We managed to pull out of our deep freeze for a few days, but yesterday winter came back with a vengeance, and all I could think about was a hot spiced apple cider. Our penchant for peppermint hot chocolates, spiced lattes, and other warm mugs filled with the flavors of the season have no doubt been stoked by the huge coffee retailers. But no matter, because there are few simple pleasures as delightful and accessible as a warm mug after a bout in the cold.
This fall saw what I’ll call the Great Pumpkin Spice Backlash of 2013. Somewhere around mid-October the chattery sites like Jezebel and Huffington Post shared their thoughts on Pumpkin Spice Fatigue, some of which were a little not-safe-for-work, so great was the outrage! I’ll admit to being a bit overwhelmed in Trader Joe’s at the sheer number of pumpkin spice items that, not unlike the well-known autumn beverage, had no pumpkin in them whatsoever.
Well, we’re here to save you with some ideas to keep you warm and toasty on the inside as you start this first chilly weekend in December.
I’d never heard of chai-apple cider until recently, but it’s an aromatic take on the traditional spiced cider incorporating some Indian spices, such as cardamom and ginger. The hardest part about this easy recipe from Popsugar is buying the spices (and maybe the whisky to spike it).
Here in Texas it’s easy to get sweet Mexican chocolate in just about any grocery store to use as the basis for this delicious hot chocolate, but don’t despair–traditional cocoa works just find. Fans of the film Chocolat will probably remember Juliette Binoche’s making a pepper-laced hot chocolate, not unlike this hot, hot cocoa from Rachael Ray.
What keeps you warm inside and out when the weather outside is less than delightful? We’d love to hear about your favorites!