Hot Drinks to Warm You Up

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A mug filled with a hot beverage is a comforting way to warm your hands and spirits. A hot drink is perfect for chasing winter’s chill. Here are some of my favorite hot drinks.

Note: To prewarm a mug or glass, simply fill it with very hot water. Hot water from the tap is fine. Let the mug warm up for a minute or two, then discard the hot water. The prewarmed mug will keep your drink hot longer, and prewarming helps prevent thermal shock.

Cinnamon Stick

Mulled Wine

Warm and spiced, mulled wine is wonderful after spending time outdoors in the cold. It’s great for sipping while shopping outdoor Christmas markets. I like to make this in the Staub Teapot, it goes right from stove to table and looks great while keeping your mulled wine piping hot. Double the recipe and make it in a crock pot for a party.

Mulled Wine Recipe

1 bottle (750 ml) dry red wine, like Cabernet Sauvignon
1 orange
1 lemon
1/2 cup Cointreau
1/4 cup brandy
5 cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
Garnish: orange slices, cinnamon sticks, fresh cranberries.

With a peeler, peel the orange and lemon and add the peels to a 1 1/2 quart saucepan.
Juice the orange and lemon and add the juices to the saucepan.
Add the wine, Cointreau, and brandy.
Tie the spices in cheesecloth, or place them in a large tea ball; add the spices to the saucepan.
Bring to a simmer and heat for 10 minutes.
Serve in prewarmed heat proof mugs or heat proof glasses, garnished with an orange slice and cinnamon stick. Float a few cranberries on the top if desired.

Crock pot Mulled Wine Recipe

Place citrus peels and juices, wine, Cointreau, and brandy in 1 1/2 quart to 3 quart slow cooker.
Add the spice bundle.
Heat, covered on high for 1 hour then switch to the low setting.

The 1 1/2 quart slow cooker is perfect for this recipe, but if you’re doubling it for a crowd use a 3 to 4 quart slow cooker.

Cinnamon Stick

Hot Chocolate

Rich and creamy, hot chocolate is a warming comfort. Use dark chocolate for a luxurious dark hot drink. Chop the chocolate coarsely if you are using blocks of chocolate. Spike it with an ounce of whiskey, bourbon, or anything you like. Kirsch makes an exceptional Black Forest style hot chocolate with hints of cherry. Clear creme de menthe gives you a minty hot chocolate.

Hot Chocolate Recipe

1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1 cup whole milk
2 tablespoons dark or semisweet chocolate chips (1 ounce)
1 ounce whiskey, bourbon, or liquor of choice (optional)
Garnish: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows.

In a small saucepan combine the cocoa powder and sugar.
Slowly stir in the milk, then add the chocolate chips.
Heat over low heat, stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted.
Serve in a prewarmed heat proof mug, add liquor if using.
Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, or marshmallows.

Crock pot Hot Chocolate for a Crowd Recipe

1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup heavy cream
7 cups whole milk
12 ounces dark or semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, marshmallows.

In a 3-4 quart slow cooker combine cocoa powder and sugar.
Slowly stir in the heavy cream, then the whole milk.
Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract.
Heat on low 2 hours, until the chocolate is melted.
Stir to combine and serve in prewarmed heat proof mugs.
Add an ounce of liquor if desired to each mug.
Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings, or marshmallows.

Cinnamon Stick

Hot Spiced Cider

Hot Spiced Cider is all the flavors of fall in a hot, comforting drink. Cinnamon and ginger round out cider for a full on autumn treat. Add whiskey or bourbon for a spiked hot cider.

Hot Spiced Cider Recipe

64 ounces apple cider (2 quarts)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 apple, thinly sliced
16 ounces whiskey or bourbon (optional)
Garnish: apple slices and cinnamon sticks.

In a 3 quart saucepan add the apple cider, cinnamon sticks, ginger slices and apple slices.
Heat over medium heat until the cider simmers.
Turn heat off and stir in the whiskey or bourbon, if using.
Serve in prewarmed heat proof mugs garnished with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.

