Wintertime is the right time to snuggle in with some comfort beverages. These three warm drink recipes take just minutes to prepare, and will fill your home with aromatic scents as they steep. So cozy up with a good book and one of these delicious drinks – and be sure to let us know which one is your favorite!
Chai tea was handed down to us from India and Thailand. It was originally commissioned by a king over 5000 years ago, who requested that his courtiers make a healing beverage for him to savor. Modern Ayurveda practitioners still use chai tea as part of their healing medicine.
You can make a version of this popular beverage in less than 10 minutes using:
- 2 tsp. black tea
- ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
- ¼ tsp. cardamom, ground
- ¼ tsp. cloves, ground
- ¼ tsp. black pepper, ground
Pour 2 cups of water into a saucepot. Add all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain into a tea cup. Serves 2-3.
Hot Spiced Apple Cider
Apple cider is traditionally thought of as an autumn beverage, but most grocery stores still have plenty of apples for sale in winter. For this recipe, you can make your own apple juice in your juicer—or take the easy way out (we did!) and just use bottled apple juice. Make it more interesting by using cranapple juice instead of pure apple juice. The cranberry taste will add something special! Here’s everything you’ll need:
- 2 cups apple juice or apple cider
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. orange juice
- ½ tsp. cinnamon, ground
- ½ tsp. allspice, ground
- ½ tsp. cloves, ground
Pour 2 cups of water into a saucepot. Add all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain into a tea cup. Serves 2-3. Garnish with stick cinnamon, if desired. (The cinnamon stick makes a fun stir stirrer.)
There are lots of ways to make mulled wine. Some of them require hours of steeping or slow cooking, while others are designed for the less patient folk (us!) who want to enjoy a hot cup of mulled wine before the sun comes up. Here’s a short and sweet version that will have you sipping in front of the fireplace with your loved one before you can say, “Baby, it’s cold outside.”
Note: This is so delicious that you’ll want to have extra on hand. With that in mind, this recipe will yield 4-5 servings. If you only want 2 servings, just cut the portions in half.
- 1 bottle of red wine, 750 ml. (any full-bodied red will work)
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup cranberry juice
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup brandy
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 star anise
- 1 tsp. whole cloves
- 1 tsp. cardamom seeds
- 1 whole orange peel
Lay some cheesecloth flat to make a seasoning pouch. Place in the center the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, cardamom, and orange peel. Bring the corners together and tie with a string.
In a large pot, add the wine, water, cranberry juice, honey, brandy and vanilla extract. Stir and add the seasoning pouch. Slowly bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for at least 20 minutes. (The flavors will get stronger the longer you allow the mulled wine to simmer.) Remove the seasoning pouch and discard. Serve warm with a garnish of lemon twist, if desired.
Now that you’re all warm and toasty, you can sit back and enjoy watching the falling snow outside. Spring will come soon enough. For now, nothing could persuade you to leave the comfort of your home.