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Sip ‘n Snuggle: 12 Hot Drinks for Cold Days

Baby, it’s cold outside, but you don’t have to be.

Sweater girl holding a mug.
Girl in a sweater holding a mug. Credit: Shutterstock/rfranca

Rain or shine, there will always be cold days, which means it’s time to brew something hot.

There are the people who enjoy cold drinks and desserts in the cold weather, but there are also people who need something hot. 

The first hot drink we think of is usually either tea, coffee, or hot chocolate, but there’s so many more options than that. While the three drinks stated are always a good choice in a pinch, sometimes we feel like trying something new. If you’re looking to branch out, I’ve got you covered.

Here are 12 ideas to get you started.

1. Champurrado

@cooking.con.claudia

CHAMPURRADO season is just around the corner, let me show you the easiest and most delicious way to make it so you don’t miss out on this delicious drink, it’s smooth, creamy and just perfect! Add less milk if you like it THICK 😉 #champurrado #champurradoseason #champurradorecipe #atole #hotchocolate #mexicanhotchocolate #mexicanrecipes #traditionalrecipes #fyp #hotchocolaterecipe

♬ La Basurita – Angela Aguilar

If you like thick hot chocolate, this is your sign to try champurrado. 

Any store that sells tamales will most likely have champurrado; but if not, it’s not too difficult to make at home. Here’s what you need: corn masa, piloncillo (cane sugar), cinnamon sticks, cloves, Mexican chocolate discs, milk, evaporated milk, and vanilla.

Don’t be intimated by the ingredients. Once you gather them, it’s smooth sailing from there.

If you like your hot chocolate less thick, you can skimp on some of the milk.

2. Dreamytime Drink

@tyraaudlehelm

This is one of my favorite hot drinks to make at bedtime to help wind down. Dreamytime Drink is 1 c steaming milk, 1 tsp honey, 2 drops vanilla, dash of cinnamon. #bedtimeroutine #kitchenwitchery #relaxing #winddown #chillwithtiktok

♬ original sound – tyraaudlehelm

Having trouble sleeping? Try this out.

If you don’t want to use cow’s milk, alternative options like oat milk or almond milk are always available. Grab your honey, vanilla extract, and cinnamon, and you’re all set.

3. Chinese Mom’s Hot Christmas Fruit Wine

There’s a variation of mulled cider all around the world. Whether you know it as mulled cider, glögg, or glühwein, it’s more or less a hot, spiced drink.

Vivian Aronson, otherwise known as ‘Chinese Mom’, teaches us how to make her special fruit wine, perfect for the holiday season!

With the fruits included in this delicious drink, your house will be sure to smell amazing.

4. Black Sesame Latte

@iheartumami

Creamy & frothy Black SESAME LATTE! Have you had it?⁠ ⁠ With a touch of sweetness and nutty aroma, this dairy-free and caffeine-free latte has 5 ingredients only and it’s SO DELICIOUS! :D⁠ ⁠ I even show you how to make the sesame paste at home easily …2 ingredients!⁠ ⁠ Looking for a hot beverage this winter? This is IT!⁠ ⁠ ➡️ RECIPE – Tap the link in my bio! .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #blacksesame #blacksesamelatte #latte #dairyfree #dairyfreedrink #hotdrink #hotdrinks #hotdrinkseason#hotlattecaffeinfree⁠

♬ Mahana – Abe Lagrimas, Jr.

You’ve probably seen recipes like tangyuan or pastries that have black sesame filling, but have you heard of a black sesame latte?

If you’ve never had black sesame, it’s got a bit of a nutty taste. When it’s toasted, the flavor changes to something rich and earthy. 

All you need for this drink is a milk of your choice, honey, and black sesame. Give it a try!

5. Eggnog

Eggnog, also known as egg milk punch, is a creamy drink that can be made with or without alcohol. It can be an acquired taste, but it’s definitely something to try at least once.

To make Sheeran’s eggnog yourself, you need eggs (of course), sugar, heavy cream, grated nutmeg, cinnamon powder, ground cloves, pure vanilla extract, and dark rum. 

Now, that’s quality eggnog.

6. Coquito

What is coquito? Coquito is a drink with origins from Puerto Rico. It’s similar to eggnog, but with a tropical twist and a lack of eggs. 

Every family does it differently, but it’s a coconut-based drink that’s spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg. Of course, it wouldn’t be coquito without a splash of rum to give it that kick. 

Luis gives a traditional recipe and one featuring Nutella. Don’t be shy, try both.

7. Caramel Brûlée Latte

You may have heard of Starbucks’s caramel brûlée latte, but it might be a little pricey to pay for if you don’t know if you’ll like it. 

So the solution? Make it at home.

If you’ve ever had crème brûlée, then you know the best part (besides eating it) is cracking the crunchy sugar shell. In this recipe, the topping is simple to make, and you get to crack a whole sheet of it to your heart’s content. How’s that for motivation? 

