The Warming Wassail


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warming wassail cocktail

Hunkering down for the winter? Face the cold in good spirits with this warming drink from Road Soda, the latest cocktail book from our publishing imprint, Dovetail.

Ideal after a day on the ski slopes, this mulled cider–based drink is designed to be served warm. Just fill a thermos, and you’ll be good to go. Dan Pucci, who heads up the NYC cider-centric bar Wassail, says that this is the bar’s top-selling cocktail—especially on cold nights.

Though the recipe calls for Calvados, a French apple brandy, Pucci notes that it’s a versatile drink that can be made with whatever spirits you have on hand. Sometimes he substitutes pear eau de vie for the Calvados, or rum for the bourbon.

The Warming Wassail
Makes 3 servings

1 cinnamon stick
¼ cup allspice berries
Peel from ½ lemon, in strips
2½ cups (non-alcoholic) apple cider
6 ounces bourbon
4 ounces Calvados

  1. Put the cinnamon stick, allspice berries and lemon peel in a small square of cheesecloth. Gather the edges, and tie with kitchen twine to make a sachet.
  2. Pour the cider into a large saucepan, add the spice sachet and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Immediately remove from the heat. Discard the spice sachet.
  3. Stir in the bourbon and Calvados, then pour into a 1-liter thermos. (There may be a tiny bit left over; that’s the bartender’s dividend.)