[Sca-cooks] mulled wine

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Thu Mar 17 20:05:13 PDT 2011

You may not find a period recipe for wassail.

The word is a salutation in both Old English (5th to 12th Centuries) and Old 
Norwegian (12th to the 14th Centuries), but bears no relationship to drink 
in either language.  At the beginnning of the 13th Century, it is used as a 
salutation when presenting a cup of wine or ale to a guest.  In 1300, the 
word is used to refer to wine and ale for a fete (festival or feast).  The 
earliest reference I can find that relates wassail and spiced alcoholic 
beverage is from 1601 and refers to "wassail and bragget."  Wassail bowl 
dates from the 17th Century.

So wassail is a salutation, a guest cup, or the drink in the guest cup 
depending on usage.  In period, the drink was probably whatever was 
available, becoming spice wine in a more modern context.


> I'm finding lots of recipes for spiced or fruity wine; but the only stuff 
> I
> find for "wassail" is not period.....is wassail a class of thing?  I mean,
> is hypocras a wassail?
> Or is there an actual recipe for period wassail?
> -- 
> Ian of Oertha

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list