Dave Arnold’s Wassail

Bobby Murphy, Existing Conditions | New York

In this twist on one of the oldest warm drink templates, Dave Arnold heats the drink via hot poker which lends a caramelized flavor to the finished drink. Here, he adapts the recipe for stovetop preparation.


Serving: 1

  • 2 ounces apple brandy
  • 1 ounce Madeira
  • 1/4 ounce lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 3/4 ounces water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar

Garnish: grated cinnamon

  1. In a mug, mix together brandy, Madeira, lemon juice, salt and thyme.
  2. Heat sugar in a saucepan, until caramelized.
  3. Pour in brandy mixture.
  4. Use a long-handled match or kitchen torch to apply flame to the contents of the pan; it should catch fire.
  5. Add water, dousing the fire. Add more water if needed to extinguish the flame.
  6. Scrape the insides of the pan and briefly stir to combine.
  7. Strain into mug.
  8. Garnish with grated cinnamon.