How to

14 June 2016

10 Hot and Healthy Drinks for Cold Weather

Nothing compares to the satisfaction of wrapping one’s frosty fingers around a wholly warm, steamy mug. What’s in the mug isn’t as important as how comforting it feels to hold it, to be warmed from the inside by scalding liquid. It might shock you to learn that that hot drinks affect body heat only momentarily, in the hands and stomach. A hot drink cannot possibly warm your body, although it does feel that way at times. Chasing the ghost of warmth as it evaporates into frigidity is like chasing an elusive dragon.

The reality is that we associate hot drinks with bodily warmth, therefore we feel warm because we believe the drink transfers its heat to us. However, the body’s internal temperature is not affected by hot drinks. It’s something of a placebo effect, maybe brought on by how sensitive the mouth is to heat.

Nevertheless, hot drinks are a cornerstone of our society: regulars for road trips, fishing outings, sporting events, morning breakfast and afternoon tea. With that, here are some healthy and unusual drinks to spice up your comfort game.

A new spin on old reliable, this drink uses dairy-free almond milk, cocoa powder, dark chocolate and maple syrup to achieve a rich creaminess without the refined sugar of traditional hot chocolate.

This healthy option, passed down by Anupy Singla’s family, works to jump start the digestive system and cleanse the body first thing in the morning. With weight loss qualities linked to detoxing of the kidney and liver, this drink offers health benefits with virtually no calories. Prepare yourself for the punchy taste of lemon, turmeric, cayenne, and raw sugar.

A tea latte, this deliciously creamy drink can be made with any kind of tea, but is most commonly made with Earl Grey. Steep the tea bags in a small amount of water, 4 oz, and then blend with dairy-free almond milk, honey, and vanilla (if you’re feeling saucy). Earl Grey has a bit of caffeine, and will somewhat curb any coffee cravings while imbuing the benefits of a good tea.

Apple cider vinegar aids with quite a few issues; detoxification, digestive issues, sore throat, weight loss, and bad breath to name a few. Cinnamon is an amazingly good spice that lowers cholesterol, promotes artery health, manages blood sugar, and increases metabolism. This drink is packed with benefits, its flavour profile completed with lemon, cayenne pepper, and maple syrup for sweetness.

A drink reminiscent of mulled cider, this distinct tea has cloves, cinnamon and citrus juices to give a depth of flavour. There are powdered versions available, but only choose those if you’re in the mood for an overloaded of preservatives, sweeteners, and other nasty additives. Relieve your sore throat with this mixture of black tea, orange juice, pineapple juice, apple juice, and lemon juice. Calcium at its finest.

Nowadays, chai comes in many forms – as a latte, powdered, in tea bags or loose – but nothing beats a fresh chai with muddled spices and creamy milk made in the comfort of your own home. With that, you’re able to adjust the amount of peppercorn, clove, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger, and cinnamon to your liking. Additionally, you can substitute the milk for a dairy-free alternative. Personally, I’d nix the sugar.

Dandelion tea has a rich, roasted flavour with a subtly sweet aftertaste which, according to Merce Muse, tastes similarly to coffee after the addition of cacao nibs. Try out this fun coffee alternative using a French press to fuse the dandelion and cacao flavours. Then, add boiling coconut milk to the press and let it steep. Finish with coconut sugar or oil, if desired.

Grab a jar of local honey and make a naturally sweet and elegant honey latte. Take advantage of the local honeycomb and sprinkle it on top of this honey concoction for ultimate decadence. Don’t forget a sprinkle of nutmeg to add some much needed spice.

A turmeric and ginger drink calls forth the boldest of palates to indulge in this affliction-beating brew. Touted for its healing properties, this drink is turned to for colds, congestion, headache, sore throat, depression, and can even go toe-to-toe with cancer. Grab your milk, turmeric, ginger, pepper, and honey for taste to boil your ailments away. 

Schizandra tea is a special kind of tea, made from berries, which reportedly contain all five flavours: sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty. Apparently, these flavours correspond to organs in the body on which schizandra tea works wonders, namely the liver, kidneys, heart, lungs, and spleen.  The tea is also a great calming agent, and can normalize blood pressure in addition to boasting a slew of beneficial properties.

For those adventurous enough to try this wild infusion, a visit to the local health store is in order. Grab schizandra/schisandra berries, elderberries, liquorice root, ginger, eleuthero, dried stevia leaves, and cinnamon sticks while you’re there. This one’s a doozy.  

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).