Toast health and fortune with this light wassail based on apple
cider instead of ale and wine.
3 small oranges
1 tablespoon whole cloves
3 quarts apple cider
1 quart orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 sticks cinnamon, each 3 to 4 inches long
1 teaspoon whole allspice
Stud each orange with 1 teaspoon cloves, spacing the cloves evenly
over the surface of the fruit.
In a 6- to 8-quart pan, combine cider, orange and lemon juice,
cinnamon, and allspice (if desired, tie spices loosely in a square of
cheesecloth so they will be easy to remove).
Cover and bring to boiling; reduce heat to low and simmer about 1
hour for flavors to develop. Serve hot. If made ahead, let wassail
cool and lift out spices and oranges. Discard spices. Chill liquid (in
covered noncorrodible container) and oranges up to 3 days. To reheat,
return liquid and oranges to original pan and bring to a boil, covered,
on high heat; serve at once. Ladle wassail into mugs. Makes about 4
quarts or 16 servings, 1 cup each.
Photo: Clove-studded oranges, spices simmer in fruit-juice version
of old English wassail