Slow Cooker Wassail

Last year, Jay suggested we do a winter solstice celebration. He knows that by this time in winter, my SAD is full-blown, and usually I’m just resigned to being miserable until March. So we got some Christmas lights that we hung up in the dining room, bought some candles, a bunch of appetizer-type stuff, and spent the evening just talking, munching and relaxing (Jay’s brother also joined us). It was surprisingly a lot more fun than I thought–Moreso even than Christmas. This year, we did it again, and rather than just heating apple cider on the stove, Jay asked if I could make some Wassail. I’m not a huge fan of it, but he got his mom’s recipe, which I made, but in the slow cooker. Hence, Slow Cooker Wassail.

Slow Cooker Wassail

I don’t really know a whole lot about wassail–My grandmother used to make a version of Gl├╝hwein. But Jay’s mom started making it a few years ago, and since she didn’t make any when we were there for Christmas with his family, he asked if I’d make it for our Solstice dinner.

It’s pretty simple–You really only need 4, maybe 5 ingredients:

Slow Cooker Wassail Ingredients

(5 if you can find whole cloves–Hy-Vee was out of them, and they were more expensive than I would’ve liked)

Chuck everything into the slow cooker:

Slow Cooker Wassail

And then walk away from it for a couple hours! You can then prep whatever for your evening meal:

Solstice Foods


Solstice Foods 2

We kept it rather simple this year–Nuts, cheese and crackers, crispbread and deli turkey and chicken, and Danish butter cookies. I thought we could have something sweet afterwards, and when we were out getting a few other things, I saw those. My sister and I each used to get a tin of cookie from our grandparents. It was always a neat treat–Especially for the fact that we never had to share!

Slow Cooker Wassail

Slow Cooker Wassail
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes


  • 4 C apple cider
  • 4 C cranberry juice
  • 2-3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 orange, thinly sliced
  • 7-8 whole cloves (optional)


Combine all the ingredients in a small (3-quart) slow cooker. Heat on high for an hour, then turn the temperature to low. Allow to simmer until ready to serve.

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I admit, I didn’t try any of this–I’m not fond of apple cider, but it must’ve been good enough, as Jay drank it all!

Slow Cooker Wassail

It’s perfect to put together for Christmas Day–Set it up in the morning and let it go. Same for New Year’s Day!