To make Hot Spiced Cider in a crock pot:
Add cider, cinnamon sticks, ginger slices, apple slices, and whiskey or bourbon to a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Heat on low 2 hours, or until heated through.
Serve in prewarmed heat proof mugs garnished with an apple slice and a cinnamon stick.

Cinnamon Stick

Hot Buttered Rum

Hot Buttered Rum is a warm hug in a mug. Mix up the batter and keep it in the refrigerator for a drink that you can put together with no fuss at all. The batter also makes an excellent spread on toast – an instant cinnamon toast.

Hot Buttered Rum Recipe

Hot Buttered Rum Batter
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
In a small bowl, combine butter,brown sugar, and spices. Beat until well combined.

Hot Buttered Rum
2 tablespoons Hot Buttered Rum Batter
2 ounces dark rum
Boiling water, as needed
Garnish: cinnamon stick.

In a prewarmed heat proof mug, add batter and rum.
Fill with boiling water and stir.
Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Remaining batter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for future use.

Cinnamon Stick

Irish Coffee

A classic. Irish coffee is just a bit more than Irish whiskey in coffee, the lightly whipped cream on top is the secret that ties it all together. Use unsweetened cream and drink the sweetened, spiked coffee through the cream for a balanced warming beverage.

Irish Coffee Recipe

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 cup hot black coffee
2 ounces Irish whiskey
Heavy cream, lightly whipped.

In a prewarmed heat proof glass, add brown sugar.
Fill with hot black coffee till mug is 3/4 full.
Add Irish whiskey and stir.
Top with lightly whipped heavy cream by pouring the cream over a spoon.

Cinnamon Stick

Hot Toddy

Long used to relieve the symptoms of a cold, a hot toddy is delicious as a warming nightcap also. The simplicity of the hot toddy makes for a well flavored drink.

Hot Toddy Recipe

2 ounces whiskey, bourbon, brandy, or dark rum
1 tablespoon honey
3 inch piece of lemon peel (removed with a vegetable peeler)
1 slice lemon, studded with 3 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
Boiling water as needed.

In a heat proof mug, add the liquor and honey. Stir to combine.
Add the lemon peel and fill with boiling water.
Add the clove studded lemon slice and cinnamon stick.

I hope you find a hot drink here to chase the winter chill away.

You may also like our Gift Guide: Gifts for Cooks

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Staub Enameled Cast Iron Tea Kettle

I love making mulled wine in my Staub Teapot. It’s enameled on the inside as well as outside, and is made for stovetop use (even induction). It has a hook under the lid for holding a tea ball – perfect for holding mulling spices. Once the wine is warmed, the cast iron holds onto the heat for a long time.

Staub Enameled Cast Iron Tea Kettle

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Bodum Insulated Glass Bistro Mugs

Perfect for hot drinks, the Bodum Bistro mug will keep your drinks hot. The double walled glass shows off your drink in functional style. The 10 ounce size is great for a cup hot beverage and plenty of whipped cream.

Bodum Insulated Glass Bistro Mugs

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3 Quart Round Slow Cooker by Hamilton Beach

3 Quart Round Slow Cooker by Hamilton Beach

A slow cooker is such a great way to heat and serve drinks. Their even, gentle heat keeps everything hot without scorching delicate ingredients like chocolate.

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Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips

This is my favorite dark chocolate for hot chocolate. The chips make it easy to measure without a scale (and nibble on too).

Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips

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iSi Gourmet Whip Plus Cream Whipper

I’ve had this cream whipper for years. It’s made for commercial food service so it’s durable and easy to clean.

iSi Gourmet Whip Plus Cream Whipper

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Yeti Rambler 20 Ounce Insulated Tumbler

Sometimes you want your hot drink to go. The Yeti 20 ounce Rambler will keep your drink hot for hours. Strolling through an outdoor market, snowball fights, etc. this one works really well. Summer or Winter I usually have one of my Yeti’s on me.

Yeti Rambler 20 Ounce Insulated Tumbler

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