I'm told that punch bowl drinks are popular again, probably because they're generally filled with a ton of booze. In celebration of those alcoholic beverages, here is the recipe that apparently got the party hopping at McCael's [McCall's?] Christmas party in 1969.

Rum Wassail Bowl
4 small oranges
whole cloves
3 12 oz. bottles of ale
3 C dark rum
2/3 C sugar
1/8 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Stud unpeeled oranges with cloves 1/2" apart. Place in shallow pan; bake, uncovered, 30 minutes. In large saucepan combine ale, rum, sugar, + ginger; bring just to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolved. Place hot oranges in punch bowl; pour hot ale mixture over them. Serve hot. Makes 15 punch-cup servings. 

Archivist's Note: This recipe calls for "ale." Does this mean ginger ale, or actual beer? Based on the presence of sugar and ginger in the recipe already, it could very well mean to call for beer. In that case, I suspect that something lightly hopped, in the line of English milds, would do well.

Scribal Marginalia: I endeavored this brew shortly after my initial sally into the wooden box. I do not remember it. It probably tasted fine and probably no one but me had any. I seem to remember a pleasant aroma emanating from the baking oranges and cloves. I also remember what the oranges looked like studded with cloves.  I could also just be imagining what they looked like since it's not all that difficult.



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