19 February 2010

10 Perfect Hot Drinks to Warm Us in Cold Weather

From Denny: It's cold outside and you still feel cold inside. What to do? Make a hot drink to warm you from the inside out. Make sure it is a drink you can linger over and savor the moment, enjoying the goodness. After all, a hot drink to warm you is more than raising your body temperature. It's about ambiance and style! :) OK, did I mention it has to taste really good? Anyway you look at it, a warming drink will keep your spirits up throughout the day or at the end of a long day. Make the drink spicy and it will warm your soul too.

Gary Regan, of The Bartender's Bible, says "the secret to making good hot drinks is a simple one: Don’t skimp. Don’t use canned whipped cream and when the drink is made, spend some time enjoying the aroma; savor the whole experience of the drink. It will warm the cockles of your heart.”

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Let's take a look at your choices:

Hot Coffee Drinks:

Café au Lait
Irish Coffee

Hot Milk Drinks:

Williamsburg Hot Chocolate
Hot Taffy Milk

Hot Rum Drinks:

Hot Buttered Rum
Orange Toddy

Hot Cider Drinks:

Warm Fruit Cider
Honey Spiced Cider
Spiced Mulled Cider
Maple Mulled Cider

Hot Coffee Drinks

Photo by David Humphreys @ Junior League of Baton Rouge

Want a rich and creamy hot beverage? Café au Lait is the answer. It has a smooth velvety taste and is a Louisiana favorite every morning at our house! We make it with Community Coffee brand's New Orleans Blend (with chicory). Chicory is great for reducing the acidity in coffee that can bother your stomach. It's also a wonderful herb to aid liver function. Drinking hot milk in your coffee is a great way to replace the calcium that coffee can leach from your body so it all balances out.

Café au Lait

“River Road Recipes IV: Warm Welcomes” cookbook published by the Junior League of Baton Rouge

Serves: 6


4-1/2 cups milk
4-1/2 cups freshly brewed coffee or espresso


1. Heat milk in a saucepan over low heat just until barely boiling and whisk until foamy.

2. Pour the warm foamed milk and hot freshly brewed coffee into a heated carafe. If possible, warm each person’s coffee cup before serving.

Photo by Richard Alan Hannon @ 2TheAdvocate.com

Houmas House Plantation executive chef Jeremy Langlois often prepares Irish Coffee to conclude dinners in the plantation’s Latil’s Landing Restaurant. Part of the presentation of the classic beverage is carefully pouring the cream over the back of a teaspoon into the hot coffee so that the cream floats on top of the coffee.

Irish Coffee

From: Jeremy Langlois, executive chef at Houmas House Plantation and Latil’s Landing Restaurant

Makes: 1 cup


1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
1 tbl. brown sugar
1 jigger Irish whiskey (1-1/2 ozs. or 3 tbls.)
Heavy cream, slightly whipped
Pinch of nutmeg for finish


1. Pour hot coffee into warmed cup until it is about 3/4 full.

2. Add the brown sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Blend in Irish whiskey.

3. Top with whipped heavy cream and sprinkle nutmeg on the cream for garnish. Serve hot.

Editor’s note: According to “Food Lover’s Companion” by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst, “Irish whiskey is a distilled liquor made primarily from barley (malted or unmalted) as well as corn, rye, wheat and oats. Irish whiskeys are triple-distilled for extra smoothness and are aged in casks for a minimum of 4 (usually 7 to 8) years. The aging casks have typically been used previously for aging bourbon, sherry or rum, the flavors of which contribute unique nuances to the whiskey.”

