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The 6 Best Snuggly Winter Drinks

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by Danielle Falknor (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in South West London, but i'm frequently travelling. Stay tuned! I pop up in the strangest places.
Published October 7th 2012
Curl up on the couch and stop the sniffles
Duncan Johnson / Cephas Picture Library / Photolibrary

If you're anything like me, the travel to and from work becomes that extra bit difficult when winter comes along.

Not least because the temperature turns arctic in the early morning, but mostly because I'm one of those unfortunate people to whom living in a cold country is a serious problem. Even when lounging on the beach in Spain in high summer, if a cloud covers the sun, I start to shiver and reach for my surfer's jacket. You can only imagine what I'm like though the depths of a London winter.

I look like an Eskimo wrapped in 17 layers of thick fleece, with four pairs of socks on and thick wooly hat. I have had some funny looks from people, but I'm beyond caring. I'm not one of those people who'd freeze for fashion.

Therefore, negotiating frigid train platforms, walking (or skating) through windy and rainy streets, before finally crashing through the office doors, is a journey that I - and most of my colleagues - feel the urgent need to recover from.

Of course, it doesn't help that as soon as we take our coats off, we almost immediately need to put them back on again because some genius decided to keep the air conditioner on its coldest setting even though summer ended months ago! No wonder so many people get sick, I'm lucky I go to work in so many layers.

So the thought of going through all that again on the way home, well lets just say it's a miracle I haven't mutinied or the very least, bolted for the Caribbean as soon as the leaves turned orange.

Collapsing on the sofa at the end of the day, still shivering, my toes numb from the recent walk, the only thing that helps me to warm up is a lovely hot winter drink. Now having gone through all that, a simple 'Tea' just wont cut it and the need for an extra kick to repel those dreaded 'cold' germs becomes priority number one. I have a whole library full of cook books that suggest warm drink recipes that (quite frankly) appear to need a whole army of ingredients and people to make them. So over time, I've simplified my favourites and make them often. I've listed the best of them below, and I have to say, they are all great for warding off the cold and helping to numb the work commute.

They also help you to get over colds and flue's, loosening up the sinuses and warming you from the tips of your head to your toes. As some of them include alcohol, its best not to have too much as you'll go gaga.

I hope you enjoy them, and good luck.

1) Traditional Hot Chocolate

Ingredients: (serves 4)
500ml full-fat milk
7 tbsp hot chocolate mix (or according to packet instructions)
4 tbsp peppermint schnapps / baileys (optional and depending on taste)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 vanilla pod
sugar to taste (I think it comes out sweet enough, so use sparingly)

1) Heat the milk over a low heat in a pan, add the vanilla pod, cinnamon sticks and bring to the boil
2) Add the hot chocolate according to the packet instructions and stir until completely dissolved.
3) Add the peppermint schnapps / baileys and allow it to heat for a couple of minutes before taking the pan off the heat. Do not let it boil.
4) Strain the hot chocolate into two mugs and serve immediately.

2) Hot Toddy

Ingredients: (serves 1)
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp whiskey
2 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 slice of lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
Hot water

1) boil the kettle.
2) Put the honey, whiskey, cloves and half the cinnamon stick in a heatproof glass or mug.
3) Pour the boiling water on top and add the lemon slice and lemon juice.
4) Drink as soon as you can but make sure you don't burn your tongue.

3) Spiced Apple

Ingredients: (serves 8)
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
tsp whole allspice
1 tsp whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
pinch of salt
pinch ground nutmeg
orange, quartered with peel
1 litre apple juice

1) Place the brown sugar, allspice, cloved, cinnamon stick, salt, nutmeg and orange wedges in a medium pan on the hob. Pour apple juice over the ingredients and stir. Heat on a medium setting and bring to the boil. Take the pan off the hob and let it sit until its cool enough to drink.

4) Mulled Wine

Ingredients: (serves 8)
1 bottle of red wine (try for cabernet)
4 cinnamon sticks
grated nutmeg
1 orange, halved
1 bay leaf
5 whole cloves
40g soft dark brown sugar
60ml dark rum / cognac

1) Pour the wine in a saucepan with the orange, sugar, bayleaf and the spices.
2) Heat gently on a low to medium setting until the sugar has dissolved (around 30 minutes). Taste to make sure its sweet enough. Do not boil.
3) Take the pan off the heat, and sir in the rum.
4) Strain into a heatproof glass and serve immediately.

5) Baileys Coffee

Ingredients: (serves 1)
Freshly brewed filter coffee
1 shot of Baileys
1 shot of Irish Whisky
whipped cream

In a glass, combine Baileys and whisky. Top up the glass with filter coffee, and add whipped cream. Sprinkle some hot chocolate powder on top.

6) Hot Lemon & Ginger Brew

Ingredients: (serves 6)
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (do not peel)
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp honey to taste
1 cinnamon stick
500ml hot water

1) Put ginger, lemon juice, lemon slices and cinnamon stick into a saucepan. Pour 500ml boiling water over it and let it simmer for 3 minutes.
2) Put the honey in a mug and strain the tea into the mug.
3) Stir to dissolve the honey, taste and add more if desired.
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Why? To warm up!
Where: Home, Work, Play
Your Comment
Thanks for the recipes - I'll definitely be trying these! The lemon and ginger one sounds especially good.
by Midlands & More (score: 2|560) 3596 days ago
Great winter recipes! Will try all!
by mdelf (score: 0|2) 3594 days ago
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