Twelfth Night Wassail Bowl
There are four things necessary to a due keeping of Twelfth-night; - the cake, the wassail-bowl, the installation of king and queen, and the sustaining of divers characters.
For the Wassail-Bowl, which, as it has only been restored in the metropolis for the last few years, is still a mystery in the manufacture to some, take the following receipt from a good hand. It implies a good handsome bowl, and a reasonable number of people, not professed wine-drinkers, - say from twelve persons to sixteen. Those who prefer wine can have it alone.
"Imprimis," quoth our fair informant, "direct a small quantity of spices to be simmered gently in a tea-cupful of water, for fifteen or twenty minutes; to wit, cardamoms, clove, nutmeg, mace, ginger, cinnamon, and coriander. Put the spices when done, to four bottles of white-wine, not sweet, and a pound and a half of loaf sugar; and set them on the fire, altogether, in a large saucepan. Mean-while, let the bowl have been prepared, and the yokes of twelve and the whites of six eggs well beaten up in it. Then, when the spiced and sugared wine is a little warm, take a tea-cupful of it and mix it in the bowl with the eggs; when a little warmer, another tea-cupful; and so on, for three or four, after which, when it boils, add the whole of the remainder, pouring it in gradually, and stirring it briskly all the time, so as to froth it. The moment it froths, toss in a dozen well-roasted apples, and send it up as hot as it can be.
"N.B. Should the wine be British, dry raisins is to be preferred; and three quarters of a pint of brandy should be added. It makes, perhaps, as good a Wassail as the best."
The Olio, Or, Museum of Entertainment. London: 1829
Wassail-Bowl, a centre Supper Dish for Christmas-tide
Crumble down as for Trifle a nice fresh Cake (or use Macaroons or other small Biscuit) into a china Punch-Bowl or deep Glass Dish. Over this pour some sweet rich Wine, as Malmsey Madeira, if wanted very Rich, but Raisin-Wine will do. Sweeten this, and pour a well-seasoned Custard over it. Strew Nutmeg and grated Sugar over it, and stick it over with sliced blanched Almonds. This is, in fact, just a rich eating Posset. A very good Wassail-Bowl may be made of Mild-Ale well spiced and sweetened, and a plain Rice-Custard made with few Eggs.
Johnstone, Christian. The Cook and Housewife's Manual. Edinburgh: 1847 8th revised
Receipt for the Christmas Wassail Bowl in The Extractor, 1829
The cook and housewife's manual, by Margaret Dods. 1862
The Wassail Bowl, or Swig in Oxford Night Caps, 1871
A Carrol for a Wassel-Bowl To be sung upon Twelfth-Day at Night
Shakespeare's Roasted Crabs
The Wassail-bowl, by Albert Smith. London: 1843
The Wassail Bowl poem & sketch, p306-7 in Punch Dec 29, 1888
Wassail. Punch, 1870
Wassail, A Christmas Story, includes Wassail Song. Blackwood's Ediburgh Magazine, 1862
Wassail, by Charles Hamley. NY: 1879
Wassail-Bowl...been restored...the last few years... receipt in The Olio, 1829