For a Gallon Brew: Fill a pot with 1 gallon of fresh apple cider, or ale, or mead. Mix in cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg with ½ cup sugar, and simmer at low heat for 1-2 hours. Strain, then serve hot, topping each cup with a slice of toast.
History: Wassail (Middle English 'wæs hæl' - ‘be you healthy’) refers both to the salute 'Waes Hail' and to the drink of wassail, a hot mulled cider drunk as part of wassailing, an English ritual intended to ensure a good apple harvest the following year. Historically, the drink is a mulled cider, mulled beer, or mead, made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and topped with toast. A group then sings: “Old Apple tree, old apple tree, we've come to wassail thee, To bear and to bow apples enow, Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full, Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.”