Winter is well on its way, and most people are feeling chilly and in need of a hot drink. Hot drinks can go much further than the expected (and boring) plain tea and coffee. There are many delicious recipes that can help you turn your warming drink into a luxurious treat.
Marc Zboch, a seasoned world traveler, shares 5 tasty hot drinks that will keep you warm and satisfied throughout the cold winter months. They will bring you a touch of global flavors as well as comfort you on a cool day.
1. The Marc Thomas
Zboch was inspired to create his favorite tea drink, the Marc Thomas, through his travels to northern India and Grenada, a Caribbean island. Zboch’s creation combines the subtle flavors of a high-quality black tea with the complex taste of bitters.
Creating a Marc Thomas is easy. First, brew a cup of black tea, preferably a high-end variety like Darjeeling. After steeping the tea for 3 minutes, add 3 dashes of quality bitters. This sophisticated recipe will warm and relax you.
2. Matcha Tea Latte
Matcha, a Japanese green tea powder, has become highly popular over the past several years. This ingredient has a slightly bitter taste which will combine deliciously with sugar and milk.
To make a matcha tea latte, combine 1 teaspoon of the matcha powder with 2 teaspoons of sugar and mix well. Then add 3 tablespoons of warm water and mix it with a whisk or a spoon to make sure it forms a smooth, dark green paste with no lumps. To make a warm latte, warm 300 milliliters or about 1 ¼ cups of milk in a saucepan on the stove or use a milk frother.
3. Slow Cooker Mulled Apple Cider
Hot cider is one of the great pleasures of living in New England in the fall and winter, but you can get the flavor of this treat anywhere as long as you can get your hands on fresh apple cider that contains no added spices or sugar. Unfiltered apple juice will also make a good substitute.
In order to make this treat, first, fill your slow cooker with apple cider. Add fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, cloves, star anise, black peppercorns, and allspice berries to a cheesecloth sachet or coffee filter and float the sachet in your slow cooker. Putting the spices in the cloth or coffee filter will save you from having to strain the cider before your guests enjoy it. You can also add a whole sliced orange for color and extra flavor.
Slow cook your cider for 4 hours on the appliance’s Low setting. If you need to remove clumps of spices, you can strain the liquid through a cheesecloth or fine mesh strainer. The nice thing about using the slow cooker is that you can not only warm your cider in it, you can also set it out for your guests to help themselves and the cider will stay warm all night.
4. Himalayan Salt Butter Tea
This recipe comes from the mountainous Asian country of Bhutan. Bhutan is terribly cold in the wintertime, and people add rich natural fats like cream and butter to their tea to stay warmer. In Bhutan, it is typically served as an after-dinner drink.
To make Himalayan Salt Butter Tea, first, boil 4 cups of water. Simmer 2 tea bags for 5-10 minutes to achieve the desired strength. Remove your tea bags and pour the tea into a blender. Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, ⅔ cup half and half, and 1 teaspoon of pink Himalayan salt. Let the butter melt in the warm tea before you turn on the blender. Blend for 2-3 minutes, pour into a tea glass, and enjoy.
5. Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte
The pumpkin spice trend may have come and gone, but you can still enjoy this tasty drink year-round. Making a pumpkin spice chai latte is easy, and it will have less caffeine than the version you might find at your local coffee shop.
In a small saucepan, gently boil ½ cup of water. Remove your water from the heat, add your chai tea bag, and steep for 4 minutes. Squeeze the remaining water out of the teabag.
Add ½ cup of plain, unsweetened almond milk (or your milk of choice), 2 tablespoons of real pumpkin puree, 1 tablespoon of honey or real maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, ¼ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice (or you can make your own using ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger, ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon, a dash of cloves, and a dash of nutmeg) to the pot. Put in one tiny dash of salt.
Blend this mixture in a stand blender for a minute or two. Pour the mixture back into your pan and heat it up gently, then serve. You can top this drink with whipped cream, a cinnamon stick, or a piece of star anise.
Staying Warm This Winter
These 5 tasty drinks will keep you and your guests toasty warm all winter long. Including some of these global flavors in your hot drink repertoire will give your taste buds something new to look forward to. Marc Zboch wants you to enjoy these recipes.