The days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer (and chillier) now that fall is here. It’s a time to slow down, spend more time indoors with the family. Or, snuggle up by the fire with a book, a cozy blanket, and a warm drink.
Adding warming spices like ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and cayenne pepper to beverages has a warming effect from the inside out. Not only do these spices have a warming effect on the body, but some help to dry out mucous membranes and improve the immune system.
6 Delicious Winter Beverages to Spice Up the Cold Winter Nights
While my family loves to drink hot tea with honey, we also make some of these winter beverages for a warm treat to spice up the cool season.
Apple Pie Spiced Cider
- 1 1/4 quarts apple cider
- 3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
- 7 whole cinnamon sticks, (6 sticks for garnish)
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- ground cloves
- Freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, whisk together cider, sugar, spices, and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Remove from heat. Strain into a pitcher; throw out solids. Serve in mugs, garnished with cinnamon sticks or apple rings.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
- 6 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 (12-ounce) bags semisweet chocolate chips
- Cocoa powder, for serving
For stove-top: In a large pot over medium heat, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Stir until chocolate is melted. Cover and turn heat to low for 5 minutes.
For slow cooker: In a 4-quart slow cooker, whisk together milk, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and nutmeg. Add chocolate chips. Cover and cook on LOW setting for 2 to 3 hours, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder.
Source: Food Network
Apple Spice Green Tea
- 4 cups water
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 Granny Smith apple, seeded and coarsely chopped, plus slices for serving
- 4 strips orange zest, from 1/2 orange
- 1/3 cup loose green tea
Combine water, honey, nutmeg, cinnamon, apple, and orange zest in a medium pot; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 2 minutes.
Cover, remove from heat and let steep 15 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve over the green tea leaves, pressing all the juices from the apple. Let steep for 1 minute. Strain out the tea, reheat if necessary, and serve. Garnish with apple slices.
- 8 cardamom seeds
- 8 cloves
- 4 black peppercorns
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 one-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 bags black tea
- 8 tsp of sugar (or more, to taste)
Place the cardamom seeds, cloves, and peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet.
Put the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, milk, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain into cups. Add sugar to each serving as needed, to taste.
Source: Real Simple
Barcelona Hot Chocolate
- 2/3 cup boiling water
- 2 ounces good quality dark or bittersweet chocolate (60-70% cocoa), finely chopped
- 1 1/3 cups milk
- 1 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 two-inch strip of orange rind
Combine the boiling water and chopped chocolate in a medium saucepan. Stir until chocolate melts. Add the milk, espresso or coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and orange rind. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring with a whisk. Heat 5 minutes or until tiny bubbles form around the edge of the pan. Do NOT boil. Discard the rind and pour into mugs.
Source: My Recipes
Hot Cranberry Tea
- 6 cups water
- 1 cup cranberries
- 1/2 cup honey (or sweetener of your choice)
- 1 orange, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
Combine water and cranberries in a large pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add sugar, orange and lemon juices, cloves, and cinnamon sticks. Cover and steep for 30 minutes.