Hot Drinks for Cold Weather
by Sheila Swerling-Puritt
When howling northerlies drive the snow sideways and the only green thing left alive is the political party of the same name, Canadians desperately need a way to warm up. Fortunately for us thermally challenged snowfolks, there are lots of hot drinks to get you through to spring.
Although alcohol actually lowers body temperature, it makes us feel warm. The most useful heat in hot drinks comes from the heat that makes them hot. The warm liquid actually heats our bodies from the inside, bringing layers of warmth to you and your guests.
Whatever concoction you choose to fight the chills, make sure to prepare them in heat-resistant vessels. Don't boil your drinks, unless you want all their alcohol bubbled off.
Flavours that do well in hot drinks include chocolate, coffee, sweet spice and fruit (as in mulled cider or wine), and creamy vanilla. Here are the recipes for three favourites, but don't worry. If you or your guests are cold enough, there's no such thing as a bad hot drink!
Aztec Hot Chocolate
(makes 2 servings)
- 1 2/3 cups milk
- ½ whole vanilla bean
- 1 whole red chili pepper (small)
- 1 whole cinnamon stick (short)
- 1½ oz. bittersweet chocolate, shaved
- 2 oz. Kahulua
- Split the chili pepper and remove the seeds.
- Split the vanilla bean.
- Simmer milk in a saucepan, add the half vanilla bean, cinnamon and chili.
- Heat over low heat for a few minutes and add chocolate.
- Stir briskly while chocolate melts.
- Add Kahlua. Warm.
- Remove from heat.
- Strain into warmed regular size coffee cups.
Microwave Hot Mulled Cider
(makes 5 servings)
- ½ tsp whole allspice
- ½ tsp whole cloves
- 1 stick cinnamon
- ½ cup water
- 1½ cup cranberry juice
- 1 qt. apple cider (either hard or dry non-alcoholic)
- In a 2-quart microwave proof bowl combine all ingredients. Cover.
- Microwave on high for 58 minutes, until hot.
- Strain and pour into warmed mugs.
Recipe from Cooks magazine.
Warm White Russian
- 1 cup freshly brewed espresso
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup vodka
- ½ cup Kahlua
- ½ cup vanilla vodka whipped cream (see below)
- Stir together first 5 ingredients in a pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Do not let it boil.
- Pour into large mugs and top with vanilla vodka whipped cream.
Vanilla Vodka Whipped Cream
(makes 1¼ cups)
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 2 Tbsp. vanilla vodka
Whip cream in chilled bowl until stiff,
gradually adding in the sugar and vodka.
Grand Marnier Hot Chocolate
- 8 oz. hot chocolate
- ½ oz. warmed Grand Marnier liqueur
- Combine and serve in a warm mug.
- Garnish with an orange zest twist
For more information, you can contact Sheila at firstname.lastname@example.org.