From Europe to South America to the U.S., Musement shares 11 hot tipples from around the world to keep warm with this holiday season.
As the mercury starts to drop, a cool glass of wine or a cocktail on the rocks after work becomes less appealing for those looking to keep warm. However, a hot libation just might do the trick.
Here’s a look at 11 hot tipples from around the world that you can keep warm with this winter…either during your travels or in the comfort of your own home. (If you prefer to keep warm sans alcohol, check out these comforting hot beverages.)
1. Hot Toddy
Synonymous with Ireland for many, the Hot Toddy consists of (usually) whiskey with hot water, honey and/or lemon, complete with some spices, such as cloves and cinnamon. Not only does it warm you to the core, but this is also a lovely panacea when feeling under the weather during the cold season.
Greece sees its share of the cold in winter and to keep warm, Greeks sip rakomelo whose name couples raki, a distillate typical of Crete, with meli, honey, two of the drink’s principle ingredients along with cloves and cinnamon. If you’re making this amber-hued libation at home, use grappa if raki isn’t at your immediate disposal.
This boozy coffee typical of Iceland is made with brennivín, caraway seed flavored liqueur. A popular after-dinner drink, Kúmenkaffi is best enjoyed by those who don’t hold themselves to a caffeine cut-off time.
Russia is known for its brisk cold winters and one way to keep warm is to sip a sbiten. The traditional version of this deep scarlet elixir contains honey, water, spices and jam, though those who prefer a bit of a kick, can substitute wine for the water. You can also throw in some cinnamon and mint if you wish. This is also popular among Russia’s Baltic neighbors.
5. Glühwein and vin chaud
A perfect anecdote to the biting cold, this German Christmas market staple is made from red wine, spices, citrus fruits, cloves and sugar. Some places offer it mit Schuss, or with a shot, for those who enjoy it extra strong. The French version is called vin chaud, which literally means warm wine.
6. Mulled Cider
Mulled cider dates back nearly a thousand years to a pagan ritual known as Wassailing, marked by people drinking Wassail, cider’s predecessor. The drink eventually evolved into the warm and spicy hodgepodge we know and love today, even boasting its own national day: September 30.
This member of the mulled wine family is characteristic of the Nordic countries, is often made with red wine mixed with spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and cloves as well as a touch of bitter orange, and complete with almonds and raisins. Some versions may contain aquavit.
8. Hot buttered rum
This American winter warmer-upper actually dates back to the Colonial era and is so beloved that January 17 is its national day. The hot buttered rum mixes, obviously, butter and dark rum with brown sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cloves and allspice, a touch of vanilla and hot water or cider.
This South American tipple is typical of the Andean highlands, so you’ll find it in parts of Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and northern Argentina. It generally has a base of a sugar cane alcohol, and while recipes vary, it often contains fruit juice end spices such as cinnamon and cloves.
10. Café Maria Theresa
Named for the beloved Austrian Empress, you can find the Cafe Maria Theresa at the various coffee houses in the the Austrian capital. This mixes black coffee with an orange liqueur made from the fruit of the orange grove at Schonbrunn Palace. It’s often topped with whipped cream.
11. Spiked hot chocolate
Whether you call it cioccolata calda, chocolat chaud, heiße Schokolade or chocolate caliente, hot chocolate is a beloved wintertime staple. It’s not uncommon to find various versions around the world that have a bit of a kick – bourbon and Bailey’s are always a safe bet.