Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Warm Wassail

What's wassail, you ask? It's, traditionally, a warm, spiced punch.  But don't let the word punch fool you -- this one is for adults only. Come in from the cold, sit by the fire, and get warm and toasty!

1 c. water
2 c. sugar
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. ginger
12 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 c. dry sherry
1/2 c. brandy
6 eggs, separated
1 orange

1. Boil water and sugar over high heat.
2. Reduce heat, add nutmeg, ginger, cloves, cinnamon sticks, sherry, and brandy.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.
3. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks.
4. With an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon colored.
5. Whisk the yolks into the hot spiced mixture and stir constantly over low heat for 5 minutes.
6. Pour into a heat-proof punch bowl.
7. Beat the egg whites until stiff, and spoon gently on top of the wassail punch.
8. Garnish with thin orange slices.  Serve hot.

Makes 1 1/2 quart or 12 servings.

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