I love a good hot beverage. Whether it is to wake me up in the morning, relax me in the evening or just to keep me from turning into a popsicle on a cold winter day, hot drinks are the best. In South Africa, it is currently heading towards summer, so the temperature outside isn’t really conducive to drinking things that steam. It’s already so hot outside that rain steams off the road two hours after the storm started, so a steaming hot cup of tea isn’t exactly what you’d like. However, I’m not in South Africa right now. I’m on a little trip to the US of A for college-related reasons and much to my body’s despair and my tea obsession’s joy, it is wintery as can be this side of the world. So, in lieu of the fact that I’m spending a lot of time outside of beautifully heated buildings wearing many layers of protective thermals, the only thing keeping me going is the steady stream of hot beverages gracing my gloved hands. Today I will be chatting about the best hot drinks for wintery days – sharing my favourite steamy drinks with you and giving you a list for just in case you end up somewhere cold and need something hot and delicious to keep your spirits high and your hands warm. I hope you enjoy it!
This is probably my favourite hot drink ever. It is tea, so already heading towards the top of my beverage list. It is also readily available all year round, super easy to make, and it tastes like Christmas! What’s not to like? Chai latte is an excellent drink for any tea fan, spice fan (not spicy spices like turmeric but more like festive spices like ginger, cinnamon and cloves), or creamy, frothy drink fan. Not recommended for people who have issues with milk though because it is a relatively milky drink. You can buy chai lattes at almost any cafe, but if you aren’t in the mood to spend money eight times a day to feed your hot drink addiction, chai’s are super easy to make. You can just as easily get a restaurant-quality drink at home if you take the extra few minutes. So, if I’m looking for a hot drink, you can bet that one of the first ones I’ll go for will be a chai.
A drink that never dies and can never truly leave a person’s heart is hot chocolate. There is just something so comforting about a steaming mug of chocolatey goodness, topped with something super sweet and super delicious. Hot chocolate is an excellent wintery drink because it warms you right up and puts a smile on your face because who can help but smile when you taste hot and chocolate at the same time? At the end of the day, though, you really can’t beat a classic, and whether you are a young child or an adult, everyone will reach for a cup of hot chocolate eventually.
Hot chocolate varieties
Who says you can’t take a classic and give it a little oomph? Not that the classic had anything wrong with it, but sometimes it can be nice to take an old favourite and add a few bells and whistles to make it new and exciting. There are so many ways to mix up the classic hot chocolate recipe if the standard cup just isn’t doing it for you anymore. You can use white chocolate, add different flavours like strawberry or toffee. You could give it a kick by spicing it up – ever heard of Mexican hot chocolate. Add cinnamon, Nutella, caramel, marshmallows, fruity flavours, peppermint, or even a tot of whiskey (not for underage drinkers please – non-alcoholic hot chocolate is more delicious in my opinion). Hot chocolate is such a great way to toast you up in the winter months so if you need to mix it up a little, go for it.
Green tea is another excellent drink all-year-round and a great way to warm up. Firstly, being a hot tea beverage, it will, of course, warm you up. But, what I love about green tea is it gives you that caffeine hit, the energy to get out of your warm bed and out into the cold world without needing to put one drop of coffee on your lips. Now I do understand that I’m weird and most people prefer a hot cup of coffee to tea any day, but if you are looking for a herbal, healthy hot drink to have that has just as much caffeine as coffee, green tea is the way to go. If the weather is cold and you need a drink to get you out of bed or keep your energy and heat levels up during the day, then this is the drink I would recommend for you.
Pumpkin spiced latte
Who doesn’t love pumpkin?? I’m not sure how many of you read my Halloween blog posts, but I made my love of pumpkin pretty clear and that a great thing to do around the autumn season is to have a pumpkin-spiced scavenger hunt. Well, a pumpkin spiced latte counts right? Another unfortunate thing is that I don’t get to experience much pumpkin-spiced anything in South Africa, so I make sure to overload whenever I’m overseas and get the chance. Autumn is usually when the weather starts to chill off, and pumpkins start appearing, so if you’re looking for a tasty, seasonal hot beverage, then why not try a pumpkin spiced latte? It’s hot, is really a flavoured coffee drink, tastes like pumpkin and has a bit of festive spice to it. Plus, it really does taste like Autumn in a cup, doesn’t it?
