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Delicious Winter Drinks to Try This Holiday Season

As the weather gets colder and the holiday season approaches, I have been eager to drink some warm, cozy drinks. While I am a sucker for unique drinks from Starbucks and Peet’s Coffee, I also love experimenting with my own. Here is a list of some of my favorite drinks from coffee shops, along with some fun recipes I’ve been making at home. So grab a seat by the fire, put your favorite holiday movie on, and cozy up with these delicious winter drinks:

1. Chai

Chai will forever remind me of my family. Every Christmas, we all sit by the fire, open presents, and drink a fresh cup of chai. Here is our famous family recipe we make every year:


  • Tetley Chai (Looseleaf is best, but teabags can work as well)
  • 2-3 small bits of cardamom
  • One clove
  • A quarter of a cinnamon stick
  • Some shredded ginger
  • Milk (For those who are lactose intolerant, almond milk and macadamia nut milk are great alternatives)


  1. Boil a cupful of water (equivalent to the number of cups you’re making) in a pot on the stove.
  2. Add in the cardamom, clove, ginger and cinnamon.
  3. Add one spoon of tea leaves to the water.
  4. Pour as much milk as you’d like! I don’t precisely measure it, but a good way to gauge how much to add is to pour until you see the chai’s color change to a light brown (dark brown if you like your tea strong).
  5. Wait for it to boil up (make sure to take it off the stove before it overflows!)
  6. Use a strainer and pour the chai into your teacups.


2. Ghiradelli Premium Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is perhaps one of the most popular winter drinks out there! Not to mention, there are so many options when it comes to flavors, richness, etc. In the past few years, I have gone through many boxes of hot chocolate. But, none of them were as delicious as the Ghiradelli Premium Hot.

Here are the steps to creating the most decadent, comforting cup of cocoa:

  1. Pour the hot chocolate powder into a cup.
  2. Boil some water or milk and pour over the powder, stirring well. (For a dairy replacement, I use almond milk! But you can use whatever works for you.)
  3. Add some marshmallows or whipped cream.
  4. Place a peppermint candy cane over the side of the mug, and you have the perfect cup of hot cocoa!

Here are some of my favorite drinks from coffee shops:

  • From Starbucks, I get the Caramel Apple Spice with cinnamon, whipped cream and caramel drizzle. It tastes just like a delicious cup of hot cider!
  • From Inklings Coffee and Tea, a local shop in Pleasanton, CA, I love the Lavender Latte! It’s got some delicious herbal notes and is the perfect warm drink for a chilly day.
  • Celestial Seasonings has a brand of Sleepy Time Herbal Tea that I love. I recommend stirring in some local honey to this and drinking it right before going to bed.

With the pandemic, this holiday season is challenging for many. But sometimes, the smallest things, such as a warm cup of hot cocoa, can bring some much-needed joy to the holiday season. Tag us @HerCampusSJSU on Instagram if you try any of these delicious winter drinks!

Journalism major and marketing minor with a passion for storytelling.
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