“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.