After doing a lot of interesting research about glogg, grog, wassail, and mulled wine, I found that there wasn't much consensus as to what the ingredients were for any of those recipes.
Possibly because folks had been dipping into the eggnog.
If you want to call this by some other name, that's perfectly fine with me. Call it Groggy Gloggy Wassail, if you like. I just call it delicious.
I started with apple cider and added flavors I knew I'd like. If I was going to add one more thing, it might be cloves, but at the last moment, I decided to leave them out.
The flavor of this cocktail is reminiscent of apple pie, but the star anise add an interesting twist. It's pretty danged good, if I say so myself.
Hot Spiced & Spiked Apple Cider
1/2 gallon apple cider
1 cup white wine
1 cup rum
2 cinnamon sticks
1 star anise
Put the apple cider, wine, rum, cinnamon sticks, and star anise into your slow cooker I was using the Hamilton Beach Set & Forget programmable slow cooker. Use a peeler to remove the zest of the orange in thin, wide strips. Place the zest in the slow cooker, then juice the orange and add the juice as well.
Cover the slow cooker and set it to high to warm the cider. The longer you cook it, the more the flavors of the spices will infuse into the cider, but it's pretty good as soon as it warms up.
Once it's hot, you might want to turn it down to low or warm if it will be served over a long period of time - you just want it pleasantly warm for drinking, so it doesn't need to be simmering when you serve it.
Leftovers can be strained and refrigerated and served chilled. Or reheat it for more warm drinks on chilly nights.
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