Wassail! wassail! all over the town,
Our toast it is white and our ale it is brown;
Our bowl it is made of the white maple tree;
With the wassailing bowl, we'll drink to thee.
That was the first stanza of the Gloucestershire Wassail carol that dates back to the middle ages and is a fitting start to our Beer Cocktail of the day the NW Wassail which was probably the most popular of the drinks we served to the media ahead of Brewing up Cocktails 2 this weekend.
The NW Wassail is a classic old school and new school take on what was a popular concoction especially in the Germanic countries during the middle ages. Our rendition uses another classic, Deschutes Brewing's Jubelale winter seasonal. This cocktail will also introduce many to the heated mulled beer.
As I wrote about last week an old world Wassail would most likely have been made heated and mulled with either Mead or Ale while more modern interpretations often use a base of wine. Ours is based on Ale but uses Sherry wine and Brandy too.
Ours base beer is fittingly for the season based upon the equally classic Jubelale from Deschutes Brewing that adds our NW twist. Jubel has a great caramel crystal malt character with a nice toasted nutty quality from a touch of roasted malt.
To compliment the beer we add 'Solera 1847' Oloroso Dulce a sweeter Sherry that has notes of rasisins, nuts and nutmeg that really add to the seasonal quality of this cocktail.
The NW Wassail is rounded out with the addition of Armagnac de Montal V.S Brandy, a smooth and light young Brandy. The spirit, sherry, Jubelale are then heated in a crock pot with cinnamon and nutmeg until the flavors really meld and then ladled into your mug with a lemon star floating in it that adds just a touch of citrus and pithyness.
The final drink is the epitome of a winter warmer, sit down by the fireside and enjoy kind of drink. It is deceivingly strong, sweet, spicy and served hot but with a bittersweet finish that balances it out. It has been so popular in our taste testing that we are even considering doing a night of just different wassail cocktails.