Top 5 Hot Drinks for a Cold Winter Day
Creamy hot chocolate
4 cups whole milk
1 cinnamon stick
6 sprigs of fresh mint or 2 split vanilla beans
10 ounces semi-sweet or regular milk chocolate, cut into small pieces
Heat milk in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon stick and vanilla beans or mint sprigs to the hot milk and steep 10 minutes. Remove from heat, strain milk and return liquid to pan. Reheat the milk and stir in the chocolate pieces with a whisk. When the chocolate is melted and the milk becomes frothy, pour liquid into mugs. Top each mug with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
Sweet cinnamon coffee
5 cups fresh-brewed strong hot coffee
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4-inch cinnamon stick
1/3 cup half-and-half or light cream
Brew coffee in coffeemaker, then add sugar and cinnamon stick to the pot. Set the pot on the warming plate for 10 minutes or until sugar dissolves and cinnamon is absorbed. Pour the coffee mixture into mugs. Stir about 1 tablespoon of half-and-half into each cup and top each mug with whipped cream and a dash of ground cinnamon.
Hot apple cider
1-1/4 quarts apple cider
3 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
7 whole cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of ground cloves
Pinch of freshly grated or dried nutmeg
Pinch of salt
6 cinnamon sticks for garnish
Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan with a whisk and bring the mixture to a simmer over low-to-medium heat. Remove warm cider from burner and pour through a strainer into a glass pitcher. Discard solids and serve the cider in glass mugs garnished with cinnamon sticks. Make this an adult beverage by simply adding 1/2 cup of brandy to the spiced cider while it’s still in the pitcher.
Vanilla café au lait
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
1-1/2 cups whole milk
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
3 cups fresh-brewed strong hot coffee
Combine half-and-half, milk, vanilla bean halves and sugar in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove vanilla bean pieces and whisk the milk mixture for 1 minute. Fill six mugs with 1/2 cup of coffee each and 1/2 cup of milk mixture.
3 cups water
3/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon butter, cut into 4 pats
Simmer all ingredients except the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Pour hot mixture into mugs and dot each mug with a butter pat.