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Daily Digital Countdown: Winter drinks


Digital writers
theweathernetwork.com

Friday, January 31, 2014, 1:02 PM -

Few things are as soothing as a warm hug on a cold day. Whether you're at work, watching the kids play hockey from the stands or simply enjoying at movie at home, a warm drink always hits the spot.


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This winter, take a break from the usual and cozy up to one of these delicious hot drinks:

5. Easy Chai Tea:

This cafe favourite is much easier to make than you think; all you'll need is a some crushed spices, cinnamon sticks, ginger, and milk to a boil, add tea bags, and let it steep for 10 minutes.

Directions:

1. Place 8 cardamom seeds, 8 cloves, and 4 peppercorns in a resealable plastic bag and crush with a heavy skillet.
2. Place the crushed spices in a medium saucepan, along with the cinnamon sticks, 1-inch thinly sliced fresh ginger, 2 cups whole milk, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes.
3. Strain into cups. To each cup, add 2 teaspoons sugar or more, to taste.

4. Warm Mulled Cider

Break away from traditional hot drinks with this delicious cider that's sure to taste as good as it smells.

Directions:

1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the zest from the orange to create long strips.
2. In a medium pot, bring the cider (half gallon), honey (2 tablespoons), 5 whole allspice berries, 6 whole cloves, pinch of nutmeg, 1 1/2 inch thinly sliced ginger, and orange zest to a simmer. Do not boil. Heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
3. Ladle into cups and serve warm with the cinnamon sticks.

3. Malted Hot Cocoa with Toasted Marshmallows

All it takes is just one extra ingredient to take your traditional winter go-to beverage from bland to grand!

Directions:

1.Heat broiler (of oven or toaster oven).
2.Place the marshmallows on a foil-lined broiler-proof baking sheet and broil until just golden, about 30 seconds.
3.Meanwhile, prepare the hot cocoa mix according to the package directions (any brand will do).
4.Mix with the 3 tablespoons of malted milk powder.
5.Top with the toasted marshmallows.

2. Cinnamon Coffee

Spice up that morning with just a pinch of cinnamon!

Directions:

1. Brew up to 5 cups of your favourite coffee
2. Add 1/4 sugar (leave out if preferred) and one cinnamon stick to brewed coffee
3. Let stand for 10 minutes on warming element
4. Divide coffee mixture among six mugs. Stir about 1 tablespoon of the half-and-half into each mug of coffee. If desired, top with whipped cream and ground cinnamon.

1. Bourbon Citrus Sipper

Had a long week and looking for something to take the edge off? This hot cocktail is your recipe to success. (Leave out alcohol or switch with preferred liquor)

Directions:

1. Add 6 cups apple cider, 1/4 cup sugar, 9 whole cloves, 1/2 teaspoon anise seeds, 1 large naval sliced orange, 1 medium sliced lemon, 1/2 bourbon in slow cooker or large pot on stove.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 hours. Cover and cook for 30 minutes minutes more.
3. Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl; strain cider mixture. (Or use a slotted spoon to remove orange slices, lemon slice, and whole spices.) If using high-heat setting, turn cooker to low-heat setting. Pour the strained mixture back into the slow cooker to keep warm.
4. Just before serving, add bourbon to cider mixture.

Source: RealSimple.com and Better Homes and Gardens.

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