Clove Clementines Gift

clementinecloves5This is a really simple idea for a hostess or neighbor gift. Homemade wassil is a traditional holiday drink that we loved growing up. It’s warmed juices (apple, orange, and lemon) combined with holiday spices like cloves, cinnamon and allspice. It makes the house smell amazing too. These little clove clementines would be perfect to give as a hostess or neighborhood gift along with your favorite holiday wassil or spiced apple cider recipe (our own family recipe is after the jump). You can just throw the whole clementine in and let it simmer with the juices for a pretty and functional gift. Pull it out before serving (as you would a bay leaf).

Photography and styling by Liz Stanley. Assisted by Isabelle Ambler.

Keep reading for our family’s homemade wassil recipe and more instructions on making these easy clove clementines…

clementinecloves3Start with a bag of clementines and a jar of cloves. The cloves are sharp enough on one end that they just stick nicely into the clementines without much force. It was easy and would be fun to do with kids as well. We had fun experimenting with different designs. The simplest ‘x’ shape was what worked best for adding a ribbon around the clementine if you wanted to do that. I personally really liked how the velvet ribbons looked.


Holiday Wassil

Simmer for 1 hr.:
1 qt. water
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 C. sugar
10 allspice
Strain (can be made in advance. Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.)

1 large can frozen orange juice plus water called for on can
1 small can frozen lemonade plus water called for on can
2 qts. apple juice


We made cloved oranges last year to break in our new home for the holidays. It added such a wonderful element of color and a invigorating but comforting scent. It even inspired our holiday card:

If using something with a thicker peel, like an orange, I would recommend prepping holes with a nail first to save you from unnecessarily breaking extra cloves. You only need enough pressure for the nail to break the surface, not go all the way into the fruit. You can also wiggle it around to make holes accommodate larger cloves. It expedites the process and makes your hands smell heavenly.

I love this! Each year my mom does the safe thing (albeit a bit less beautiful) with her 4th grade class.

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