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Wassail Bowl

Drinks - Mixed
South West


Wassail at Thatchers Cider
Image: Neil Phillips


Drink prepared to celebrate the winter festival, commonly based on cider or ale with brandy and spices, served hot. The word 'wes-hale' was originally a drinking-toast or salutation used when presenting a cup to a companion, the reply being 'drink-hale'. It may be remnant of the festival of Yule, which has now been subsumed into Christmas. There remains a significant tradition of making large, usually turned wood, bowls for drinking the Wassail from.

Gloucestershire Wassailers' Song
Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white, and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl is made of a maplin tree;
We be good fellows all; - I drink to thee.


See also: Wassail Custard



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