Glensheen Mansion Christmas Wassail

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“The Minnesota countryside was filled with Scandinavian tradition during my childhood…In the early 1900s, Duluth had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the country…The Congdon family were one of these families. Their home, nestled on the shores of Lake Superior, was named Glensheen. A Christmas tea was always scheduled there for the middle of December, setting the cooks and helpers in the house into a swirl of busyness and creativity…the whole house was filled with a fragrant, Christmas mood.

Later on in the evening, the extended family was invited for a holiday supper… Guests started with Glensheen wassail…”~Beatrice Ojakangas Christmas Memories With Recipes published in 1988

I have made this simple, yet wonderful wassail on several occasions since I received the book Christmas Memories With Recipes as a gift back in 1988 from a good friend of mine. It has a perfect balance of tart and sweet flavors with just a hint of spice. One of these years I’m going to talk Jeff and the girls into spending the holidays up north and attending one of the gorgeous brunches at the mansion.

“Sure to become a holiday tradition in your family, the brunches begin with a festive tour of Glensheen followed by a sumptuous holiday brunch, complete with a whimsical wassail toast.” ~From the Glensheen Mansion website… For more details click HERE

~Glensheen Mansion Christmas Wassail~

2 cups sugar

2 Tablespoons chopped, crystallized ginger

4 whole allspice

12 whole cloves

2 cups fresh orange juice

2 cups fresh lemon juice

2 quarts apple cider

Thin orange slices for garnish

In a large pot, combine the sugar with 4 cups of water, the ginger, allspice and cloves. Heat to simmering, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to stand until ready to serve. Just before serving, add the orange juice, lemon juice and apple cider. Reheat to serving temperature. Garnish with a few thin slices of orange with the rind on. Ladle hot wassail into punch cups.



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  13 comments for “Glensheen Mansion Christmas Wassail

  1. Chantelle
    December 21, 2010 at 12:05 am

    I love this! Sounds delicious, and I think that would be a really wonderful day – going to brunch at the mansion….fun!

  2. admin
    December 21, 2010 at 1:22 am

    I think so too!

  3. Heidi
    December 21, 2010 at 1:27 am

    I agree and I believe Glensheen is beautiful. Sincerely, Heidi.

  4. admin
    December 21, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Thanks for commenting Heidi 😉

  5. Kimber Dunn
    December 22, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    I’m totally stealing this as a new food tradition for the holidays!!! Sounds better than eggnog – which I also love. Where do you find crystalized ginger though??

  6. admin
    December 22, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Hi Kimber! Thanks again for commenting! You can get crystallized (also called candied) ginger at most health food stores, co-ops, and whole foods markets. If for some reason you can’t find it you can make it pretty easily. Here’s a recipe from my boy Alton 🙂

  7. Kimber Dunn
    December 23, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    WOO HOO – found all the ingredients for this and plan to make it for Christmas!! I’ll let you know if it’s a hit or not. BTW – found the cystallized ginger at Walmart for $7 something.

  8. admin
    December 23, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    YAY! Can’t wait to hear what you think! Thanks for the tip on the ginger.

  9. December 24, 2010 at 3:59 am

    I agree and I believe Glensheen is beautiful.
    Sincerely, Heidi.

  10. Kimber Dunn
    January 1, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    I am starting to make this, and just realized it says 4 Whole Allspice… isn’t Allspice ground? Is that suppose to be Tablespoons?

  11. admin
    January 1, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Hey there Kimber!
    You can get whole allspice just as you can get whole cloves and whole nutmeg 😉

    Here’s a little article on substituting ground allspice for the whole…hope this helps!

  12. Kimber Dunn
    January 1, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    COOL – I had no idea!! I always thought it was ground because it was several spices together. Shows you my inexperience!!! LOL Thanks!!

  13. admin
    January 1, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    No problem! Glad to help 😉

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