Warm Winter Beverages
December 29, 2018
It’s winter, and the air outside the apartments in Bellevue has gotten chillier. During times like these, turning up the heat is a natural response, but for many, so is brewing a delicious warm drink and curling up under a blanket. If you consider yourself part of that second camp, we’ve got what you need today, as we’re going to be covering a whole list of delicious winter concoctions, along with some amazing recipes for each. These options will cover both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic varieties, so no matter what your fancy there’s something here for you.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate, with that south-of-the-border twang. Mexican Hot Chocolate is usually made with cacao nibs, sugar, and cinnamon, and might include additional spices like nutmeg, allspice, and chilies. You can even throw in some nuts for good measure, and a pretty good variation on this classic recipe can be found over on Girl Gone Country.
It’s an easy formula to follow. Take your milk and let it simmer in that sauce pot. Add your cacao powder and cinnamon, then turn off the heat. Stir it up, throw it back on the burner, let it melt, then add that chile powder and whip cream before you serve it. All told, it should take you ten minutes to make this drink, and it’s a warm and pleasing addition to any winter day.
Vin Brulé (Mulled Wine)
Mulled wine of all varieties adds some spice to the already smooth taste of a sweet red, and this Vin Brulé recipe, from Eataly, is a favorite for the Christmas season and beyond. Traditionally, you need to grab some bottled red wine, then gather up your flavor enhancers: orange, lemon, anise stars, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamom seeds, and brandy (more adventurous sorts might substitute that brandy with some good old-fashioned bourbon, if they dare).
The recipe is easy to follow, but keep in mind it will take a bit of time to prepare (about 40 minutes). After rinsing your orange and lemon, you’ll want to take those rinds and throw them in the pot with your wine and other ingredients. Heat it up and stir with a wooden spoon. Right before your mixture gets to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, turn off the heat and cover it up for about 20 minutes. Add the brandy (or bourbon) then stir again. Strain the mixture, then serve with an orange or lemon wedge.
Moroccan Mint Tea
Hot, nutritious, and, of course, minty, Moroccan Mint Tea is a welcome mixture on any cold day, and one that’s pretty straightforward to prepare too. We’re looking at a recipe from The Spruce, which explains that this drink is basically just green tea with a bunch of spearmint thrown into the mix, and while you can forego the fancy Moroccan teapot and glassware if you want to keep it basic, what you’ll absolutely need are your ingredients: green gunpowder tea, mint, sugar, and additional herbs for spicing up the blend.
Rinse your pot, boil your water, then add your gunpowder green tea to the teapot. Let it sit for a minute, then pour it into your glass. You’ll save this tea for the moment while you wash your tea leaves and add another tea glass worth of water into the pot. After that, wash your mint and additional herbs (like sheba). Now, you’ll fill your pot with boiling water (and that initial glass of tea you saved from the beginning of the process). Add your sugar and other ingredients, heat it all up, and serve. You can add a sprig of mint to decorate your glass, then enjoy.
The Hot Toddy
If you’ve ever had a cold, then it’s likely someone recommended the Hot Toddy to you as a possible remedy for your symptoms at some point, as the drink does a pretty good job at naturally relieving some of the awfulness that goes along with being sick. Cookie & Kate has the lowdown on how to make the most classic rendition of this drink, with the most basic ingredients you’ll need: hot water, honey, lemon, and a generous helping of delicious whiskey.
Warm your water in a pot, then pour it into your mug. Add your whiskey, honey, and lemon juice in the proportions that are most satisfying to you, and stir until the honey has completely dissolved into the mixture. Add a lemon round or cinnamon stick for garnish, and you’re done! Now, there are some variations you can make, like substituting maple syrup for honey, or using brandy or rum instead of whiskey, but overall, the process for making this drink is about as simple as they come. Enjoy!
Vanilla Cafe Latte
So you want to try a fancy winter drink? Check out this Vanilla Cafe Latte from Midwest Living, then, because it’ll likely satisfy your desire for luxury while remaining simple enough to pull off at home. You’ll need strong coffee or espresso, vanilla syrup, sugar, vanilla, steamed milk, and frothed milk. You can add some ground cinnamon or grated chocolate to top it off and add that extra touch of class.
Take your coffee/espresso and stir in some vanilla syrup, then add your steamed milk and top it off with the frothed milk. If you’re curious on how to get said frothy milk, you’ll be delighted to know you can make this yourself by using the steam wand on your espresso machine, or by taking hot milk and throwing it into the blender. Finish this drink off by adding that cinnamon (or chocolate) and enjoy at a leisurely pace.
Keep It Cozy at the Apartments in Bellevue
If you’re looking to stay comfortable and relaxed throughout the winter, or any time of year really, there’s no place finer than Hyde Square. Whatever drink you’re whipping up for the cold weather, imagine how much nicer it’d taste while you’re lounging about in one of the area’s finest apartment buildings. Check out what Hyde Square is all about — the premier location for living in wonderful Bellevue.