DIY Hot Drinks for Winter
It’s a good thing there’s no Starbucks or Caribou Coffee across the street from my house, because I have a feeling I’d be living there as much as here in the winter. My house is hard to heat thanks to a two-story living room and foyer. Ugh.
Instead of driving across town or suffering at home, I’ve learned how to make a few drinks that keep me warm, and some of them are healthier than what I’d be getting if I were to hit the drive-thru or plop down on a coffee shop couch near an outlet with my laptop.
Take about a cup of your favorite plain or chocolate milk, whether it’s regular, almond, etc. You can even use unsweetened vanilla (or sweetened vanilla, if you’re feeling crazy) coconut milk. You’ll be adding cocoa powder anyway. Just grab what you have. Right now I’m enjoying some sweetened chocolate almond milk my daughter didn’t like.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don’t bring it to a boil. Toss in a little cinnamon or vanilla extract to taste, then slowly add a heaping tablespoon of your unsweetened cocoa powder of choice (I like Hersey’s Special Dark).
Depending on whether you started out with sweetened milk or you just can’t shut your sweet tooth up, you may want to add a little sugar or Stevia once you pour it into your mug. Flavored syrups also work well, and you can add those right into the milk in the saucepan. Try gingerbread or peppermint for a seasonal touch, and to stave off that Starbucks holiday drink craving.
Torani has a ton of incredible-sounding flavors. If you want a mocha, simply make some double-strength coffee and mix it in.
Eggnog Chai Latte
Go ahead and brew some strong coffee if you prefer dirty chais or need an extra caffeine boost. Pour a 1:1 ratio of eggnog and milk into a saucepan (I like using about two ounces of each), microwaveable cup, or a milk frother.
Once the mixture is hot, add one or two ounces of liquid Oregon Chai Tea Latte to the mix. If you have a handheld milk frother, you can use that once your milk and eggnog mixture is hot (don’t boil it), before adding the chai concentrate. Otherwise a small whisk will do the trick.
Add as much coffee as you’d like, based on your preferences, if any at all.
Heat and/or froth four ounces of milk and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Add 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger, your sweetener of choice (I recommend brown sugar), and a dash of cinnamon to about four to six ounces of coffee and stir.
Pour all of that into the milk. Top it off with whipped cream and then sprinkle nutmeg on top.
Making your drinks at home saves time and money. You don’t even have to get out of your flannel pajamas to get your hands on one.
Photo credit: Espresso Hobbyist