3 Hot Drinks to Take the Chill Off
When the weather gets chilly and the days get short, there’s nothing more cozy than a warm beverage. Below are my 3 favorite hot beverages to make at home every year. They are guaranteed to take the chill off, produce hygge vibes, and put you in the holiday mood.
There are probably a million hot cocoa recipes out there. It’s such a classic beverage and there are so many ways to put your own spin on it.
My advice is to have fun with it!
I have a few qualities that I look for in a good hot chocolate; rich flavor that's not too bitter or too sweet, and velvety, thick, creamy consistency.
The following recipe will not steer you wrong!
Makes ~5 servings
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water, boiling
3 3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Optional: Frothed milk, whipped cream, marshmallows, shaved chocolate for topping
In a medium sauce pan, combine the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt and add the boiling water. Bring the mixture just to a boil, then bring down to a simmer and allow to simmer for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, stir in the milk and half & half and remove from heat.
Last, stir in the vanilla extract.
Garnish as desired and serve hot!
Hot Apple Cider
A good hot cider is a must on any warm beverage list. As you can probably tell from my previous posts, I’m all about the fresh, local, New England apples in the fall.
And when i’ve finished baking everything from pies, to crisps, to donuts and I think I’ve exhausted the recipe potential of these delectable fruits, I'm reminded that the beverage possibilities are still there!
The recipe below produces a comforting beverage with a little bit of sweetness and just the right amount of spice.
Makes ~6-8 servings
2 quarts apple cider (go local if you can!)
1 tsp whole cloves
1 tsp ground Allspice
1/4 tsp ground Nutmeg
4 Cinnamon sticks
1/2 orange with peel, cut in half
In a large sauce pan, combine the apple cider, nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon stick and heat on medium.
While that is heating up, take the whole cloves and insert them, pointy end inward into the orange. The heads will be poking out of the orange.
When the apple cider mixture comes to a boil, add the clove covered orange halves and let simmer on low, covered for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Remove the cinnamon stick and orange halves.
Serve hot, garnish with additional cinnamon sticks and dried apple garnish if desired.
I first learned about mulled wine a few years ago when I was reading a book about what makes Danes the happiest people. This very hygge drink was mentioned and I just had to try it out.
Mulled wine is a favorite of mine of gatherings with friends. It’s something that we all make together, have a good time while it’s simmering, and then get to enjoy our hard work when it’s finally ready.
Not only is it delicious, but it makes the whole house smell festive.
There are so many different possibilities when it comes to mulled wine, from the wine that you chose to the ingredients that you use. The following is a suggestion and a winning combination in my book.
Makes ~5 servings
1 bottle of red wine. It doesn't need to be anything fancy but it should have good flavor that you enjoy on its own.
1/4 cup brandy
1 orange, sliced
4 cinnamon sticks
5 star anise
10 whole cloves
2 tbsp honey
Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan and bring just to a boil over medium-high heat.
Reduce heat and let simmer, covered for 10 minutes.
Serve hot, add orange peel and fresh cinnamon stick for garnish if desired.