Make your coffee how you like, drizzle some caramel in your cup, and add whipped cream. For the pièce de résistance, sprinkle your sugar crust pieces on top. 

Check out how to make more Starbucks drinks at home here.

8. Orange Cinnamon Whiskey

While this isn’t a hot drink, alcohol does warm you up to a certain extent

You don’t have to use Scandalust Cinnamon Whiskey if that’s not what you have. Any brand that suits your taste works just as well. Grab an orange, orange bitters, and cinnamon to crack down on that festive flavor.

Cheers!

9. Ponche Navideño

This is a Christmas punch you’ll want to try. 

It’s a warm Mexican fruit punch that’s served around the holidays. The ingredients vary from family to family, but it’s typically made with water, dried fruits, cinnamon, and some kind of sweetener.

This particular recipe calls for: water, cinnamon sticks, sugar, tejocote, sugar cane, apples, guavas and prunes. Tejocote is a kind of hawthorn native to Mexico and some parts of Guatemala. If you can’t find any, you can substitute tejocote with crab apples or Asian pears.

Raw bunch of orange organic Tejocote
Raw, organic tejocote. Credit: Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

Some recipes call for hibiscus flowers, tamarind, oranges, pineapples, blueberries, and spices like star anise and cloves. If you’re feeling adventurous, deviate from the recipe and throw in some variations.

10. Golden Milk

@gazoakley1

This Milk is Magical! 🏆 Golden Milk will fight inflammation & tastes delicious!

♬ original sound – Gaz Oakley

Turmeric and milk might sound strange to some people, but don’t knock it ’til you try it!

Golden milk dates back thousands of years as a medicinal drink. Turmeric is a spice that comes with a ton of health benefits, and it’s popular in dishes due to its taste and bright color. In particular, it’s known for fighting inflammation, so keep this recipe in your books. 

All you need is milk, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a pinch of black pepper. You can use other milk alternatives if cow’s milk isn’t your thing.

If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you can always add some sweetener like maple syrup or sugar.

11. Polar Express Hot Chocolate

@sad_papi

This is what I imagine the hot chocolate on the polar express was like 🚂 Ingredients: 4 cups milk 3/4 cup or 12 oz condensed milk 8 oz dark chocolate 1 shot espresso or 3/4 cup whatever coffee you enjoy Pinch of salt Toppings: Barely sweetened whipped cream Cinnamon Cocoa powder Nutmeg Directions: Add milk, condensed milk, coffee, and chopped chocolate to a pot. Warm over very low heat and whisk every few minutes until chocolate is melted. Bring to a gentle simmer and let it go for 30 minutes, stirring the sides and the bottom every so often with a rubber spatula. 30 minutes seems like a while but it’s mostly inactive time. The water in the milk and coffee will evaporate thickening up the coco without any starches. And it concentrates the flavor. Finish with a pinch of salt Serve hot topped with whipped cream, cinnamon, cocoa, and nutmeg. To reheat add to a pot and warm slowly and add a touch of milk if it’s super thicc. #tiktokfood #tiktokcooks #hotchocolate

♬ original sound – Sad_papi

Hot chocolate is one of those things that are “old, but gold”. Simple recipes mean you can get crazy with the ingredients and change things up, as seen by the many different recipes out there.

The Polar Express is one of the most iconic Christmas movies, right up there with The Grinch and Home Alone. One of the notable scenes happens to be the hot chocolate song, which shows a delicious cup of piping hot chocolate. 

And while we don’t know exactly what The Polar Express‘s hot chocolate would taste like, there’s no stopping imagination. There are already a few variations of the recipe, so time to whip out the chocolate and milk. 

In sad_papi’s version, this is what you’ll need for the hot chocolate: milk, condensed milk, dark chocolate, expresso, and a pinch of salt. For the topping, find some whipped cream (or whip your own), cinnamon, cocoa powder, and nutmeg. 

Your very own Polar Express hot chocolate right in front of you.

12. Cinnamon Bun Latte

Cinnamon buns are a favorite to many, so if you like cinnamon buns, you’ve got to try this recipe. 

Here’s what you need:

  • Espresso shots
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Brown butter ghee
  • Maple Syrup
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • Cashew milk
  • Coconut whipping cream

Some substitutes for brown butter ghee can include any healthy oil like coconut or canola oil. Even butter or clarified butter can make do if need be. 

As always, you can make substitutions if you can’t find an ingredient.

Chill with your favorite hot drink.

Twelve drinks to try on the days you’re feeling the need for something warm. Whether it’s for a festive gathering or just because you feel like it, you have so many options to choose from. 

Keep warm on those chilly days and enjoy a delicious drink in your favorite mug and sweater. Nothing spells cozy like a nice drink does. 

Enjoy!

Written By

Creative Writing Major/Comparative World Lit Minor (CSULB '25) Aspiring author (she/her)

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