The word “wassail” comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase waes hael, which translates to “good health.” In older Christmas tradition, carolers would go door-to-door singing carols and offering listeners a drink from the wassail bowl. Nothing will make a holiday gathering feel more inviting than a bowl of this warm, traditional drink. (Note: This requires 4-5 hours in a slow cooker.)
1. Combine apple juice, cranberry juice, and brown sugar in a 6-quart slow cooker. Place 12 of the cloves, the allspice berries, and the cinnamon sticks in a small piece of cheesecloth and tie with kitchen twine to make a bag. Add to the slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 375 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle. Stuff each apple with three of the remaining cloves and place in an 8x8 inch baking dish. Add the water to the dish and bake until the apples are just a bit tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
3. After the juices have stewed for 4-5 hours, add the apples to the slow cooker. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the orange peel in wide strips, making sure to avoid the white pith, and add the peels to the slow cooker.
4. Remove spice bag and serve hot in mugs with whole cranberries to garnish.