Place Cosmic Crisp® apples in the pot of a 5 quart or larger instant cooker. Add enough water to cover apples. Add brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and star anise. Stir gently to combine. Lock lid of instant cooker and set to 30 minutes of pressure cooking.
When done cooking, allow cooker to release pressure naturally for 30 minutes before releasing pressure or carefully release pressure manually. Remove lid and carefully strain apple mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Press apple mixture with the back of a spoon to get all of the apple juices. Stir in bourbon, if desired.
Serve wassail hot with a Cosmic Crisp® apple slice and desired spices. Makes about 10 cups (8 servings).
Note: This recipe could be made in a regular slow cooker. It would take about 6 hours on high.
6 Cosmic Crisp® apples, cores removed and cut into chunks
Water (about 8 cups)
1 cup brown sugar
2 sticks cinnamon
4 star anise
½ to 1 cup bourbon whiskey (optional)
Cosmic Crisp® apple slices, cut crosswise, for garnish
Additional stick cinnamon, star anise, rosemary sprigs (optional)