• Wassail – Mulled Ale
    Period Recipes,  Recipes

    Wassail – Mulled Ale

    Wassail is an old tradition, going back to pre-Norman England and possibly earlier.  There seem to be at least two kinds of wassailing: one kind carried door to door in a large wooden bowl to toast neighbours, and one to visit apple orchards (particular to apple-growing regions) or fields and livestock to ask for a good growing and harvesting season in the coming year and to scare away evil spirits. Like lots of old, regional traditions, it’s pretty confused and tangled-in with other traditions. Those traditions might have been unique from one village or family to the next, all in place for hundreds of years before anyone thought to write…

  • Mulled Wine - Glühwein
    Period Recipes,  Recipes,  Shaw Christmas Favourites

    Mulled Wine – Glühwein

    Glühwein translates as ‘glowing wine,’ and I agree that it adds a glow to the season.  In my time at the Toronto Christmas Market, the smell of mulled wine was one of the most evocative scents of the season, and a glass of it at the end of a long, cold day sent me home with a warmth in my heart. People have been drinking spiced wines since the Roman period at least, and the earliest recipe that we have is from 1390, which is older than any of the other recipes I’ve been able to find for my other festive drinks. This is another drink that was given to…