From Christina: I don’t like winter, but a delicious hot drink can go a long way toward making the season bearable — especially if those hot drinks are shared with friends and family. I’m so glad Sabrina Garie stopped by with a few of her favorites. Enjoy!
Better than Mittens:
Hot Winter Drinks
to Warm Hands and Heart
By Sabrina Garie
Aaah Winter. When the snow piles up outside in small mountains, logs crackle on the fireplace, and scented candles cleanse the air, there is nothing better than snuggling in a well-worn, comforter and warming your hands around a hot mug filled with your favorite winter drink.
Here are my favorites, complete with recipes.
One of my New Year’s traditions is to make a big pot of mulled wine for friends, family or, if plans go awry, just for me. It’s not the holidays without a glass (make that a few glasses). I’ve tried a few recipes and this is my favorite because the act of cloving the orange—combining citrus and spice—is a not-to-be-missed sensory experience.
- 1 bottle red wine
- 1 wine bottle full of water
- 1 orange
- Whole cloves (15-20, choice is yours)
- 3-4 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup of sugar
- Dash of nutmeg
- Punch the cloves into the whole orange
- Put all the ingredients into a large pot
- Heat but do not boil. Let simmer 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drink and Enjoy.
- Add sliced oranges, lemons and/or apples into the mix in addition to the cloved orange.
Best Hot Chocolate Ever
One year, while shopping for an exotic hot chocolate mix as a gift, I stumbled upon a high priced chocolate boutique that sold chocolate blocks on sticks. You stir the block in hot milk until its melts. It’s sweet and thick and as decadent as it sounds. Of course I had to try it before giving it a gift, right? These blocks, however, are expensive, so I figured out how to reproduce the experience at home for a fraction of the cost. Drum roll, please for the best hot chocolate ever.
Ingredients (for one mug)
- 2 tablespoons of semisweet chocolate chips
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 8 ounces of milk (Any kind. The advantage of this recipe is that it works as well with skim as other milks.)
- Heat milk and vanilla until it is just about to boil (but don’t let it boil over but it must be hot enough to melt the chocolate)
- Put chocolate chips in the bottom of a mug.
- Add heated milk to mug and stir until the chocolate fully melts. It can take a minute or so.
- Enjoy with your feet up.
- Stir with a peppermint stick or candy cane to make peppermint hot chocolate
- Stir with a cinnamon stick for cinnamon hot chocolate
- Add peppermint schnapps for cocoa with a spicy kick. Kahlua or Bailey or Amaretto or any other liquor of your choice work just as well.
This last drink I whip together is for medicinal purposes only. 😉 An Italian boyfriend swore it was a no-fail European remedy for colds. I was struggling with one at the time so I tried it. I can’t promise it will eliminate the cold, but it is comforting and it certainly doesn’t hurt. On a cold winter night, with a stuffed nose and a scratchy throat, it’s not a bad way to warm your hands and soothe your throat.
- 1 shot Scotch
- 6 oz. Milk
- 2 teaspoons Honey
- Heat the milk (do not boil)
- Mix milk, scotch and honey
- Let it ooze its way down that scratched up throat.
What’s your favorite winter drink? Have another great recipe to share?
Sabrina Garie is on a journey to create the most kick-ass heroine romance fiction has ever known and the hero who can take her. A believer that big, audacious goals spice up life, she relies on coffee, red wine and laughter to make those goals (and her characters) come alive. When not at the computer, she wrangles vegetables and extra helpings of homework into her star-spangled, fashion-loving progeny, kowtows to a fat cat and reads, a lot. As a child, she wanted to be an astronaut, just to see what’s out there. Now, she just makes it up.