If you've never heard of wassail before, you can imagine it as a slow cooked cider infused with baking spices. Wassailing, the verb, was the medieval forerunner of modern day caroling. The tradition of visiting neighbors and singing carols was celebrated with a drink, and the phrase "waes hael," or "be well," was equal parts greeting and toast. I love to think the origins of the tradition every time I make or drink wassail -- the good hearted gathering of friends and strangers that makes the holiday season so memorable. It's no accident that wassail recipes are always made in bulk; there's really no such thing as an individual serving. This is a drink meant for sharing, for beckoning in a crowd from the chilly winter air.