We covered some of the history of spiced Christmas cider, known as wassail, in Part 1 of this article. Read up if you missed it, or read on for our recipe!
As some of you may know, PCFG will be providing free wassail at the Patchogue Village Wassailing Crawl this Saturday! If you live on Long Island and will be in the area, stop by and partake in some merriment as Long Island History and Pub continues a Christmas tradition that’s all but lost in the U.S. in modern times. You may learn a thing or two, and at very least it’ll help get into the Christmas spirit despite the surprisingly mild (and pleasant) season we’ve been having so far!
If you can’t make it, well there’s always the option of making it at home. Bear in mind, we will update this post at a later date with photos from the wassailing walk we’re attending on Saturday!
About 10 years ago, I found myself at a Christmas party at a local department/craft store with my mother, where they were serving this mystical drink known as “wassail”. It was some sort of mystery concoction made of apple cider, spices, and other fruits. Back then I was too young to drink hard cider, so plain old pure cider was my favorite thing to drink; I had pretty high expectations for this weird brew of fruit juices and spices I’d never heard of. To be frank, I got my shit rocked. Wassail was one of the greatest things I’d ever drunk and it had launched a sequence of events that guaranteed Christmas would never be the same after that.
Back around Christmas time I saw on TV that the chain restaurant Denny’s was serving Gingerbread French toast. I thought that sounded delicious and decided we needed to try making it ourselves. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to try making them before Christmas. But while gingerbread men are a traditional Christmas cookie, just plain gingerbread is more of just a general wintertime treat, so there’s still time to make gingerbread French toast!
Some basic research revealed a plethora of recipes calling themselves gingerbread French toast. I feared we were too late to jump on the gingerbread French toast bandwagon. However, upon closer inspection we realized most of these recipes didn’t actually use gingerbread! They just used regular bread and added gingerbread spices to it (or were weird things that didn’t even look like French toast, but that’s another story). But where’s the fun in that?