.
Damn, this is good. Like seriously good. We used this hot buttered cider recipe as a starting point and then added the kumquats (because we had them and thought it would add another flavour to the cider) and the Grand Marnier (because everything is better with Grand Marnier).