December 14, 2011

Winter-Warming Drinks – For Adults and Kids

As winter sets in, warm drinks become a favorite way to beat the chill. Whether it’s just for you or for a crowd, for kids or adults, there are bound to be some creative and flavorful winter drinks you can make. Here are some ideas and recipes.

Drinks for Adults (Alcoholic)

Celebrate the holidays or just warm up with these warm alcoholic drinks.

1. Creamy Chocolate Mint

Serves 1

* 1 scoop chocolate ice cream
* 1 tablespoon peppermint Schnapps (or to taste)
* 1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur (or to taste)

Place ice cream in a large mug and microwave at 15-second intervals, stirring occasioinally, until very warm. Stir in Schnapps and chocolate liqueur. Serve warm with a peppermint stick.

2. Maple Hot Toddy

This drink can be fairly versatile, using whiskey, rum, bourbon or brandy. This version for 1 serving uses bourbon.

* 2 tablespoons bourbon
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice
* 1 tablespoon maple syrup
* 1/2 cup hot tea or water
* Lemon wedge

Mix all ingredients in a mug and serve warm with a lemon wedge.

Drinks for Kids (Non-Alcoholic)

Think beyond hot chocolate for these warm and yummy kids’ drinks this winter.

1. Dairy-Free Hot Carob Drink

For kids with dairy or chocolate allergies, there’s no need to be left out of the tasty hot drink scene! Here’s a recipe that you can make for a child with allergies. Serves 2.

* 2 tablespoons carob powder (unsweetened)
* 2 cups vanilla almond milk, rice milk, or soy milk (for a unique taste treat, use coconut milk)
* 3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice or brown sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, heat the nut/grain milk until hot. Remove about 1/3 cup of the hot liquid into a separate bowl and whisk in the carob powder until dissolved. Whisk the carob mixture back into the pan and stir in the rest of the ingredients, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Serve hot with a marshmallow.

2. Vanilla Chai

This recipe calls for cow’s milk, but you can substitute a nut or grain milk if you like. Serves 2.

* 2 cups milk
* 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla extract
* 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cloves and nutmeg
* 2 teaspoons honey or sugar (reduce or eliminate if using sweetened nut or grain milk)

Heat milk in a saucepan. Whisk in spices, vanilla, and honey; heat through, and serve in a mug.

Non-Alcoholic Drinks for All Ages

Here are some non-alcoholic drinks for adults to enjoy this winter.

1. Coffee Nog

Simple but rich and delicious.

* Strong coffee (plain)
* 1/4 cup eggnog
* Whipped cream for garnish (optional)
* Ground nutmeg (optional)

Pour the eggnog into a mug. Stir in the hot coffee. Top with whipped cream and a pinch of ground nutmeg, if desired.

2. Hot Custard

Creamy and different, try this nutritious drink at breakfast. This would work well for kids, too.

* 3/4 cup milk
* 1 egg
* 1 teaspoon honey or sugar, or to taste
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat the milk in a saucepan. As it heats, break the egg into a bowl or measuring cup and add sugar; beat egg and sugar well with a fork or whisk. When milk is hot, stir it very slowly into the beaten egg and sugar mixture, whisking constantly. Strain the mixture into a mug, add vanilla, and stir.

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Alexis Rodrigo