As the days grow shorter and nights colder, a comforting hot drink is the best way to keep cozy. Here are some of our favourite recipes for winter nights spent by the fire.
Wrapping your hands around a glass of steaming glühwein as you watch the snow fall is deﬁnitely one of the best things to enjoy in winter.
1 x 750-ml bottle full-bodied red wine
100 ml/scant 1⁄2 cup brandy
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 orange, sliced
1 lemon, sliced
50–75 g/1⁄4 cup – generous1⁄3 cup caster/superﬁne sugar, to taste
Put all the ingredients in a large pan with 250 ml/generous 1 cup water – adjusting the quantity of sugar used to taste.
Heat gently until the sugar dissolves, then serve ladled into mugs or heatproof glasses, adding a few slices of the orange and lemon to each serving.
Hazelnut Hot Chocolate
This drink is a must for hazelnut chocolate spread lovers. It is rich and creamy with a hit of warming hazelnut liqueur. Sprinkled with toasted hazelnuts too, this is an utterly nutterly hot chocolate treat and it is equally delicious without the alcohol if you prefer.
100 g milk chocolate, chopped
500 ml milk
1 heaped tablespoon chocolate hazelnut spread (such as Nutella)
4–7 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
200 ml double cream, whipped
1 tablespoon finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat gently over a low heat until melted.
Place the milk in a saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Add the melted chocolate and chocolate hazelnut spread to the pan and simmer over low heat, whisking all the me with a small tubular whisk, until the chocolate is combined. Remove from the heat and add the hazelnut liqueur to taste, if using. (Do not do this over the heat as the alcohol will evaporate.)
Pour the hot chocolate into 2 cups or heatproof glasses. Add a spoonful of whipped cream to the top of each serving. Sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts and serve at once.
Mocha Maple Coffee
Coffee and chocolate make perfect partners as this delicious drink proves. The addition of a sweet, maple-flavoured cream float and an optional chocolate liqueur, makes this the perfect after-dinner drink.
125 ml whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
500 ml freshly brewed hot coffee (Americano/long black)
2 shots crème de cacao (chocolate liqueur) or chocolate syrup
Grated dark chocolate, to garnish
Lightly whisk the whipping cream and maple syrup together using a small tubular whisk, until the mixture is foamy and has thickened slightly.
Pour the freshly brewed coffee into 2 heatproof glasses or cups and add a shot of crème de cacao or chocolate syrup to each one, as preferred.
Slowly layer the maple cream over the surface of the coffees using a flat-bottomed spoon – this method will help it to ‘float’ on the surface of the drink. Sprinkle with grated chocolate and serve at once.
Hot Apple Cider with Sloe Gin
A cold, crisp day calls for a warm stiff drink and a hot apple cider is just the tipple for a warming pit-stop. If you have a juicer then try making your own cloudy apple juice/soft apple cider. With its perfect blend of autumn fruits, heady spices and optional sloe gin, this really is all things nice.
400 ml dry cider
100 ml cup cloudy apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, sliced
30 ml sloe gin (optional)
demerara sugar, to taste (optional)
Put the cider, apple juice, cloves and cinnamon sticks into a large saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Turn off the heat as soon as it starts to bubble, then add the orange slices and sloe gin, if using. Add a little sugar, if it needs it, then pour into heatproof glasses or punch cups and serve at once.