19th Century Silver Cider Mugs, London. Special thanks to: GEORGE C. BIRLANT & CO. (Antiques), Charleston, 843-722-3842, www.birlant.com.
Oliver Pluff & Company creates wassail spice blends from English heritage.
The island inhabitants of Britain ritualized the apple harvest and winter solstice with celebrations of cider, ale, wine, and mead, gathering and singing in the orchards to bless the crop for the next year. The libation of wassail and the practice of "wassailing" became tradition, which led to our modern caroling in the holiday season.
Spices need to steep for 1-2 hours at low heat.