What’s For Dinner?
(First star is lowest, fourth star is highest)
Drink: Cocktail hour
Wassail, a traditional warm holiday punch, combines lager, dark rum, lemon juice and ginger. The name means "be in good health." It is associated with New Year's celebrations and with the Christmas traditions of caroling or wassailing, most famously in the Christmas carol "The Wassail Song." ("Love and joy come to you, And to you a wassail too.") In the song, the "wassail" refers to good wishes, not to the beverage. But tradition has it that carolers might hope to be rewarded with a bowl of wassail to drink.
Hands on time: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Serves: 8-10
2 quarts lager-style beer
5 ounces simple syrup (see Notes)
3 ounces lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 quart dark rum
Apple slices, for garnish
Lemon slices, for garnish
Place the apple and lemon slices in a heat-proof punch bowl. Add the punch and stir three times.
-- From A.J. Rathbun's "Good Spirits" (Harvard Common Press, $29.95)