Winter is well and truly here! It’s grey and cold outside, so the time has come to put on wooly socks and snuggle up with a nice cup of something warming. Say goodbye to your iced lattes, and hello to everything spicy, chocolatey and full of cinnamon! Whether it’s a mug of steaming coffee, a delicious hot chocolate or even something a little boozier (grown ups only!), a warming drink is the perfect antidote to a day of wind and rain.
Of course, not all seasonal drinks need to have spices in them, but spices really do help to give things that seasonal feel. A hot chocolate is a regular hot chocolate, but a dash of cinnamon is all it takes to transform this into the perfect wintery drink. The same is true for coffee: just add a sprinkle of gingerbread or cinnamon to your morning latte to get your day off to the right start.
But, creamy drinks aren’t always what we want – especially if we suffer from any kind of lactose intolerance. In that case, a sweet juice can be just right. Spiced apple cider is just perfect at this time of year. Give it a little twist with a slice of orange peel, some cloves and a single star anise.
For the health-conscious out there, you can give that immune system a boost whilst warming yourself up! Try a turmeric milk with added cinnamon. The woody flavour of turmeric is wonderfully warming, and it also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which can help with stomach and skin problems. Pretty impressive for a simple drink, right?
But if good old fashioned hot chocolate is your drink of choice, we don’t blame you! Try a dark, homemade hot chocolate with (for example) cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, and star anise. Top the whole thing off with cream for a seriously indulgent treat. The perfect sweet afternoon on a rainy, wintery day…
Kids – look away now! This time of the year is the season to eat, drink and be merry, so with merriness in mind a little alcohol is just fine by us. And what could be better in the winter than mulled wine? Ready made mulled wine is often available in stores, but it’s easy to make your own. Just add orange juice, cloves, brown sugar and nutmeg to your favorite red wine brand. This special treat is guaranteed to warm you up, and might even get you in the festive spirit a little early!
Another one for the grown ups – a classic, Irish coffee. If wine sends you straight to sleep then this is the perfect alternative – especially spiced! All you need to do is mix in some sprinkles of cinnamon and nutmeg, but just be careful about how alcoholic you make it as spices can mask the taste.
Last but not least, one of our favorite boozy hot drinks for this time of year is a spiced Advocaat! This Dutch egg liquer is wonderful when combined with wintery spices, warmed up and served with cream… But what isn’t? And what better time to indulge in these treats than winter!