Relax With These Warm Wintertime Drinks

hot chocolate drink in clay mug
Staying in on these winter evenings? Get cozy and warm up after dinner with any of these hot and relaxing homemade drinks.

Jasmine and Ginger Tea

On its own, jasmine tea is already a relaxing hot drink, but adding a few aromatic ingredients will enhance the flavor and imbue your home with a soothing scent in the process. The next time you heat up water for tea, accompany your loose-leaf jasmine with a few frozen berries, star anise, a cinnamon stick, ginger, cloves, and even a little orange peel or wedge.  It will all need to steep together for just a few minutes in your tea pot, then it’s ready to pour.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

Yes, you can buy hot chocolate mix at nearly any grocery store, but if you’d like to build on the basics, there’s no substitute for the full flavors of this Mexican hot chocolate.  If you enjoy hot beverages with a little spice, you could add a modest pinch of cayenne powder as the recipe suggests. This would actually make the drink a bit more similar to one of the world’s first chocolate beverages, but the hot chocolate is also just fine if you omit the chile pepper punch.

Italian Coffee

Let your taste buds travel the next time you want caffeine. This Italian coffee is inspired by a preparation common in the Friuli region, and features both chocolate and caramel for a delicious dessert drink. You’ll need to make caramel out of sugar and salt, then stir in coffee and reduce it down for a few minutes. Let it cool in a bowl, then mix in mascarpone cheese and cream. Finally, serve the creamy coffee with a little chocolate on top.

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Here in Texas, Mexican hot chocolate isn’t the only wintertime beverage with a long regional history. Champurrado offers that rich chocolate flavor with a decidedly different texture. It’s technically an atole, a very old style of drink made with nixtamalized corn flour, or masa harina. This gives it a thick yet smooth consistency, while a little bit of cinnamon adds a wonderful aromatic note. You’ll get extra points for presentation if you serve it in a charming little clay mug!

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