Okay. Let’s be real. I don’t drink coffee. I only ever drink coffee when it is the only way I can indulge in seasonal festive beverages, or when I have too much work to do and have to stay up all night. So, I’m not really the best person to be advertising coffee because I couldn’t tell the difference between dirt-like instant coffee and imported roasted coffee bean coffee from Ethiopia. (My whole family would be ashamed of me for admitting that, but it is the cold, hard truth). However, as much as I am not a coffee drinker, I do know that coffee is a much-needed and favourite beverage, especially on a wintery day. Plus, what is so great about coffee is that there are so many ways to drink it and so many different flavours you can add to it. I mean, my parents both drink double espressos, so strong that it makes my eyes water. My boyfriend prefers a cappuccino and me, the baby will only drink hot chocolate with a shot of espresso, or maybe a festive coffee drink. But, if you look at that, all of us are essentially drinking the same thing. Coffee. Our cups are just dressed up a little differently. So, if you like coffee and need a hot beverage, I will at least give it credit that it is probably the most versatile hot drink ever.
THIS BEVERAGE SHOULD NOT BE CONSUMED BY UNDERAGE COLD PEOPLE LOOKING FOR A HOT DRINK (because this blog does not promote that kind of thing). Right, now that that is out of the way, just for safety reasons, mulled wine can actually be a very satisfying drink to warm you up. IF you are of age. Mulled wine has a way of warming your entire body in just one sip, and if you just think you can only drink standard mulled wine, you’ll be surprised to know that there are many ways to spice it up. You could add some cinnamon or orange, or anything really, to this toasty and tasty winter staple. Especially if you are wandering through a market, having a small cup of this in your hands will definitely keep the chill off long enough for you to get home to a real heater.
Tea in general
I’ve talked about chai tea, I’ve talked about green tea, but that is not even the tip of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to tea. What is essentially a cup of flavoured/seasoned boiling water, tea is the perfect drink to warm you up when the chill is getting to you. However, the real reasons why tea is the best hot drink for winter go far deeper than it just being hot water and herbs. In winter, people tend to get sick more often. We comfort eat in the winter, meaning we could gain a little wait and we also don’t tend to stay as hydrated because it isn’t as hot outside. Well, tea can solve all of these issues. Many teas have anti-oxidants that can help alleviate certain flu symptoms. Teas can also help suppress your appetite and boost your metabolism, and lastly, tea can help you stay hydrated during the long winter months. There aren’t many reasons to not have tea as your number one hot beverage to drink when it’s cold.
Last but not least, how could I forget the festive specials? When it is cold out, that means that we are heading towards festive celebrations (in the northern hemisphere at least). The Autumn season brings all sorts of pumpkin-flavoured and spiced drinks to cafe menus and Christmas has its own plethora of festive tastes that get spilt over into the hot beverages we consume. When the cold is coming, and the Christmas lights start going up, how can you not indulge in at least treating yourself to a drink that matches the time of year? So, for my last best hot ‘drink’ to have on a winter day, I’d say get into the holiday spirit and grab a hot cup of something festive. After all, the drinks only come around once a year, so why not enjoy keeping yourself warm with something a little extraordinary?
And there you have it! Thank you all so much for reading today’s blog post, I really hope you enjoyed it. If it is getting cold near you, please don’t forget to stay warm and I hope you get to enjoy a cup of something on this list sometime soon. If it isn’t winter for your part of the world, wait until the heat of the day cools off a little and then enjoy a hot beverage. Or just wait until winter. For my question today:
- What is your favourite hot drink for a winter day?
Again, thank you all so much for reading. If you enjoyed it, please don’t forget to hit that little like button at the end of this post, and subscribe so that you don’t miss out on future posts. That’s all I have for today though so with a hot drink in my hand, cheers everyone!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx