From the February 2008 Issue of Java with Jennifer
Contributed by Becky Williams, correspondent assistant.
Wassail- There’s a very good reason that this warm winter drink has been popular throughout
much of British history. This savory cider-like drink has claimed fame in Christmas carols, as well as English folk literature like Beowolf and the classic plays of Shakespeare.
The name Wassail originated from “ves heil” (Old Norse) which translates into Old English as “was hál.” The phrase, eventually merged into “wassail,” means “be in good health.”
Perhaps I’m a bit biased after fifteen years of enjoying wassail, but I must say, drinking a mug of wassail in honor of a friend’s health is an annual tradition worth keeping. Wassail!