When is Wassail? We suggest observing North American Wassail celebrations from January 5th to January 17th, 2014.*
Wassail is an informal collaborative effort of interested cider-drinkers in North America (and beyond).
Goals for the 2014 Wassail: Explore Old & New World Wassail Traditions, Salute The Orchard, Honor The Apple and Celebrate With Cider!
How Can You Wassail? It’s Easy! Enjoy cider and a wassail bowl with friends, visit an orchard, cidermaker or local cider-serving establishment and toast the orchard & the apple, or host a Wassail event of your own.
Let us know if you’re planning an event – we’ll post it on the Wassail 2014 page.
Share your Wassailing plans and pictures. Post, tweet, tumble and instagram The Wassail!
* We’re considering Wassailing all the way through January. Why not?!
Wassail Day 1. We Salute Ye Olde Quince Trees.
January 5th, 2014
The Plan: A visit to The Cloisters Museum to Wassail the 4 quince trees that live in the Bonnefont Cloister.
The Wassail Implements: An empty soda can re-filled with dried beans – a bit of tape over the top to secure said beans, and a small travel-size plastic cosmetics bottle filled with 2 oz. of Etienne Dupont Cidre Bouché Brut de Normandy. Old World, New World Wassail To Go DIY Pocket Kit.*
The Cloisters Museum botanical collection includes pollarded crab apple trees, espaliered pears, exotic potted citrus fruits, and the famed quinces. Snowy conditions made it impossible to access the courtyards where the crab apples and quince reside, we could only view them through the frost-steamed windows of the Cruxa & Bonnefont Cloisters. We wished them a quiet Good Health and Good Fortune and vowed to return when the gardens were accessible in Spring.
A gallery talk, led by a knowledgeable and genial guide, focused on details of medieval life in the winter months, examining the seasonal feasting rituals and agricultural tasks that occupied the waking hours of medieval folk, including the varied wassailing traditions observed in the manor hall, monastery and village.
Pollarded crab apple trees in Cruxa Cloister
Read about the fascinating “medieval technique of hard pruning, known as pollarding” in this article, Woodsman, Pollard That Tree.
*repurposed New Years noisemakers are a perfect addition to the DIY-Wassail To Go Kit.
Wassail Day 1. Fortifying with Pear Brandy. Olmsted’s Sidecar Cocktail.
January 5, 2014.
The Plan: Locate and Wassail the four famous and beloved quince trees inside The Cloisters Museum at Fort Tryon Park.
As the site of the quince cloister garden IS in a museum – we reasoned our Wassail activities would need to be discrete, if not completely covert. The park was covered with snow, the air was frosty, and we decided a pre-Wassail ‘warming’ beverage to fortify ourselves was in order.
The New Leaf Restaurant & Bar, located in a 1930’s era rustic deco-medieval structure originally built as a concession stand for Fort Tryon Park, proved the perfect spot to enjoy a surprisingly tasty brunch and a Wassail-appropriate cocktail to launch the festivities.
The Cocktail: Olmstead’s Sidecar
Ingredients: Koval Organic Ginger Liqueur, pear cognac, and lemon.
“Olmsted’s Sidecar is made with Koval organic ginger liqueur (produced by a craft distillery in Chicago and hand bottled), pear cognac and lemon. Named for Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr., the landscape architect who planned Fort Tryon Park, which was completed in 1935. He is the son of the designer of Central Park.”
New Leaf Restaurant & Bar newleafrestaurant.com
“New Leaf is an enterprise of the non-profit New York Restoration Project (NYRP). All net proceeds support NYRP’s mission of creating a greener, more sustainable NYC. Learn more at www.nyrp.org.”
KOVAL Distillery www.koval-distillery.com
A solitary Lady Apple or Pomme d’Api outside the walls of the Bonnefort Cloister garden at The Cloisters in New York City, January 5th, 2014.
A Call To Wassail. January 5th – 17th, 2014.
Hello Friends of Cider!
We ask YOU the cider community to join us in embracing Wassail in 2014.
What is Wassail?
“The Orchard-Visiting wassail refers to the ancient custom of visiting orchards in cider-producing regions of England, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good harvest for the coming year.”
“Steeped in history, wassailing is traditionally held on the Twelfth Night after Christmas and performed in orchards to awaken the apple trees from their winter slumber and ward off bad spirits.”
When is Wassail?
We propose to observe North American celebrations from January 5th to January 17th, 2014. (‘New’ 12th Night Eve to ‘Old’ 12th Night – more about that later).
Goals for the 2014 Wassail:
Explore Old & New World Wassail Traditions
Salute The Orchard
Honor The Apple
Celebrate With Cider
How Can You Wassail?
Enjoy cider and a wassail bowl with friends.
Visit an orchard, cidermaker or local cider-serving establishment and toast the orchard & the apple.
Host a Wassail Event.
Let us know if you plan an event – we’ll post it on our Wassail 2014 page.
The 2014 Wassail Theme: Discover Wassail.
We hope this will be an informal collaborative effort and an annual event for the growing cider community in North America.