This delicious crockpot wassail recipe can be thrown together in five minutes then enjoyed warm for hours! Apple, orange, cinnamon, and other holiday spices give this a delicious aroma and flavor that will fill your entire house!
What do you think when you heard the word wassail? Do you think of the song about going wassailing or do you think of a warm, flavorful, and aroma filled drink like this one?
It’s both but in all cases, it’s a fun holiday tradition! (And it’s the answer to one of my Christmas Jeopardy questions!)
I personally love wassail and make it every year. Sometimes I use different recipes but it’s almost always the same staple flavors – apple, orange, cinnamon, and other holiday spices like cloves.
And this crockpot wassail recipe is no different.
It’s a Christmas staple for a reason, people love it. It’s my go-to for serving at Christmas parties or even just to make a batch when I want to get into the holiday spirit.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Fool-proof – unless you leave your crock pot on high for too long and somehow burn this, it’s pretty fool-proof. Making it in the slow cooker actually makes it even more fool-proof as long as you remember it’s going.
- Delicious smell – in addition to tasting great, making this will make your house smell amazing. It’s one of my favorite ways to add a little ambiance to any of my holiday parties – if it smells good, everything just tastes better.
- Serve a crowd – while this recipe is written for a small batch, you can easily double or triple to serve a large crowd.
- Star anise – I like the flavor of the star anise but it can be a little strong for some people. If you’re serving this to a large group of people that includes kids, I would probably omit the star anise or half it.
- Navel oranges – I like to slice the orange AND I like to put a whole orange into the wassail. One of my favorite farmer’s market stands ever had an amazing fall punch once and they told me the secret was the whole oranges. I’ve been doing it ever since and it just gives it so much flavor to this wassail recipe!
How to make wassail
Alright are you ready for this? Possibly the easiest recipe I’ve ever shared, including these four-ingredient Andes Mint cookies. It’s even easier!
Place all of the spices into the crockpot – cloves, cinnamon, and anise.
Add your apple cider on top of the spices. They’ll likely float to the top anyway but at least putting them in first helps get them incorporated into the juice.
Finish it by adding the whole oranges and orange slices to the wassail.
Heat on high for two hours covered or four hours on low to warm up the mixture. If you’re going to have it on for a long period of time (more than two hours), make sure to move it down to low to just keep warm.
And that’s it, literally easiest recipe ever!
Keep the slow cooker on low to keep it warm and serve it directly from the slow cooker into people’s glasses.
You can garnish with cinnamon sticks or orange slices or just serve it plain. It’s delicious either way.
Double the recipe if you want to make a full gallon of cider (16 servings). This recipe is written for a small batch of only eight servings.
Try making this wassail recipe once with anise before serving it to a crowd. If you like it with anise, leave it. If you prefer it without anise, you can omit and make the second time around. It’s a strong flavor (that I enjoy) that may not be best for kids.
Wassail is made out of apple cider, orange, and warm spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and anise.
Spiced apple cider typically just includes apple cider mixed with spices. Wassail typically adds in the additional flavor of orange whether through orange slices, oranges, or even orange juice.
More Easy Holiday Drinks
If you like this homemade wassail recipe, you’ll love these other drink recipes!
- Homemade hot chocolate – a five minute recipe for making the creamiest and most delicious homemade hot chocolate!
- Peppermint hot chocolate – if you would prefer something a little more gourmet, this peppermint hot chocolate might be just the thing! Great served with these peppermint sugar cookies!
- Thanksgiving punch – while called Thanksgiving punch, this punch combines Christmas flavors in one delicious drink!
- Holiday punch with sherbet – if you like sherbet punches, this one’s a good one!
- Non Alcoholic Christmas punch – a kid-friendly punch that’s inspired by all of the flavors of the holidays!
Crockpot Wassail Recipe
- 8 cups apple cider
- 8 full cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp whole cloves
- 2 star anise (optional)
- ½ naval orange (sliced)
- 1 whole orange
- Place all ingredients into a slow cooker.8 cups apple cider, 8 full cinnamon sticks, 2 tsp whole cloves, 2 star anise, 1/2 naval orange, 1 whole orange
- Heat on high for two hours covered or four hours on low to warm up the mixture. If you’re going to have it on for a long period of time (more than two hours), make sure to move it down to low to just keep warm.