Long days of Wassailing Require a Few Warm and Easy GF Drinks!


By: Katie L.


When the weather outside is frightful, try some of the Udi’s team’s favorite winter drinks.  They are tried-and-true, traditional and not-so-traditional, and best of all—wonderfully gluten-free!


Mulled Wine

This is a spicy, warming alternative to a simple glass of wine. Makes 4-6 small (8oz) mugs.


  • 1 750mL bottle of red wine (I prefer to use a cabernet sauvignon, but merlots work well too)*
  • ¼ cup brandy/cognac**
  • 1 orange
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 cinnamon sticks (plus extra for garnish)
  • 2 tsp ground ginger


  1. Pour wine and brandy into large crock pot, turn heat on low.
  2. Zest the orange.  Remove remaining peel, then separate into slices.  Add zest and orange slices (unsqueezed) to wine and brandy mixture.
  3. Add cloves, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and ginger to mixture.  Stir.  Heat on low for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until sugar is incorporated and wine is steaming.
  4. Ladle into clear, Irish-coffee style mugs, garnish with a cinnamon stick, and enjoy!

Alternative : Stovetop

  1. Add all of the same ingredients to stock pot.  Cover and simmer on low for 1 hour, stirring occasaionally, until mixture is incorporated and wine is steaming.  Keep in mind, there is a chance that the wine may stain your pot, so be careful!


*There is GF controversy over the safety of wine that’s been aged in oak barrels, which are sometimes sealed with wheat paste, due to possible contamination with gluten.  In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I would stay away from these.  A quick call to the winery to double-check, and you’ll be all set!  Alternatively, some wines are now labeled as “unoaked” or even gluten-free, so asking your local wine store aficionado can help too.

** Brandy is simply distilled wine, so it should be GF, but it is almost always going to be aged in oak barrels acquired from a company such as Jim Beam or Jack Daniels, and so whether or not it has been sealed with wheat paste is debatable and often quite difficult to find out.  If you’re celiac, I would omit this ingredient all together—you’re still going to get great tasting mulled wine, it’ll just have a bit less of a kick.  (I’m celiac, I’ve never noticed a difference!)


Here we go a’ Wassail-ing…

To make this super easy, warm and traditional Wassail, simply take:

  • 5 cups Pineapple Juice
  • 5 cups Cranberry Apple Juice
  • 3 ½ oz rum (if desired)
  • 5-7 sticks cinnamon
  • 3-4 whole cloves


Makes 7-8 small (8oz mugs)

  1. Add all ingredients to your crock pot.  Turn heat on low, and let simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  If a stronger drink is desired, add up to 6oz of rum.
  2. Remove cinnamon sticks and cloves, ladle into mugs, and serve!

Alternative: Stovetop

  1. Add all ingredients to a large stock pot.  Simmer on low, covered, for 1-2 hours and stirring frequently.



This drink came into fame with the advent of the first Harry Potter book, and people have been trying to replicate the recipe since then!  Try our spin on this delectable sweet treat on a cold winter’s night.

Photo by Bryton Taylor


  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (can use light, but dark gives it a richer flavor)
  • ½ tsp molasses
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 cup Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (can use dairy butter)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp apple cider vinegar (filtered)
  • 1 cup whipped topping (dairy or non-dairy)
  • 6 cups GF cream soda (Like IBC Cream Soda)
  • 1 tbsp coarse-ground sea salt (if desired)


  1. Combine dark brown sugar, molasses, water, buttery sticks, and salt in a saucepan on medium-low heat.
  2. Stirring frequently, let butter melt and let mixture come to a slight boil.  Remove from heat and stir in apple cider vinegar.
  3. In a separate bowl, fold 3-4 tablespoons of this mixture into your whipped topping.
  4. Divide the rest of the mixture between 4 clear, Irish-coffee style mugs.  Fill mugs, to approximately ½ an inch below the rim, with cream soda.
  5. Add a dollop of the whipped topping, and if you wish, sprinkle (lightly!) with the coarse-ground sea salt.  Be careful not to use too much salt.
  6. Drink, enjoy, and take lots of pictures of the butterbeer mustaches sure to follow!


Do you have a favorite gluten-free Wintery drink?





One response to “Long days of Wassailing Require a Few Warm and Easy GF Drinks!”

  1. Umiye says:

    I didn’t know about the no beer on Sundays law. That does seem a little odd. Someone once tried to exalpin to me that Minnesota beer has less concentrated alcohol, like it’s 3.2.1 beer or something. I never did understand it.As for buying liquor in a grocery store, I have to admit, the law seems to be there more to support liquor stores than enforcing public safety. Its also weird how you can set up a liquor store in the same building, but it can’t have the same entrance.

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