PDT's Winter Wassail Recipe

PDT's Winter Wassail Recipe

Photograph: Linda Xiao

Jeff Bell uses traditional English wassail, a ceremonial cider-based beverage mulled with citrus and spice, as the base for this cocktail at PDT in New York. He uses Hudson Valley Cider from Breezy Hill Orchard, but you can use any unfiltered cider.

The recipe calls for Kronan Swedish Punsch, but you can also experiment with making your own at home.

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  • Yield:Wassail recipe serves about 12 (makes about 72 ounces); Cocktail recipe makes 1 cocktail
  • Active time: 10 minutes
  • Total time:3 hours


  • For the Wassail:
  • 1/2 gallon cider
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice from about 6 oranges
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice from about 4 lemons
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (about 3 inches each)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4 ounces Armagnac
  • For the Cocktail:
  • 4 ounces Wassail
  • 1 1/4 ounces Tariquet V.S.O.P. Armagnac
  • 1/2 ounce Kronan Swedish Punsch
  • 1 barspoon St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
  • Garnish: cinnamon sticks


  1. 1.

    For the Wassail: Combine cider, orange juice, lemon juice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and nutmeg in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 45 minutes. Strain into a sealable container and allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Add armagnac, seal container, and refrigerate until completely cool. Wassail can be stored in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

  2. 2.

    For the Cocktail: Warm 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of prepared Wassail in a small saucepan over low heat or in a cup in the microwave. Preheat a mug by filling with boiling water and letting sit for 1 minute. Empty mug. Combine Armagnac, Swedish Punsch and allspice dram in mug. Top with warm wassail. Garnish with a cinnamon stick and serve.