Few things are as soothing as a warm, spiced beverage on a winter day. Whether you're watching football from the stands, commuting to work or simply hanging at home, a warm drink always hits the spot. Take a break from the usual and whip up one of these yourself.
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Ginger has tons of healing properties, so starting your day off with a warm cup of ginger tea seems like a great idea, especially during the peak of cold season.
Ingredients: 3 ounces thinly-sliced ginger root, 1 cup water.
Directions: Boil and then strain. Add honey to taste.
Peanut butter hot chocolate
For a twist on standard hot chocolate, you can add in other flavors like peanut butter. This recipe from Food.com takes a few hours to cook, but once it's ready, you'll have a rich, warm beverage to share with the household, office or party.
Ingredients: 1 cup powder chocolate milk mix or powder cocoa mix, 8 cups hot water, 3/4 cup chocolate syrup, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla.
Directions: Pour cocoa mix in a 3-4 quart slow cooker; carefully stir in hot water; stir in chocolate syrup; cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or on high for 90 minutes to 2 hours; whisk in peanut butter and vanilla until smooth; ladle cocoa into mugs. Serves nine.
Holiday milk punch
This party beverage is a great alternative to eggnog because it has no heavy cream or egg. The best part? It can be frozen and saved for up to a month.
Ingredients: 1 cup sugar, 1 cup dark rum, 1/2 cup brandy, 2 tablespoons vanilla extract, 1/2 gallon whole milk, Grated nutmeg (optional)
Directions: Combine rum, brandy and vanilla extract in a large, heavy pitcher and dissolve sugar in the mixture; add milk; freeze until very cold or even slushy (4-8 hours); pour into glasses and grate nutmeg (or sprinkle ground nutmeg) on top, if desired. Serves eight.
Hot spiced wine
Mulled wine is popular in many countries around the world, from Chile to Czech Republic. Because of its universality, this hot toddy has many varieties, from slow-cooked to quick and easy. This particular recipe is one of the simpler versions.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup water, 10 whole cloves, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 3 peppercorns, whole, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (to taste), 1 orange, juiced, 1 bottle red wine, Cinnamon sticks (optional)
Directions: combine all ingredients except wine in a pan and boil for five minutes; reduce heat, add wine. Heat to the point where it is just before boiling (try to avoid boiling; the alcohol will begin to evaporate, strain into cups and serve hot, garnish with cinnamon sticks, if desired. Serves four.
Hot Apple Cider with Cinnamon
Simmer apple cider with mulling spices, orange zest, and ginger to make a drink that smells as good as it tastes. Directions: Heat the cider, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and orange slices in a 3-quart saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until the mixture is hot, stirring occasionally. Strain the cider into a heatproof pitcher or individual mugs.
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When the cold weather of fall and winter hits, warm your guests (and yourself) with a delicious hot drink. Adding a few additions or making a few changes can turn cold drink into a warming beverage that seems more appealing for a cold winter's day.