Take off the winter chill with one of these international favorites. Hot chocolate is not the only way to enjoy a crackling fire on a cold snowy night. Find a new tradition of warming your body and soul with one of these unique hot drinks, made famous in their own rite.
Norway and Sweden, along with other Scandinavian countries, play host to a spicy and soothing alcoholic drink known as Glogg. Starting with a base of water, cinnamon sticks, cardamom seeds, cloves, oranges, almonds, and raisins, this wintertime favorite is steeped until all of the flavors are equally balanced. A fine port wine and brandy are then added to give the proper mellow kick that soothes your insides.
2. Masala Chai
India is big on tea and this version of Indian hot cocoa is no exception. Starting with the finest black tea, spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, anise, and cloves are added to highlight the flavor. Sweetened with sugar and rounded out with milk, this drink hits the spot for those windy days in the Alps.
Plants are often the best way to lift up a spirit during dark cold days, but this is one way to literally ingest the power of flowers. The fertile ground of Turkey creates a paradise of orchids that are used to make a powder called Salep. By mixing milk, vanilla and sugar with this healthy pulp, serenity is just around the corner. Sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon for a delightful aroma.
4. Yak Butter Tea
A real eye opener, residents of Tibet are hooked on this morning brew. They delight in watching foreigners ingest their first sip, just for the reaction. Black tea, salt, butter and milk, is churned and heated. The taste is quite different than the sugary drinks of the Western world, but delivers a powerful kick to start off the day.
5. South America Yerba Mate
Caffeine is not only found in coffee beans. One plant that grows in the rain forests of South America, called Yerba Mate, contains natural caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine, amino acids, and antioxidants. By simply adding the leaves to hot water, the rush is almost instantaneous. A metal straw is the most common way to consume this healthy, caffeinated hot beverage.
Mexico is home to corn and cocoa beans. These natural products are key in making a hot drink known as Champurrado. By grinding down into a flour and mixing with milk, both protein and caffeine are enjoyed with this thick beverage in the early cool mornings or during a work break in the afternoon.
7. Mint Tea
Mint tea is a regular treat in the country of Morocco. Soothing to the stomach and a light pizzazz of caffeine makes this warm brew a favorite beverage during social events. Also known as ‘gunpower’ leaves, many use mint leaves, along with spearmint leaves and sugar, mixed with boiling water, to make the chills of the Atlas Mountains more tolerable.
The Germans are used to cold weather. However, Gluhwein makes the season more tolerable with this glow wine. Cinnamon, cloves, lemon, cardamom, and sugar, added to red wine makes it feel like a holiday all winter long. With a good book, a warm fire, and a cup of Gluhwein, the cold seems miles away.
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