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Kid-Friendly Wassail

Yesterday, I posted some cupcakes topped with candy canes and swirly twirly gumdrops, inspired by the movie Elf. As I was making more food for the holidays, I found more inspiration from the movie Little Women (1994), which I love (despite a few of the lead actors’ more recent criminal records—but we won’t talk about that). One of my favorite scenes is when the March girls bring their Christmas breakfast to their neighbor’s home. On the way, they sing “Here We Come A-wassailing.”

I love wassail, and apparently I’ve been drinking only kid-friendly versions of it my whole life. It wasn’t until I was about thirty that I found out wassail usually contains alcohol. I say, who needs it? This is a beautiful, festive drink, without it. It’s perfect for kids or adults.

I’ve always used just plain orange juice, or orange and cranberry juice in the past to make wassail, but today, I didn’t have either of those juices, so I mixed up what I had at home. I used about half pineapple, one-fourth apple cider, and one-fourth carrot juice. Plus I squeezed in the juices from a tangerine and a fresh orange that I had lying around.

Kid-Friendly Wassail

1 gallon 100% orange juice (or a mixture of 100% juices)
1 orange, thinly sliced
10 whole cloves or a pinch of ground cloves
5 cinnamon sticks, or 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Simmer over very low heat and serve.

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