WARM WINTER BEVERAGE PAIRINGS
Each year around November, we Northern Hemisphere dwellers make the transition from t-shirts to sweatshirts. We exchange our sunglasses and suntan lotion for washer fluid and window scrapers in order to bundle up, bunker down and prepare for the long winter season. But this winter, you won’t need to crank the thermostat and layer on the blankets to keep your body temperature at the perfect 98.6.
Warm your insides with this guide to winter beverages. Open your mind and mouth to brews, treats and nightcaps all with a little extra kick and all with one goal in mind: to warm you up from the inside-out.
The ultimate warming drink. From morning wake-me-ups to post-dinner beverages to first date accompaniments, coffee serves many purposes and is perhaps one of the most popular beverages worldwide. It can be served alongside just about anything at breakfast, such as eggs, toast, fruit, or cereal. At lunch, the same rule applies. Dinner, however, is when coffee takes a little break, only to show up again after the meal has been served. Outside of meals, coffee is typically served with cakes, cookies and crackers, although it has been known to be just as delicious all by itself. Sometimes, coffee drinkers like to spruce up their brew with some Bailey’s Irish Cream, and we say there’s nothing wrong with that!
The drink of eighteenth century England, cider is popular especially in the fall and winter seasons and can be found on kitchen tables morning, noon and night. Though typically made from apples, pear and cranberry ciders have become increasingly popular. No matter the fruit, though, you can count on cider having deliciously warming spices, like nutmeg, cloves, allspice and of course, cinnamon. Hard cider usually contains between 2% and 8% alcohol and is a common substitute for white wine. Food dishes containing chicken, pork or fish as well as spicy foods pair well with cider.
A classic. Believed to be a product of the Mayans more than 2,000 years ago, hot chocolate is a recipe as good as it is old. As far as the ingredients are concerned, this one’s pretty simple: water or milk, chocolate and sugar. Of course, there are variations, including the addition of liqueur and/or tequila, to specialize your hot chocolate experience. No matter the extra ingredients, though, this is one steaming beverage that will always be a good match for cookies, cakes, candy, marshmallows and any other dessert or treat you can imagine.
The original, make-you-feel-better drink. The hot toddy is served exactly as it sounds: piping HOT. Made by combining scotch, boiling water, honey or sugar, citrus and a handful of spices (to taste), hot toddies are traditionally drunk before bedtime to ward off cold and flu bugs. Because it is deemed a nightcap, this beverage isn’t usually paired with anything but a soft pillow and a warm blanket. So instead of that glass of milk, try something with a little more warmth and a little more kick.