Fill a saucepan or small stock pot with 1 gallon fresh apple cider, beer or mead. Mix 1–3 teaspoons of ground Bisschopswijn Mulling Spices with ½ cup sugar. Stir sugar into the liquids and dissolve. Simmer over low heat for 1–2 hours, serve hot, topping each cup with a slice to toast.
Wassail (Middle English ‘woes hoel” – ‘be you healthy’) refers both to the salute ‘Waes Hail’ and to the drink of wassail, a hot mulled cider drunk as part of wassailing, an English ritual intended to ensure a good apple harvest the following year. Historically, the drink is a mulled cider, mulled beer or mead, made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and topped with slices of toast – which were sometimes hung in the branches of apple trees. A group then sings: “Old apple tree, old apple tree, we’ve come to wassail thee, to bear and to bow apples enow, hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full, barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.”