Delightful Hot Drink Recipes for Cold Days and Nights

On a chilly evening, it’s hard to beat a hot drink and crackling fire. Whether you’re fall and winter camping or looking for a way to warm up indoors, we’ve got a dozen delicious drink recipes. If you’re camping, some of these recipes can be made ahead of time, packed in a cooler, and reheated at camp on a stove or fire. Cheers!

Mulled Apple Cider

This spiced apple cider makes enough to serve a group.

Ingredients:

  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 5 whole allspice berries
  • 6 whole cloves
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 8 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. Use a vegetable peeler to peel the orange zest in long strips.
  2. Put orange peels, apple cider, honey, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger slices in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a simmer and then continue simmering for 30 minutes (uncovered).
  3. Serve warm with cinnamon sticks.

Malted Milk Hot Chocolate

Make ordinary hot cocoa taste like a chocolate malt! This recipe is for a dry mix you can use anytime.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1 1/2 cups malted milk powder
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, sift together all the ingredients.
  2. Store mix in an airtight container. To make one cup of hot cocoa: Pour 1/4 cup hot cocoa mix in a mug. Add 1 cup hot water or hot milk and stir until combined.

Hazelnut Hot Chocolate

This Nutella-inspired hot chocolate is best served fresh. This recipe makes enough for two.

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons hazelnut spread
  • whipped cream

Directions:

  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup milk and hazelnut spread over low heat, stirring until combined.
  2. Add 2 cups milk and whisk until frothy. Pour into two mugs and top with whipped cream.

Spiced Cranberry Cider

This stovetop cider makes enough for a large group.

Ingredients:

  • 2 quarts cranberry juice
  • zest from 2 oranges
  • 14 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups whole fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. Pour the cranberry juice into a large stockpot or Dutch oven. Add the zest, cloves, cranberries, vanilla, honey, and cinnamon sticks.
  2. Simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Vanilla Chai

This recipe makes a bottle of chai concentrate. Add it to milk to make a chai latte!

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups water
  • 10 bags black tea
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 7 whole cardamom pods
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:

  1. Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, star anise, cloves, black pepper, nutmeg, and orange zest. Let the tea and spices steep for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Use a fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth to strain out the spices and tea.
  3. Stir the brown sugar, honey, and vanilla into the tea concentrate. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator or make a tea latte. To make a chai tea latte: Mix 1 part tea concentrate with 1 part milk. Heat in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until hot.

Cinnamon Vanilla Steamer

This sweetened milk is a good alternative for kids (or adults!) who don’t like chocolate.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Combine the milk and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, whisking until it’s warm. (Don’t let the milk come to a boil.)
  2. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Whisk the milk until it’s frothy. Then pour it into a mug and top with cinnamon.

Gingerbread Lattes

This slow cooker recipe makes enough servings for the whole family (and then some).

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • pinch of cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 1/2 cups strong coffee
  • whipped cream

Directions:

Pour all the ingredients (except the whipped cream) in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 3 hours or until heated through. (Make sure it doesn’t boil.) Serve in mugs and top with whipped cream.

Hibiscus Punch

This sweet and tangy punch makes a great winter warm-up.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 2 cups dried hibiscus
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of nutmeg

Directions:

  1. In a large stockpot, stir together water, dried hibiscus, sugar, cloves, cinnamon sticks, vanilla, and nutmeg.
  2. Let simmer on low heat for 30 minutes.
  3. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh strainer. Serve with cinnamon sticks.

Hot Buttered Rum

Try this classic seasonal drink during the winter months. Serves 4.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 cups pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 ounces rum

Directions:

  1. Make the spiced butter: In a small dish, mix the butter, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.
  2. Heat the pineapple juice in the microwave or on the stovetop.
  3. For each serving, stir together 1/2 cup hot pineapple juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 ounce of rum. Top with a pat of the spiced butter.

Wassail

Wassail is a classic holiday drink from England. This recipe makes enough for 12.

Ingredients:

  • 12 whole cloves
  • 6 whole allspice
  • 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 whole white peppercorns
  • 1 gallon fresh apple cider
  • 6 oz. cranberry juice
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 oz. bourbon (per drink)

Directions:

  1. Wrap the cloves, allspice, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and peppercorns in a cheesecloth and tie with kitchen string.
  2. In a large stockpot, stir together the cider, cranberry juice, brown sugar. Add the bag of spices and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. To make the drink: Add 1 oz. of bourbon to a mug and fill the rest of the way with hot Wassail. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Hot Toddy

Sometimes simple is best. This recipe makes a single serving.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. hot water
  • 1 1/2 oz. Irish whiskey
  • 1 oz. honey syrup

Directions:

For each serving, combine the hot water, Irish whiskey, and honey syrup. Top each Hot Toddy with a lemon slice.

Maple Irish Coffee

Try this northern twist on a familiar favorite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 ounces Irish whiskey
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • 6 oz. freshly brewed hot coffee
  • whipped cream

Directions:

For each drink, pour the whiskey and maple syrup into a mug. Add about a tablespoon of coffee and stir until the syrup is dissolved. Then add the rest of the coffee and top with whipped cream.