When you think of winter drinks, hot chocolate and coffee are probably the two liquids that come to mind. However, there are plenty of winter beverages out there with a variety of special ingredients that can work to warm you up just as well on a cold blustery day or night. Next time you're craving something to heat you up or satisfy your tastes this season, try out a new recipe at home or use even use a discount like a CoffeeForLess.com promotion code, which could get you deals like free shipping on orders over $50. Here are a few other beverages to try.
Hot toddy This warm, delicious alcoholic beverage is easy to make and even good for fighting off colds and the flu. All you need is a brown liquor, like rum, whiskey, brandy or scotch, as well as a sweetener and hot tea or water. Use honey, syrup or sugar and perhaps some herbal tea, which you can get for less using a California Tea House promotion code. Mix it all together, then garnish with a fresh slice of lemon for a drink that warms you from the inside out. It's like a warm, tasty cough drop!
Mocha hot cocoa Instant hot chocolate mix is convenient when you're in a hurry to drink something warm, but a homemade version will taste a lot better and seem a bit more decadent. Make your own mocha hot chocolate mix with ¾ of a cup of unsweetened cocoa, 3 ½ tablespoons of instant espresso, 1 cup of sugar and cinnamon sticks. Mix everything but the cinnamon sticks into an airtight container, then use 2 tablespoons when you're ready to make a drink. Combine the mix with ¼ cup of water over medium heat until the cocoa dissolves, then add ¾ cup of milk and a cinnamon stick.
Bourbon cider There's nothing like hot cider to warm you up on a snowy fall or winter day. Make your own with a bit of bourbon for an extra kick, which you could get for less with a Merwin Liquors promotion code. All you need is a gallon of apple cider, 5 teaspoons of cinnamon, 2 ½ teaspoons of nutmeg, 2 ½ teaspoons of ginger and 3 cups of bourbon. Mix everything but the bourbon together in a large stockpot and heat it up until it's just about boiling. Remove from the stove, then add the bourbon and you have plenty to pass around to family and friends.
Coffee milk punch Coffee is one of the world's most delicious flavors, and it's easy to make a variety of drinks with it. Use a Lindsey Coffee Company promotion code to pick up a bag of beans or two, then try out this recipe for coffee milk punch. Mix together 2 cups of coffee-flavored liquor, ½ cup of vodka, 5 cups of cooled black coffee or espresso and 3 pints of coffee ice cream. Stir until smooth, then keep in the refrigerator until you're ready to serve.
Chai tea An Indian version of chai tea mixes up a delicious blend of spices with milk and water. It's not hard to make your own mix, as long as you have all the right ingredients, which you can get for less using a My Spice Sage promotion code. You'll need 1 orange, ½ cup of cardamom pods, 12 crushed cinnamon sticks, 2 tablespoons of cloves, 2 tablespoons of black peppercorns, 2 tablespoons of allspice berries, 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds, ¼ cup of whole star anise and ½ cup of Darjeeling tea. Dry the orange in the oven at 200 degrees for two or three hours. Mix everything except the tea in a bowl, then store the spices and tea in separate containers. When you're ready to mix a batch, simmer 2 tablespoons of the spices with 1 ¼ cups of milk, ¾ cups of water and 1 tablespoon of sugar for 25 minutes. Add in 1 ½ tablespoons of the Darjeeling tea and let it steep for 3 minutes. Strain into two mugs and enjoy your creation!
Sleigh driver punch This nonalcoholic punch is the perfect addition to any holiday party, and adds a few delicious ingredients to your standard hot apple cider. To make it, you'll need 1 cup of water, ½ cup of sugar, 1 peeled and sliced piece of fresh ginger, 3 chopped pears, 2 quarts of apple cider, 1 sliced lemon, 1 tablespoon of allspice, 1 cup of cranberries and 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract. Mix the water, sugar, ginger and one of the pears in a saucepan, then bring to a boil. Strain out the solids and put the liquids back into the pan. Add the remaining pairs, cider, lemon and allspice, then heat for 15 minutes over medium-high heat. Mix in the cranberries and vanilla and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 10 minutes, then serve to your guests. You can even make it ahead of time and heat it up on the stove or in the microwave if you're short on time the day of your holiday gathering.
Eggnog There's nothing like a classic eggnog for warming you up, and it's perfect for bringing along to a holiday party. To make a fresh version yourself, gather ingredients using an Equal Exchange promotion code. You'll need 12 separated eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of bourbon, 1 cup of Cognac, ½ teaspoon of salt, 3 pints of heavy cream, grated nutmeg and 1 or 2 cups of milk (if you want). Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is thick, then add the bourbon and Cognac and chill for several hours. Mix the egg whites with the salt and beat together until it's almost stiff. Whip up the cream until that's stiff, then fold it into the yolk mixture. Add in the egg whites and chill for an hour. When you're ready to serve it, sprinkle the nutmeg on top. Add the milk into the yolk mixture if you want a thinner eggnog, otherwise just leave it as is.
Apple gingerbread cocktail This sweet treat is perfect for any adult gathering this holiday season. For each drink you'll need 2 ounces of ginger and cognac liqueur, 1 ounce of vanilla vodka, 2 ½ ounces of apple cider, a dash of lemon juice, honey (which you can get cheap with a promotion code from The Honey Jar), crumbled gingersnap cookies and orange zest for garnish. Mix the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Spread the honey on a plate and dip the rim of the glass in to lightly coat the edge. Spread the cookie crumbs on another plate and dip the honeyed rim into it, then pour in the strained drink and float the orange zest on top. You'll feel like a real bartender and your guests will appreciate your know-how!
Irish coffee For a traditional recipe, you won't need to use Bailey's irish cream. Just mix together Irish whiskey, black coffee and sugar. When it's all settled, add whipped cream on top then drizzle with a bit of creme de menthe, if you want. You could even top with a cherry if you're feeling really festive.
Peppermint hot chocolate Peppermint is a sure sign of winter, which means it goes great with pretty much anything. To make, mix ? cup unsweetened cocoa powder with 1 quart of milk in a saucepan until the cocoa dissolves. Add ½ cup of semisweet chocolate chips and 3 crushed peppermint sticks and simmer over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring every now and then. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and add a pinch of salt. Separate into mugs and garnish with a peppermint stick. Mmm!
Warm milk with vanilla There's nothing better than a warm mug of milk before you go to bed. For a delicious twist, a hint of vanilla and cinnamon goes a long way. Simmer 4 cups of milk with ¼ cup of sugar over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in 1 ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract, then divide into mugs and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon. You'll be getting warm and sleepy in no time at all.
Mulled cranberry juice This drink would make a great treat after a chilly day at a Thanksgiving football game, or just in place of tea on a chilly afternoon. Mix 1 quart of cranberry juice, 1 cinnamon stick and 2 whole cloves in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer while you mix ½ cup of cranberries, ½ cup of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of water in another pan. Heat this over medium-low heat until the cranberries burst and are covered with the sugar mixture. When those have cooled, thread a few berries onto a toothpick or decorative skewer, then pour the juice into mugs and add the swizzle. It's a very classy way to enjoy this mulled beverage!
Of course, on days where you're in a rush and don't have time to make any of these drinks, a Starbucks promotion code can get you deals on delicious fall and winter lattes and coffee, so you'll never lack a good warm beverage!
Previous: Setting the Thanksgiving table
Next: Tips for buying fine jewelry this holiday season