Hot Milk Drinks

Williamsburg Hot Chocolate

From: Grand Marnier

Serves: 1


1 cup milk
Grated zest from 1/2 orange
1 stick cinnamon
1 oz. semisweet chocolate, melted
2 tsps. Grand Marnier
Whipped cream for garnish, if desired


1. In a small saucepan, over low heat, slowly scald the milk with the orange zest and cinnamon stick.

2. In a blender, combine the hot milk with the chocolate and Grand Marnier. Blend on slow speed until very smooth.

3. Pour immediately and top with whipped cream, if desired.

Hot Taffy Milk

From: Tommy Simmons, Food Editor @ 2theadvocate.com

Serves: 2


1 cup low-fat milk
3 tbls. cane syrup (if not available use a favorite thinned molasses)
Dash of cinnamon


1. Pour milk and cane syrup into glass measuring cup. Mix to dissolve cane syrup.

2. Microwave on High in 1-minute intervals until desired temperature is reached. (Takes about 2-1/2 minutes.)

3. Pour into mug. Dust top with cinnamon, if desired.

Hot Rum Drinks

Hot Buttered Rum

From: “The Bartender’s Bible” by Gary Regan

Serves: 1


1 tsp. brown sugar
4 ozs. boiling water
1 whole clove
2 ozs. dark rum
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg


1. In an Irish coffee glass, combine the brown sugar with the boiling water. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Add the clove and the rum. Float the butter on the top and dust with the nutmeg.

Orange Toddy

From: David Simmons

Serves: 2

1 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
2 tbls. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. butter (a tiny pat)
1 to 2 tbls. rum


1. Mix orange juice, water, sugar, cinnamon, cloves and butter in a large glass measuring cup. Microwave on High for 2 minutes or until just beginning to boil.

2. Remove from microwave, stir in rum and serve in mugs.

Hot Cider Drinks

Warm Fruit Cider

From: “Slow Cookin’ in the Fast Lane” by Julie Kay

Serves: 10 to 12


1 (64-oz.) bottle apple cider
2 oranges, cut into quarters, peeled
2 lemons, cut into slices, with peel
6 whole cloves
4 cinnamon sticks


1. Pour apple cider in slow cooker and add all remaining ingredients.

2. Cook on Low for 3 to 4 hours. When ready to serve, remove orange quarters, lemons, whole cloves and cinnamon sticks.

3. Pour into individual mugs or punch cups and serve.

Honey Spiced Cider

From: National Honey Board

Makes: 8 (6-ounce) servings


5 cups apple cider
3/4 cup honey
24 whole cloves
2 small navel oranges, quartered
7 (4-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 (4-inch) strip lemon zest
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg


1. Combine cider and honey in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the honey dissolves.

2. Push 3 cloves into the rind of each orange quarter. Add to the cider along with the cinnamon sticks, lemon zest and nutmeg.

3. Bring mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer at the merest bubble for 20 minutes. Remove the fruit and spices with a slotted spoon and discard. Serve hot.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 178 calories, 0 grams fat, 0 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 0 milligrams cholesterol and 7 milligrams sodium.

Spiced Mulled Cider

From: Tabasco

Serves: 2


2 cups apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 tbls. honey
1 tbl. Tabasco brand green pepper sauce
1/4 cup rum
Apple slices for garnish


1. In 1-quart saucepan over high heat, heat apple cider, cinnamon stick, honey and Tabasco green sauce to boiling. Reduce heat to low, remove cinnamon sticks and set aside, and continue simmering cider for 5 minutes.

2. Remove from heat; add rum. Pour into glasses or mugs; garnish with apple slices. If desired, use the reserved cinnamon sticks as stirrers.

Maple Mulled Cider

From: “Fix-it and Forget-it Diabetic Cookbook”

Serves: 10


1/2 gallon cider
3 to 4 cinnamon sticks
2 tsps. whole cloves
2 tsps. whole allspice
1 to 2 tbls. orange juice concentrate
1 tbl. maple syrup

1. Combine ingredients in slow cooker.

2. Cover. Heat on Low 2 hours. Serve warm.

Testing note: The original recipe listed the orange juice concentrate and maple syrup as optional ingredients. However, both used together make for an enjoyable boost of flavor.

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