Today we have a little bit of a different review of sorts to share with you! Cider Spices Wassail Kit from Oliver Pluff & Company is what’s on tap!
One random weekend in the not-so distant past I grabbed 2 half gallons of local cider and stopped to visit my parents with Cider Spices Wassail Kit from Oliver Pluff and Company in the other hand. My mother and I were like the Swedish Chef and Beaker in the kitchen having FUN with this nifty tin of wholesome ingredients!
This Cider Spices Wassail Kit includes their 3 Muslin Spice Bags with Drawstrings, Cinnamon Sticks, Cut Ginger, Ground Nutmeg. It’s an Old English Recipe with Spice Bags and 3 ounces of Spices Brews 3 Gallons of spicy-cidery-goodness!
The directions on the tin for this Cider Spices Wassail Kit say – For a Gallon Brew: Fill a pot with 1 gallon of fresh apple cider, or ale, or mead. Fill spice bag with ⅓ cup of wassail spices. Add spices and ½ cup sugar, and simmer at low heat for 1-2 hours. Serve hot or chilled.
I’m a rebel. I don’t follow instructions well. So this is how I did it…I used 3/4 of a gallon of Cider and filled one of those little bags with 1/3 C of wassail spices. I did NOT add any sugar or sweetener. I brought to a boil and then simmered for 1 hour. I didn’t have as much time nor did I feel it needed to simmer any longer as I was sampling the flavor as I went along. My own personal opinion is that this was sweet enough and didn’t need the additional sugar or other sweetener of your choice but if you would like to add it I certainly won’t stop you! I started off with HOT mugs full and LOVE LOVE LOVED it!
Later in the day I drank a couple of these ICED and it was just as NICE! I also did a taste test of the cider straight-up prior to the aftermath of using the kit. You could certainly tell a difference! I have used other cider kits in the past where you can’t even taste a difference but THIS Cider Kit was AWESOME! The flavor was INTENSELY WONDERFUL!
The ginger was the ingredient that was upfront – for sure! Then you could taste the cinnamon. The nutmeg was a more mellow afterthought but still part of the mix of flavors that made it all tie-in nicely!
I’ve had teas and tisanes that used these 3 ingredients mixed in or stand alone and I think it would make a fantastic herbal infusion by itself, too! I know Nichole-aka CuppaGeek – a fellow Sororitea Sister – has been infusing teas and tisanes with her favorite adult beverages lately and I bet this would work well, too!
I can’t help but make another tea/tisane connection with this Wassail Kit to something memorable in my life. Years ago my husband and I went to a dinner theatre called The Canterbury Feast – a Station Dinner Theatre in Cambridge Springs, PA, and then a few years later when it moved to Erie, PA. It’s a Musical Comedy Stage Show that has been taking place for over 36 years! It’s a FUN time! Why this Wassail Kit made me think of it is because the show encourages audience participation! There are phrases you shout out, songs you sing along with, and sometimes they drag members of the audience up on stage! (One year – I was the ‘Keeper of the Salt’). The MOST memorable thing was a cast member would yell “Drink Hail” and you would yell back “Wassail!” So this was a fun experience for me on many levels…reliving fun times in the past while making new lasting memories with my mom this year while simmering the Cider Spices Wassail Kit from Oliver Pluff & Company.
I LOVE everything about this kit! It comes with everything you need and when you hit bottom and are all out of the spices you are able to keep the stylish tin (which I think my father has called dibs on!)
In closing…do I think this is a great product? Of course I do! How will I pay tribute to my LOVE of this kit? Well…I have one thing to YELL…DRINK HAIL…WASSAIL!!!!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Tisane
Where to Buy: Oliver Pluff & Company
History: Wassail (Middle English ‘wæs hæl’ – ‘be you healthy’) refers both to the salute ‘Waes Hail’ and to the drink of wassail, a hot mulled cider drunk as part of wassailing, an English ritual intended to ensure a good apple harvest the following year. Historically, the drink is a mulled cider, mulled beer, or mead, made with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg and topped with toast. A group then sings: “Old Apple tree, old apple tree, we’ve come to wassail thee, To bear and to bow apples enow, Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full, Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.”
Hand Blended and Packaged by Oliver Pluff & Co. in Charleston, South Carolina
Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!
Sometimes I need occasional stress relief. And sometimes I need MORE than occasional stress relief. One of the herbs I enjoy for just about any reason is Lemon Balm. But did you know that Lemon Balm is has been used for YEARS for occasional stress relief? Enter Colonial Remedy No. 6 Lemon Balm from Oliver Pluff & Co.
Another way to spin this herbal tisane is that it’s a good herbal to make your heart merry and joyful. Who couldn’t use more merriment, eh? Colonial Remedy No. 6 Lemon Balm from Oliver Pluff & Co. is straight-up Lemon Balm. You know what they say ‘sometimes LESS is MORE’. I truly believe that in this case. But don’t take that as this herbal being weak because it’s not! Colonial Remedy No. 6 Lemon Balm from Oliver Pluff & Co. is wonderfully flavored Lemon Balm! I chalk that up to the company using HIGH QUALITY Lemon Balm and not the run-of-the-mill and/or ‘cheap stuff’.
Colonial Remedy No. 6 Lemon Balm from Oliver Pluff & Co. smells AND tastes like lemon and herb. I really LOVE the overall colonial theme of Oliver Pluff & Co. It’s one of those teas and companies that offers KNOWLEDGE tidbits while you sip.
In the case of this specific tisane offering…”Steeped as a tea, the colonials sipped lemon balm as for its uplifting effects: “balme makes the heart merry and joyfull, and strengtheneth vitall spirits…it drives away the care of the minde*.” (The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes (1597) – J. Gerard). I know sometimes I tend to pass over or roll my eyes one many herbal/tisane offerings but Colonial Remedy No. 6 Lemon Balm from Oliver Pluff & Co. might be listed on one of my future FAVORITES Lists!
Here’s the scoop!
Leaf Type: Herbal Tisane
Where to Buy: Oliver Pluff & Co
Lemon Balm – Loose Leaf
Makes the Heart Merry & Joyfull (For Occasional Stress Relief)*
Lemon Balm as a Remedy: Steeped as a tea, the colonials sipped lemon balm as for itsuplifting effects: “balme makes the heart merry and joyfull, and strengtheneth vitallspirits…it drives away the care of the minde*.” (The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes (1597) – J. Gerard)
Notes: Lemon balm has an subtle aroma of citrus that makes it useful as a strewing herb to freshen rooms. It is also valuable as a plant that is known to attract bees.
Brewing Tips: Boil 1 cup water, then pour over 1 tablespoon lemon balm. Steep for 15 minutes. Strain, and sweeten with honey.
* Please be advised: You should consult with your doctor before making dietary changes. Pregnancy and Lactation: Do not use without the advice of your doctor.
Hand-packaged by Oliver Pluff & Company in Charleston, South Carolina.