I’ve been talking for the last few weeks about my love of tea. While I find tea to be very relaxing, there are two other hot drinks that I really enjoy in the fall and winter. And I love them in their innocent forms as well as adult versions.
The first is hot apple cider. I love a good hot spiced cider in the fall, but it’s something I have never made on my own before (I think I’m going to need to try it out this year). I usually pick up hot cider while I am out at events. If you ever see me with a hot drink from Starbucks, it’s their Caramel Apple Spice.
Generally I enjoy hot cider with a dash of cinnamon, or a cinnamon stick. I’ve had it with caramel flavoring added (like at Starbucks) and I’ve had it just plain. But to really kick it up a notch, I enjoy an adult version with a little spiced rum added!
My other favorite hot drink is probably pretty obvious… of course it’s hot chocolate! Because so many things go great with chocolate, there is a lot of versatility with this one. I have never made hot chocolate from scratch, though that’s something else to try, but I do doctor up the mixes a bit. While I generally make my hot chocolate with water, I like to add a little milk to the mix before I add the water, not a lot, maybe a tablespoon or so. I’ve only done this with regular cow’s milk, but I think almond milk (especially a vanilla flavor) would also work well.
Sometimes I’ll drink my cocoa just like that. Other times I’ll give it a twist with vanilla, peppermint or raspberry extracts. I might just add a candy cane to the cup, or sometimes drink it with just a topping of whipped cream. The only way you really won’t see me drink hot chocolate is with marshmallows… I am not a fan of marshmallows, unless they are roasted over a campfire.
To really add some fun to hot chocolate, I take it to the adult level and add either a peppermint liqueur or a flavored vodka. One of my favorite combinations is hot chocolate with raspberry vodka, though the vanilla and whipped cream flavors work well too. You could do a lot of other things with hot chocolate as well… maybe some Fireball or an orange liqueur? I just think the flavor of chocolate really lends itself to some great pairings.
What drinks to you enjoy on a cold evening? Do you keep to the innocent side or spice things up a bit and drink adult versions?