This post was in partnership with McCormick. To explore more Holiday recipes using McCormick spices and extracts, click here!
They say scent is the strongest sense tied to memory. And if there’s one smell that reminds me of the holidays, it’s the scent of my mom’s hot wassail simmering on the stovetop. The mixture of sweet apple juice, tart orange, warm cinnamon and clove smells (and tastes) like cozy in a cup.
The other evening I hosted a big outdoor holiday dinner party – tiny NYC apartments = no room for big tables inside. A hot drink for a chilly outdoor party goes without saying, and I immediately thought to whip up a batch of my mom’s famous recipe.
It couldn’t have been easier. Seriously, even the most novice of hosts can whip this up in less than 5 minutes. I simply threw all the ingredients into a crockpot and in an hour my nose was filled with the most nostalgic, amazing, comforting, cider-y smell – transporting me back to Christmas’ at home. My friends have been raving about it ever since – I kid you not.
Make a batch for your ugly sweater party or gift exchange this season and get ready for guests to sing your praises.
- 6 cups no-sugar-added apple juice
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 TBSP frozen orange juice
- 1 TBSP frozen pink lemonade
- 2 cups of water
- 5 McCormick cinnamon sticks
- 20 McCormick whole cloves
- 2-3 oranges sliced
Combine all ingredients in a pot and simmer for 1 hour on the stove. Alternatively, you can throw everything into a crockpot and heat for an hour on medium. For added aesthetic appeal, stick extra cloves into the skin of your orange slices before simmering (like in the photo below).
Serve hot, garnishing with an orange slice and cinnamon stick. For those over 21, make it adult with a splash of spiced rum. Cheers!