The Tudor Society

Tudor Cooking with Claire – Lambswool Wassail

Tudor Christmas festivities were not complete without the Tudor equivalent of punch or sangria: the Wassail or Lambswool, a hot spiced ale or cider drink which was passed around in a communal bowl for everyone to enjoy. I thought I'd have a go at making some Lambswool Wassail, so called because the pureed apple rises to the top and creates a foamy head. I hope you enjoy my video.

Lambswool Wassail

1.5 Litres traditional real ale/stout/cider
6 small cooking apples/medium eating apples
1 nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp ground ginger
150g brown sugar

Preheat oven to 120°C/250F/Gas Mark 0.5 to 1, cool oven

Core the apples and bake for about an hour, or until soft. Let cool.
Put sugar in a large saucepan and cover with some of the ale. Heat until the sugar has melted.
Add the spices and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ale and heat on a gentle heat for 10 minutes while you remove the skins from the apples and mash to a puree.
Add the apple puree to the ale mixture and whisk to combine. Warm through on a gentle heat for about 30 minutes and whisk before serving so that the apple rises to the top and gives a foamy look.

Based on a recipe found at travelingwithintheworld and Herrick's poem "Twelfth Night".

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There are 6 comments Go To Comment

  1. Richard Friesenhengst /

    I have always been intrigued and would like to try, or Wassail, or any of the Christmas “cheere” from ancient days – It would be greatly appreciated if you would include a printable recipe, directions, etc.

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      I’ve just added the ingredients and method above so that you can copy and paste or print it out.

  2. Reda McIntosh /

    Enjoyed your video. The making and sharing of wassail has been a tradition in our family for years. We make ours with a dry red wine, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, apple cider, orange juice and fresh sliced oranges. The aroma fills the house with Christmas cheer and warms our hearts. Thanks for sharing your recipe and may God grant you a season of Peace and love.
    wassail! Drink ale!

    1. Claire Ridgway / Post Author

      Thank you, Reda, you too x

  3. Pingback: Tudor Christmas Food by Sarah Bryson – The Tudor Society /

  4. Pingback: 6 January 2021 – Twelfth Night pt2 | The Everyday Lore Project /

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Tudor Cooking with Claire – Lambswool Wassail

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