Cranberry-Orange Wassail

First, let me start by saying that I truly have the best followers in the world.

Due to, wellll, life, I have not blogged since the first of the year.

In that time, our little town has had record-breaking snow; we have celebrated my husband’s birthday, spent time with friends who have had births to celebrate, and time with friends with whom we grieve.

Needless to say, it has been an interesting start to the year.

Even with this, I have received many questions, responses and enthusiastic reviews of recipes from this site.

Thank you for not giving up on me throughout this unexpected blogging break.

Given that much of the country is just now seeing the dread of winter and the wicked head-cold I am so desperately fighting off…

It would seem now is the perfect time to share a recipe that promises to warm you from the inside out.

A friend from High School first introduced me to Wassail.

This apple cider-like drink is far more than something to enjoy during the holidays, the name itself implies a drink of health.

I really became hooked on Wassail when Shirley, gfe-gluten free easily, shared a crockpot recipe from the fantabulous Stephanie O’Dea, Mrs. Crockpot Lady herself!

We drink ours without the alcohol and everyone enjoys this recipe as-is.

Then, one day I was on Pinterest (dangerous I know) where I came across a recipe for cranberry wassail.

While the thought tantalized me, the recipe (heavily laden with sugar and artificial ingredients) did not.

Even so, I set out to find a way to make a version of cranberry wassail that would please the tongue but not ruin our lifestyle.

This Cranberry-Orange Wassail is filled with natural health-boosting ingredients, a slight twist on an old classic; I hope you enjoy this new version as much as we have.


Cranberry-Orange Wassail


  • 3 qt + 2 cups (or 1 gallon minus 2 cups) organic, unpasteurized apple cider (the really good, can’t see-through stuff you only find in-season).
  • 1 c Raw Honey
  • 2 c Pineapple Juice
  • 3c Whole, Fresh Cranberries
  • 6 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 4 Whole Cloves
  • 3 Star Anise
  • 2 Large Navel Oranges
  • 2 Small Mandarin Oranges


  1. Prepare oranges by slicing thinly and discarding each end. In large 6 qt crockpot, combine apple cider, raw honey and pineapple juice. Layer remaining ingredients on top and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10. Leave on warm until ready to serve.
  2. To serve, strain wassail, discard cranberries, cinnamon sticks, cloves, anise and oranges. Garnish with fresh cinnamon sticks, oranges or star anise (optional). Refrigerate any leftovers for up to two weeks.
  3. Makes approximately 1 gallon.

May the rest of your season bring you many reasons to celebrate good health.



  1. Oh, Sunny, I think you have come up with a winner here, dear!! 🙂 I’ve never put alcohol in my wassail either. I enjoy my adult beverages from time to time, but wassail really is perfect without. I can’t wait to try this wassail of yours sometime soon. With the “red” factor, I think it might be perfect for our February support group meeting. 😉

    Sorry you’ve had a somewhat rough start to the year. That is indeed life, but sometimes it’s hard and we have to stop and get our bearings again.

    xoxo to you!

  2. Hi Sunny!
    I was inspired by your recipe and made a warm wine version with Beaujolais Nouveau and cranberries! It was amazing! Thank you for giving me the idea!


  1. […] bug coming on, we generally will add one or two drops of OnGuard to a warm drink…herbal tea or my cranberry-orange wassail go wonderfully with this essential oil blend. Just be certain to add it right before drinking, […]

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