Wassail is a traditional Christmas thru Twelfth Night toast...



Wassail is a traditional Christmas thru Twelfth Night toast meaning “to your health” ( Anglo Saxon waes hael ) and a spicy, alcoholic beverage served to guests throughout the season. Recipes abound on the internet but typical ingredients include apples, brown sugar, lemons and oranges, cloves port and sherry, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. In case you’re in the mood for literary revelry here are several lovely, very old, traditional wassail toasts to share at your holiday dinner! 

Wassails

Let not the useless sorrow
Pursue you night and morrow,
If e'er you hoped—hope now
Take heart: uncloud your faces,
And join in our embraces
Under the holly bough.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

When Rosemary and Bays, the poet’s crown,
Are bawl’d in frequent cries through all the town;
Then judge the festival of Christmas near,
Christmas, the joyous time of the year!
Now with bright Holly all the temples strow
With Laurel green, and sacred Mistletoe.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

O you merry, merry Souls,
Christmas is a coming,
We shall have flowing bowls,
Dancing, piping, drumming.

Delicate minced pies,
To feast every virgin,
Capon and goose likewise,
Brawn, and a dish of sturgeon.

Then, for your Christmas box,
Sweet plumb cakes and money,
Delicate Holland smocks,
Kisses sweet as honey.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee
So here is to Cherry and to his right cheek,
Pray god send our master a good piece of meat,
And a good piece of meat that may we all see,
With the wassailing bowl, we’ll drink to thee!


Back to the top