It’s winter time once again, and there is a battle on to fight against low temperatures and find new ways to stay warm after the sun goes down. The cold can make the touch of a warm mug holding a hot drink feel like a blessing to the skin. There is no better way to conquer the cold than to have a nice warm drink in your hands.
Cosy up with these recipes for healthy and delicious beverages to boost your immune system and keep you warm on cold winter nights.
Easy chai tea: To make four cups of this delicious drink, you’ll need: eight cardamom seeds, eight cloves, four black peppercorns, two cinnamon sticks, one one-inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced, two cups of whole milk, four bags of black tea, two cups of water and sugar to taste.
Crush the cardamom, cloves, and peppercorns. Bring the water to the boil along with the cinnamon sticks, ginger, and milk. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for ten minutes. Strain into cups and add sugar to taste.
Warm mulled cider
Warm mulled cider: To make eight servings of this drink that smells as good as it tastes you’ll need: one orange, one and a half gallons of apple cider, two tablespoons of honey, five whole cloves, a pinch of ground nutmeg, one one-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced, and eight cinnamon sticks.
Peel the zest from the orange to create long strips. In a medium pot, bring the cider, honey, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and orange zest to a simmer. Do not boil. Heat uncovered for 30 minutes. Ladle into cups and serve warm with cinnamon sticks.
Hot ginger tea
Hot ginger tea: Ginger promotes good digestion and can relieve the discomfort associated with conditions such as osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia, which are often more troublesome in cold weather. It can also relieve coughing. All you need to prepare this delicious drink is three ounces of thinly-sliced ginger root, honey and one cup of water. Boil and then strain. Add honey to taste.
Spicy hot chocolate
Spicy hot chocolate: This aromatic hot chocolate is not too sweet and is very complex. The use of both cocoa powder and chocolate gives a round, deep chocolate flavour, while the mix of whole milk and cream makes it wonderfully rich and thick. You’ll need: three ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped, two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, two tablespoons of sugar, or to taste, half a teaspoon of chili powder, or to taste, one and three-quarter cups of whole milk, a quarter of a cup of cream, one cinnamon stick, and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Marshmallows or whipped cream are optional.
Whisk together the chocolate, cocoa, sugar and chili. Place over a medium-low heat and whisk until the chocolate begins to melt. Slowly whisk in the milk and then the cream. Drop in the cinnamon stick. Bring to a simmer, and then remove from the heat. Cover tightly and steep for one hour. Whisk in the vanilla and taste for sweetness, adding more sugar if wanted. Warm over a low heat before straining and serving hot with marshmallows or whipped cream if desired.