What's your warm drink of choice when it's cold out?

With the weather being a bit chilly out I thought it would be appropriate to hear what everyone’s warm drink of choice is on a cold day?

I have a “hot spice tea” recipe from elementary school that has become my staple go to drink if I don’t want more coffee. I’ve also seen it referred to as “friendship tea” and the ratios are almost always different depending on who is making it but the core ingredients are: tang, instant tea (like you would use for iced tea), lemonade powder, cloves, and cinnamon. The sugar content is as you can expect through the roof so have to limit myself on it but it’s a fun treat.

Also old candy canes in a blender then into hot chocolate is always good!

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My boring answer: coffee. If I’m going for a winter walk just making a big coffee, probably throwing in more milk and sugar than I normally would, maybe some flavoured syrup - hard to beat.

The best hot drink in cold weather I’ve had though? Might be mulled wine. One of my fondest memories from my time living in Japan - or heck, ever - was visiting Hokkaido during the Sapporo snow festival. There was a definite “German Christmas market” vibe to some of the food and drink on offer, and plenty of mulled wine to go around.

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One of the things that did not survive the pandemic was the local college bookstore back home making mulled apple cider. That, on a cold day, is ambrosial.

Otherwise I really like some hot cocoa. The Land O’Lakes hot cocoa is remarkably decent for a water-based cocoa. I, at my most Rob Zacny, think the Williams-Sonoma salted caramel hot chocolate is the best I’ve ever had.

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I’m a London Fog man. (An Earl Grey tea latte with vanilla, if the term hasn’t left the Pacific NW yet.) Vanilla and bergamot is an unassailable combination, though a chai that’s heavy on the cardamom and cinnamon is a close second.

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Chai lattes are technically a warm-weather drink, but I always crave them in cold weather. A nice Assam and a bunch of warming spices? Heck, yeah.

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I want someone to make me some kind of horchata hot cocoa.

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I want to try this friendship tea.
My go to is some chai tea latte which I’ve perfected brewing exactly the way I want.

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I am current drinking a cup of Korean honey citron tea while looking out at the snowstorm that I thankfully do not have to go out in.

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Im a huge fan of Jasmine tea and Hibiscus Herbal tea, pretty much my go-tos year round just the amount of ice caries

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When it isn’t coffee I have a version of butter tea. Earl Grey, a little bit of ghee, a pinch of salt and maybe a splash of whatever kind of plant milk is around

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milk tea, coffee, or champurrado

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If I’m at home I usually make a warm chai or lavendar latte.

I will never say no to hot apple cider if it’s offered. Last autumn, I had a delicious hot cup of cider on an apple farm on a cold and cloudy day. Hits real good! Also really love a piping cup of hot chocolate from L.A. Burdick. Very rich flavor. Best cocoa I’ve ever had.

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Hot cider is definitely #1, but I want to add something a little left field… Soup!

So this actually goes back to when I was a kid and my dad did a lot of volunteering with a big cross country ski race in northern Minnesota. One of the volunteer groups would make split pea soup for the skiers, but you’re not going sit down to a bowl during a 50k race, so it was very thin and was served in a cup. The skiers drank it like water or coffee as they went. Despite being thin it was still very tasty, and soup (broth or something a little chunkier) as drink has from now on always been something I enjoy, and is very comforting.

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I usually drink a rotation of rooibus, corn tassel and camomile tea. Hot apple cider also rocks. Also highly recommend making your own hot cocoa mix, you can go basic, just a nice cocoa and sugar or go all out and make something like Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe

Also a big fan of mulled wine and hot sake.

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Hot apple cider is god tier, but while it is always a delicious treat, there are two ideal versions of hot apple cider that rise somehow even higher than the rest. All apple cider is relatively good, but if at all possible buying it from a local orchard is the best option.

Ideal version one is hot apple cider in a paper cup bought from a shack attached to an orchard that must, MUST also come with at least two hot apple cider donuts, one sugared and one plain. These donuts have to be made on premises at the same shack selling you the cider, and they are best handed to you in a brown paper bag that is uncomfortably hot to hold and is already soaked through with grease. Optional bonuses are rows of pumpkins for sale on benches you can sit on and a trash can overflowing with empties that is swarmed by an army of bees.

Ideal version two is hot apple cider that you warm on a stove at home with some mulling spices and pour into a mug yourself. Add bonus points for every check mark on the list; after dark, lightly snowing, drinking in front of an open window, comfortably seated, big chunky blanket, and no work the next morning.

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This has the same energy as the restaurant in my college town near the bars that at 10pm would open up a backdoor doughnut shop out of a steakhouse and whatever the staff came up with was what was for sale that night. They were never normal doughnuts and they were only open as long as they had stock and normally that meant you needed to be there right when it opened.

All the shops/bars near Christmas and New Years give out free wassail so a cup of that plus some homemade fresh doughnuts at night is just a perfect combination.

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There are few things in life as magical as a truly fresh donut. Even a mediocre, bland donut is elevated when you get it still warm from the fryer. Most apple cider donuts when bagged and brought home are still good, but they’re not divine little pillows of hot sugary bliss.

There was a little cafe near North Station in Boston that sold Equal Exchange hot cocoa. I love the dark version, but the spicy version has a considerable cayenne bite to it. If I arrived early for my train home on a cold day I’d get the spicy. They always made it with just the right amount of foam. I always like to keep some of both the dark and the spicy at home.

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