Summer is over and instead of sipping refreshing drinks on the beach, we will soon be shivering at home looking longingly at those holiday brochures. Somehow drinking Aperol Spritz or fruity Pimm’s Cup during these colder months doesn’t seem quite right. Our brains seem to connect these drinks with sunshine and summer, but what do we fancy during winter that can warm us up from the inside out?
Here’re six drinks I like to drink during winter.
1 Spiked Chai
I tested this recipe last winter when I was experimenting with Cazcabel Honey Tequila. You can make a large batch of Chai at home and store it in the fridge. Heat up with milk of your choice whenever you fancy a warming drink. To spike it, just add a measure of Cazcabel Honey Tequila.
6 black tea bags
4 cinnamon sticks
12 cardamom seeds
10 slices of fresh ginger
Honey (go easy on the honey if you are planning to use the honey tequila later)
Add everything into a slow cooker for 4hrs on low heat. Strain, cool down and store in the fridge.
To build the actual spiked drink, add 25ml of Cazcabel Honey Tequila in the glass or mug of your choice, heat milk (I used soy) and chai together and pour over the shot. Stir before serving.
2 Anything with sage or rosemary!
Sage & prosecco or sage & gin cocktails are a must in your winter drinks list even if these aren’t served hot. I’ve previously made a syrup with sage, pear and ginger that goes well with both gin and fizz, together or separately. You can check the recipe from here.
Finnish Napue Gin was my favourite drink last winter and I am still loving it just as much! Another perfect winter gin is The Botanist. Both appreciate fresh herbs as a garnish. Check this amazing Napue Gin and rosemary-cranberry cocktail from my previous post.
3 Cocktails with Chilli
Nothing warms you better than a spicy drink, and chillies can boost your immune system, which is exactly what we need during flu season! Think extra-spicy Bloody Marys, add chilli into a boozy hot chocolate, or if tequila is your preferred tipple, try it with Green Chartreuse, chilli, pineapple and fresh lime.
15ml Green Chartreuse
50ml pineapple juice
Dash of fresh lime juice
Dash of jalapeno syrup
Shake all ingredients in a Boston shaker, strain into a tumbler filled with ice and garnish with more chilli. I sometimes add an extra piece of chilli with all the ingredients. When you shake it, you will get extra kick to it.
4 Boozy Hot Mint Chocolate (obviously!)
I can’t think of anything better than strong hot chocolate spiked with some mint vodka! And if you really need something to lift up your mood, just add plenty of whipped cream and marshmallows! If you can’t get your hands on a good-quality mint vodka such as Koskenkorva Minttu, use peppermint schnapps instead and a small measure of vodka. Tequila is also nice with mint.
5 Mulled Drinks
Mulled wine with some sloe gin or vodka, mulled cider with brandy, bourbon or ginger liqueur, a nice hot cup of winter Pimm’s… the list is endless! Call me boring, but I love them all.
If you’re not a fan of red wine try heating up a bottle of white, such as Riesling or Chardonnay, with some brandy and honey. Add bay leaves, cardamom pods and lemon zest and leave it to rest on low heat. Do not allow to boil. This sure will keep you warm during those cold winter evenings.
Best for last.. simple is sometimes the best!
I guarantee you will feel all warm and fuzzy after having a proper hot toddy!! If I feel I might be getting a cold I use my mum’s recipe: Hot water, fresh lemon, honey and a big glug of whisky.
How do you stay warm in winter? What is your secret winter warming recipe?