low-sugar wassail

Jocelyn’s posted before about how to make wassail, a wonderful wintry drink made of spicy fruit juices.  So, you know, naturally, I’m posting a new, low-sugar version in April, which in Texas is nice warm weather even in the wake of polar vortexes.  🙂

There were two problems to solve to make this recipe safe for my sister’s sugar intolerance — she can’t have honey, and she can’t have apple juice.  (Apples, bananas, mangoes, and grapes have too high a glycemic index for her to tolerate.)  The honey was an easy fix — stevia, anyone? — but the apple juice was a little harder.  The final solution was to use pear juice instead.  🙂  It tastes almost exactly like apple juice, but the sugar content is lower.

So, here’s my version of a great warm, spicy drink for cold days (or when all your housemates have colds!).  🙂  All you need is a tea ball for the cloves, and your choice of a large pot with lid or a slow cooker to simmer it all together.

Low-Sugar Wassail

Yield:  About a gallon.



1.  Combine all liquid ingredients in either a stock pot or a slow cooker.  Add the cinnamon sticks and a tea ball with the cloves, and heat on low until simmering.  (If you’re working on the stove, it’s fine to raise the heat until it boils, then lower it to a simmer.)  In a slow cooker this will take a good chunk of the day, at least six hours.

2.  Once the wassail’s simmering nicely, taste it periodically — you want to fish out the cinnamon sticks and tea ball of cloves once the spiciness is strong enough.  You can leave them in and let the flavor get stronger and stronger if you like (and we often do!), but eventually even cinnamon will numb your tongue when you take a swig.  🙂

3.  Keep warm on the stove or in a slow cooker, serve, and enjoy!