Summer reminds us of long hot days and leisurely hours spent drinking cooling beverages; iced teas, tall glasses of cold, freshly made lemonade, smoothies and many more.

Winter paints a very different picture; warm fires, furry slippers, thick jumpers and hands wrapped round a hot warming drink.

The list of hot drinks available nowadays is endless so here are our top 5 winter warming drinks for you to try, some traditional and some you may not have tried yet.

Hot Chocolate

Nothing cures the winter blues like a cup of hot chocolate

Hot chocolate with cream
Hot chocolate with cream

How to make perfect hot chocolate

Serves 2

450ml whole milk
70g 70% cocoa chocolate, finely chopped or grated
30g good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped or grated
75ml single cream
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1. Warm about 150ml milk in a pan over a medium heat and stir in the chocolate. Continue to stir until the chocolate has melted into the milk, then whisk in the remaining milk and the cream.

2. Continue to heat until the mixture is hot, but not boiling, then add the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Taste, adjust if necessary, and serve. For a frothy finish, whisk vigorously just before pouring.

For those of you who like a luxury version click here for ways to upgrade

Salep

Salep is a traditional Turkish milky drink popular on cold, wintry days.

It is made from the tubers of wild orchids* which are washed, boiled, dried and ground into flour. The flour is then mixed with cold milk or water and boiled until it thickens into a creamy consistency. Salep also contains glucomannan, which is good for coughs and bronchitis and eases sore throats.

It is even more pleasureable and healthy when mixed with ginger and/or cinnamon.

Salep sprinkled with cinnamon
Salep sprinkled with cinnamon

You can buy ready prepared salep powder. Here’s how you make it

In a deep sauce pan add cold milk and salep powder into the pan. For each cup add 3 tsp salep (10gr) into cold milk, stir until boil it. Salep should be thickening in a few minutes. Pour the hot drink into the cup. Do not add sugar, all prepackaged salep drinks contains sugar already. Sprinkle cinnamon on top before serving.

*Wild orchids grow almost everywhere in Turkey, and there are lots of varieties. Yet, some varieties are facing extinction. To get 1 kilo of salep flour, more than 1000 orchid tubers are pulled out of the soil. And it takes up to 7 or 8 years for the orchid’s tubers to grow sufficiently to use for salep production. Therefore, export of salep is prohibited. However, instant versions with salep flavor are exported. – The Istanbul Insider

A steaming cup of coffee

A cup of hot coffee
A cup of hot coffee

Nowadays there are so many different styles of coffee to choose, from Espresso to Piccolo Latte.

Mocha is a mix between a cappucino or latte and a hot chocolate. Here’s a delicious recipe for Cinnamon Spiced Mocha Latte from Rockin Mama.

Top 5 warming winter drinks
Cinnamon Spiced Mocha Latte. Photograph courtesy of Rockin Mama.

6 ounces of brewed coffee

4 ounces of milk, heated

1 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Once you’ve brewed your coffee, simply add the milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir to combine.

There is a style to suit coffee lovers everywhere. Click here for 12 different types of coffee

Boza

Boza is one of the oldest Turkish drinks and is made from fermented grains, mainly bulgur and yeast. It has a sweet and tangy flavor that everyone finds addictive! It is typically sold in winter although it’s not a hot drink. It’s associated with cold days and snow because it has a warming effect.

Boza is traditionally served in typical Turkish water glasses with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas on the top. A dessert spoon is just dipped into it and you can either drink it or eat it or do both.

Turkish Boza sprinkled with roasted chickpeas
Turkish Boza sprinkled with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas

Click here for how to make Turkish Boza

With Christmas just around the corner why not try a warming cup of Spiced Holiday Tea

Spiced Holiday Tea

Spiced Holiday Tea
Spiced Holiday Tea

Ingredients

2 cups water
3 tea bags (unflavored black tea)
4 star anise
1 x 3 inch cinnamon stick
1 cup passion fruit nectar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions
In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling. Add tea bags, anise, and cinnamon stick. Reduce heat. simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and cinnamon stick. Stir in nectar, honey, and lemon juice. Heat through.
Pour tea mixture into four heat-proof cups, floating a star anise on top of each. Makes 4 servings. – courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens

All winter warmers should be served by the fire with a book!

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