Wassail: 2 Recipes for the Favorite Holiday Punch

Brandy and sherry in a traditional holiday Wassail.
Brandy and sherry in a traditional holiday Wassail. Helene Toresdotter/Nordic Photos/Getty Images
  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 12 Drinks (12 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
132 Calories
1g Fat
21g Carbs
4g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12 Drinks (12 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 132
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 50mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 4g
Calcium 23mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

I believe this Wassail recipe to be more traditional than the rum and beer version (below) and it's the one of the two that I personally prefer. This version of the traditional holiday punch is frothy and is a nice touch to the warm drink.

Wassail has been used for centuries in its various forms as a comforting which families would serve to carolers and other visitors during the Christmas season. The tradition of going house to house to visit like this is known as wassailing and groups often spent an entire day or evening making their rounds.


Steps to Make It

  1. Place the water and spices into a saucepan.

  2. Simmer for 10 minutes, without allowing it to reach a boil and stirring occasionally.

  3. Add the sherry and sugar and continue to heat and stir for a few minutes.

  4. Remove from heat.

  5. Beat the egg white and yolks separately.

  6. Stir the sherry mix and egg yolks together in a heat resistant punch bowl or wassail bowl.

  7. Add the brandy.

  8. Whisk in the egg whites until foamy.

  9. Garnish the punch bowl with apple or other fruit slices.

Wassail Recipe with Rum and Beer

There are many recipes for Wassail (a traditional punch served to visitors and carolers during the holidays), each a variation that has been adapted through the years. The ingredients differ by using a variety of spirits and types of wine including brandy, sherry, port, some skip the beer, and many use apple cider as the base.

The majority of these Wassails are very tasty and which to use is left up to personal preference. This one in particular matches a lager with a significant amount of rum compared to most and is an excellent holiday punch.


  • 2 quarts lager beer

  • 1 quart rum

  • 5 ounces simple syrup

  • 3 ounces lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • Fruit slices for garnish


  1. Pour the beer, simple syrup, lemon juice, nutmeg, and ginger to a large saucepan.

  2. Warm on low heat for approximately 10 minutes, while stirring occasionally and taking care not to let it boil.

  3. Add the rum and stir.

  4. Place slices of fruit (ie. apple, lemon, orange) in a heat resistant punch bowl or wassail bowl.

  5. Pour the warm liquid into the prepared bowl.

  6. Ladle into punch cups.