The list author says: "Wassail is a mulled beverage originally made from fermented apples and spices. Wassail and Wassailing are typically associated with Winter celebrations.
There are three varieties of the Wassail tradition: One is the custom of Wassail in the Hall wherein wassail is consumed inside in a hall using a decorated common "Loving Cup" (or bowl) and many salutations are made. "Ves heill" (Norse) "be well"! Another custom is Wassailing door to door. Groups of costumed rovers, either bearing or begging for wassail, go door to door singing, reveling and wishing well to all. The third tradition is the Apple Wassail wherein villagers gather in orchards blessing the apple trees to insure a bountiful harvest. To the largest tree, pieces of wassail-soaked "cakes" are placed in branches (to secure the goodwill of the birds), cider is poured over roots (to encourage fertility), noises are made (to wake the "sleeping tree spirit" and drive away lurking evil), dancing is done around the tree with narratives and songs."