With temperatures dipping, it’s already time to curl up in front of the fire or add a few degrees to the thermostat and start getting serious about your best strategies for staying warm and toasty during the cold-weather months. As if you needed any inspiration to stay put, we’ve rounded up our best warm drinks (both spiked and alcohol-free) that’ll make you want to cozy up.
1. Vanilla Gingerbread Latte
Half-Baked Harvest’s Tieghan Gerard knows about hot drinks. Her home is nestled among the pines in the mountains of Colorado and where she develops and photographs each one of her recipes. This gingerbready cup starts with a double shot of espresso topped with steamed milk that has been flavored with molasses, maple syrup, ginger and cinnamon. A vanilla whipped cream and caramel brulée crunch are layered on top. MMmmm!
2. Mint Hot Chocolate
There’s nothing more cold-weather appropriate than a big mug of hot chocolate. In fact, if you have a crowd a DIY hot chocolate bar could be the way to go. This is an old recipe of ours, and we haven’t changed a thing because it’s perfect and oh-so-easy to pull together. Of course, if you’d rather not deal with melting your own chocolate, we have a few ready-to-go mixes that you can add to your cart the next time you’re shopping.
3. Eggnogg Latte
Eggnog does not have to be overly thick, rich and…well…eggy! This lighter version from Nicole Modic of Kale Junkie combines regular eggnog with almond milk, coffee, vanilla and cinnamon for a warm drink that’s every bit as delicious as the coffeehouse favorite, but isn’t quite so much like sipping dessert. And for a vegan version, simply swap Nicole’s triple-spiced Creamy Vegan Eggnog for the storebought.
4. Brûléed Cappuccino
Don’t settle for a regular cappuccino when you can have a brûléed cappuccino! You’ll just need a culinary torch (we’re partial to this one) in order to caramelize the sugar, which gets sprinkled on top. This recipe makes a smooth, caffeinated drink that’s just a little more special than your usual weekday morning coffee run.
5. Hot Buttered Rum
This drink couldn’t be easier to make or double (or even triple!) for a larger group. You simply mix up some brown sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves; divide it all into some mugs; add rum; and pour in some boiling water.
6. Hot Spiced Cider with Calvados
Cider isn’t just for the fall! Especially this cider, which is made with crystalized ginger and Calvados (or whatever apple brandy you happen to have on hand). More of a rum fan than a brandy fan? We’ve got something for you, too: this recipe features cider concentrate and golden or dark rum.
7. Lemon Verbena and Mint Tisane
This is technically a summery drink (lemon verbena is a lemon-scented herb that can usually be found at farmers’ markets during the warmer months) but you can make it during the winter by using the peel from one or two lemons or a stalk of lemongrass. The resulting drink is super soothing, and a nice reminder that summer will be around again—eventually.
We strongly believe that every kitchen needs a mortar and pestle. It’s a fun way to really learn about deep, rich flavors of freshly ground spices. It’s also the key to making this spicy, warming tea. To make it, you’ll start by crushing up cinnamon sticks, allspice, cloves, and peppercorns. Steep that with cardamom pods and ginger, and then with some black tea. Serve your mixture with milk and honey, and snuggle up with a good book.
9. Irish Coffee
Irish coffee was invented at Ireland’s Shannon airport in the 1940s, and brought back to the United States by way of San Francisco in 1952, when a travel writer worked with the owners of The Buena Vista to begin serving it to customers. It’s still a bestselling item there today.
10. Hazelnut Latte
Perfect for Christmas morning or an afternoon spent by the fire, this coffee creation from Cozy White Cottage Seasons author Liz Marie Galvan is enriched with chocolate shavings and a touch of cream. Using a Nespresso machine, the hazelnut coffee brews in less than a minute, making this a great drink to serve to surprise visitors throughout the holiday season.
11. Peppermint Affogato
12. Hot Spiced Rum Cider
Apple cider simmered with seasonal spices and spiked with rum is the perfect way to stay warm in the winter. This recipe combines fragrant mulling spices with our cider concentrate, a blend of freshly pressed juices of five Washington State apples. For an extra sweet finish, dip the mug rims into simple syrup then into cinnamon sugar before adding the cider.
13. Spiced Hot Toddy
This updated version of the cold-weather classic gains a lovely flavor and aroma from toasted sesame oil, used in place of the traditional butter. We have also traded in the customary cinnamon, which can often be overpowering, for ginger and star anise.
14. Williams Sonoma Chocolate Truffle Coffee
Don’t have time to make a special drink? Just swap out your usual morning coffee grinds for this bag of rich, indulgent pre-ground coffee. It’s silky, well balanced, and brimming with decadence. To make it, we take our premium South American Arabica coffee beans, medium roast them, and then expertly ground them to the perfect consistency. Brew a big pot and bring a travel mug along with you as you run all those errands. Just promise us you’ll take it easy later!