Some things simply get better with the cold: blanket burrowing, flannel pjs, fledgling embers that roar into flames; cozy treasures of winter that maximize the enjoyment of staying warm. Yet, no remedy for an attack of the shivers seems quite as effective as a hot, comforting drink. Here are five sublime beverages for you to discover that cocoon from within, making surviving the cold a sweet and tasty adventure.
Fragrant, delicious and the colour of molten rubies, mulled wine is a quintessentially warm and festive drink. A delicious stole against the cold, its combination of fruit, spices, sugar and red wine has been a favourite of Britts and Europeans for centuries. Odd name, great taste, and a recipe that rustles up in a few easy steps.
Pop a pan on the cooker and heat: 10 cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, ¼ cup of sugar, 1 grated nutmeg, 2 cups of water, 1 roughly chopped apple (with skin) and the grated rind of 1 orange. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add 750ml of sweet red wine and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain and serve.
Two fortifying drinks come together to make this piping-hot creamy dream. Say adios to frost-infused bones by curling up like a cat with a mug of the good stuff. It’s got everything in all the right proportions: coffee, cream liquor, whipped cream and chocolate topping. Terribly indulgent, loving to your insides, and as warm and gratifying as a close and lingering embrace.
Make it in a jiffy: brew your favourite coffee, add 2-4 tbsp of Irish cream liquor (Baileys), a dash of milk, sugar to taste and garnish with a healthy snail shell of whipped cream topped with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.
Homemade Chai Tea
When grey bulbous clouds start closing ranks and the sky looks ripe to tear with a roar, this is the taste of cheer to reach for—a ray of sunshine you can nestle in your palms. A glory box of flavours, chai tea is part spice, part sweet, part silky, and all delicious. It feels luxurious going down and magnifies that sense of solace and well-being. The homemade variety is by far the most authentic with an exceptional aroma that rises like incense.
Take your time for a cup sublime: Boil 1 tbsp of fennel or anise seeds, 6 green cardamom pods, 12 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, ¼ ginger root (sliced into thin discs), ¼ tsp black peppercorns and 2 bay leaves, for 5-10 minutes in 7 cups of water. Then add: 2 tbsp of Darjeeling loose leaf black tea. Boil for 5 minutes. Finish off with 1 cup of milk (add as desired). Sweeten with condensed milk, honey or raw sugar.
Warm Apple Cider
Who knew apple juice and apple cider were a teensy bit different? Apparently, the distinction is all in the pulp. Apple cider is the first raw press from the apple, pulp and all. Apple juice is the raw press filtered of all particles. Thankfully, both are delicious and equally ideal for this sweet cup of contentment. Think warm apple pie and cinnamon in liquid form and you’ll begin to understand why we love this stuff.
The how-to is painless: heat 4-5 cups of apple juice/cider in a pan. Mix in ½ tsp of cinnamon and ¼ tsp of nutmeg. When warm, pour in a mug and garnish with cinnamon sticks.
Chilli Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate is the classic handmade quilt for your insides—the remedy we all crave for cold, tired limbs and the companion we seek when comfort is all we want. This slightly augmented cousin comes with a subtle, fiery edge, like the welcome bite of embers from a growling campfire. If you can push past the contradiction of adding chilli to chocolate, you’ll be in for a sweet and stinging treat like no other.
Throw it together: whip up a mug of your favourite hot chocolate and (slowly) stir in chilli powder to taste.
Image via Amelia