A traditional wassail cider drink contains heated wine, beer or cider with spices such as ginger and cinnamon. Modern recipes use a warm base of fruit juice, wine or cider with spices and often slices of fruit.
Modern wassail drinks can be alcoholic or non-alcoholic. Several popular recipes begin with simmering the base liquid, usually apple cider, and adding orange juice, brandy or tea. Cinnamon sticks, cloves, orange slices and chunks of apple are often added to the simmering base. Since the ingredients need time to heat, several slow cooker versions are practical and popular. Wassail cider drink can be poured over a few ounces of brandy and garnished with additional fruit.
The traditional hot mulled punch dates back to the Middle Ages. Wassail described both the toast and the drink used for toasting, usually at Yuletide. It was also used in a ritual to ensure a good apple harvest.