Brrrr…..It’s cold out there and nothing can warm those cold bones better than wrapping your hands around a steaming, hot beverage. Here are some of the best warm drinks to help you stay toasty this winter.
Candy Cane Cocoa
My kids talked me in to buying some instant candy cane hot chocolate mix and it was crazy-good. We elevated the instant with some good homemade hot chocolate and crushed up some candy canes and sprinkled them into the cup at the end. The candy canes were melt-in –your-mouth delicious coated with the hot chocolate. It’s a winning combination that you really must try. You could also garnish each steaming cup with a small candy cane looped around the mug’s rim.
Hot Buttered Rum
This old time favorite dates back to Colonial Days in America. Now you know what happened to all that rum imported from Jamaica! In New England in the 1650s, colonists started adding distilled rum to hot beverages and created American old time classics like toddies, hot buttered rum and eggnog.
What’s nice about this hot drink is that you can make the mix ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container for up to two months or freeze for up to one year before using.
Making the Mix (for eight servings)
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 4 oz unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 1⁄2 tsp nutmeg or mace
- 1⁄4 tsp ground cloves
- 1⁄8 tsp salt
- Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly.
- Refrigerate in a sealed air-tight container.
- When you’re ready to use, just spoon the mix into a mug, add boiling water and stir well until dissolved. If you want you can add rum or a splash of cream, stir, and garnish with a sprinkle of nutmeg.
Warm Cardamom and Honey Milk
This is one of my favorite hot beverages to drink on a cold, wintery day. Cardamom is one of those spices that is very soothing to the palate, especially when sweetened with vanilla and honey. Cardamom is sometimes called the “queen of spices” and is thought to improve digestion and bad breath. Similar to ginger but with a more exotic, slightly spicy, yet-sweet flavor that is unique. It’s delicious when added to hot milk with honey and cinnamon. You can add a little black tea (steeped or bag) to this hot beverage to make it more chai-like and give you a little caffeine kick.
4 cups milk
1 cinnamon stick
4 – 8 green cardamom pods
2 – 3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (the better quality really comes through)
- Gently crush cardamom pods with a rolling pin to expose the seeds.
- In a small saucepan, combine milk, cinnamon stick, vanilla, cardamom, and honey and heat over medium heat until the milk becomes frothy around the edge of the pan.
- Remove from the heat and let steep anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. The longer you let it steep, the stronger the drink.
- Strain milk through a fine-mesh sieve and discard cardamom pods. Return to saucepan and gently rewarm. Serve with a cinnamon stick.
Hot Raspberry-Lemonade Drink Mix Recipe
Here’s another very simple to make hot drink mix that you can store and save for ‘whenever.’ To make the combine 1-1/2 cups powdered lemonade mix with sugar, 1 carton (1.3 ounces) raspberry soft drink mix, and 1 cup instant tea and mix together until well blended and store in an air-tight container. When you’re ready to use, dissolve 1 teaspoon of the mix in 1 cup of boiling water for a one cup serving. If you’re on a sugar-free diet, you can substitute the lemonade or raspberries drink mixes with the sugar-free varieties.
Nothing warms you up like a latte or steaming mug of hot chocolate during winter. So try some of these cold -weather drinks and you’ll warm up before you know it!