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Hot Drinks for Cold Days

Winter is the perfect time to snuggle up by the fire with a good book and a hot drink. So what's in your cup? Coffee and tea are a great place to start, but let's mix it up a bit. Here are some ideas that will bring a little more variety to your favorite mug.

Hot Cocoa: It's a classic for a reason. Spend a little time outside, then come in for something sweet, comforting, and warm. Ditch the packets of Swiss Miss - mix two cups of (whole or 2%) milk with 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Heat in a small saucepan over medium heat until it's warm. But wait, we're not done yet. Add a quarter cup of chocolate chips and a dash of vanilla. Serve it to the kids with whipped cream and mini marshmallows. When no one's looking, serve some to yourself with a bit of irish cream, kahlua, or amaretto.

Hot Toddy: It's the cure for what ails you, especially if what ails you is "not enough whiskey." At its core is a mix of hot water, sugar, and alcohol. Known for knocking out colds and warming you up on a cold night, a hot toddy starts with a mug of boiling water. Stir in two teaspoons of sugar (or the same amount of honey), squeeze in half a lemon, and finish it off with 2 ounces of spirits. Whiskey is traditional, but scotch, bourbon, and rye are all fantastic as well.

Mulled Wine: What's better than red wine in an unbreakable cup? Nothing. What's just as good in a different kind of way? Mulled red wine. The perfect antidote to a cold evening, mulled wine is easy to whip up and perfect for intimate parties. Bring together red wine, citrus, cinnamon, spices, and sweetener, and you've got yourself a rich, warming, and unforgettable drink. We're just going to leave this recipe right here, since they lay it out so much better than we ever could.

Hot Buttered Rum: This is one of those drinks you always hear about but never really try. Well, time to change that. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you'll hate it, but you'll never know unless you try. And yes, it really is what it says on the box: hot rum with spices and butter in it. Epicurious has a great recipe to get you started.

Hot Apple Cider: One more for the kiddos before we go. Cold apple cider is good. Hot apple cider is better. Hot apple cider mulled with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and orange is best. Top it off with some whipped cream and you basically have an apple pie in a cup. It's sweet, warming, and just about the perfect way to end a day of sledding and snowman making. Enjoy!


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