Now that it’s really and truly wintertime here at Bates College, what with it being January and all, I find myself craving warmth. Not heat, but warmth; the kind that you get when you drink something warm and there’s a nice glow in your stomach that just radiates through the rest of you and keeps you all toasty inside-out.
There are so many options for this, so I thought I’d share for my fellow warm drink appreciators.
Hot apple cider is more of an autumnal drink, but it’s worth the addition to the list since it’s delicious. What other reason do you need?
Hot chocolate is always a classic option, and I particularly love that there are so many ways to (literally and figuratively) spice up your drink. You can add some chocolate chips for a richer texture or some nutmeg or cinnamon for a spiced version. I’ve also been known to put a peppermint at the bottom of my mug so that the warm drink melts it slowly and I get the eventual taste of mint mixing with the chocolate. Yum. For those of you who are of age, try adding some red wine, Kahlua, or, my personal favorite alcoholic addition, Bailey’s, for something extra fun. Marshmallows and/or whipped cream are always a solid addition to hot chocolate, of course.
Tea is a great choice for those of you who aren’t feeling the chocolate vibe, and there are so many different types of teas you can try: herbal, floral, citrus, fruity (technically citrus is a type of fruit but it has a very different taste so I made that its own category), and so many others. You can’t really go wrong with a nice cup of tea. Plus, some teas have caffeine, which is a good and sometimes necessary kick in the morning.
Technically, a London Fog latte is a tea drink, but it’s a fancy tea drink, so it needed its own point. For those of you who don’t know, a London Fog latte is Earl Grey tea with steamed milk. To get extra fancy, add some lavender and vanilla. If you can’t get steamed milk or milk foam, you can heat up milk in a saucepan on the stove, and while it won’t be as thick and frothy, it’ll do the trick.
Obviously, coffee has to go on the list. Caffeine is a necessary evil for some, but it doesn’t need to be boring! There is no end to the different types of coffee drinks that exist: mocha, cappuccino, latte, Americano, flat white, etc. And as with hot chocolate, you can add spices or alcohol (but only if you’re of age for the alcohol; I again recommend Kahlua or Bailey’s) to the drink to make it especially delicious.
You could even make an Irish coffee, which is coffee, Irish whiskey, and brown sugar mixed together, followed up with a dollop of cream (usually whipped cream). This is usually served in a tall glass mug, and it’s delightful. Again, only for those of you who are of age.
I spent a semester abroad in Denmark and while I was there, I was introduced to gløgg, i.e. mulled wine with spices. It’s delicious, it smells great, and it’s super easy to customize to your liking. It’s typically made with red (and sometimes also white) wine in a big pot on a stove, and you add in cloves, cinnamon, lemon peels, star anise, sugar (to taste), and almonds (although if you’re allergic like me, maybe keep those out). A friend of mine once added a whole peeled orange to the pot, and it was delightful.