Friday Five: Hot Drinks for Cold Nights

Wow. It’s COLD. Last week we had a hint of warmth, then since Thanksgiving, it’s been bitterly cold. Since we’re misers and don’t want to pay the huge heating bills related to keeping our house a toasty 72, we drink a lot of hot beverages. Whether it’s coffee, tea, or something spiked– you’ve got to be cozy, right? Here are a few of my favorites.

1. Locally roasted coffee.  My favorite is Winter’s Blend from Coffee Emporium (Over the Rhine or Hyde Park), or Highlander Grogg from Lookout Joe’s (Mt. Lookout).  Both have some spice– perfect for the winter.

2. Tea.  Admittedly, our favorite tea right now isn’t local– Zingeber Ginger Coconut from Teavana– but other teas in our rotation include the Lemongrass Vanilla from Essencha (Hyde Park) and classic English Breakfast from Churchill’s in Findlay Market.  I also love ordering cardamom tea at nearly any Indian restaurant in town.  I wish there were as many local tea folks in town as there are coffee!

3. Hot Chocolate.  Well, not just ANY hot chocolate.  I love Sitwell’s (Clifton) Black Raspberry Mocha, which has coffee in it, but is mostly a rich, fruity hot chocolate.

4. Spiked coffee.  There’s the traditional Irish Coffee is great, and simple.  Here’s the original recipe from the Buena Vista. I also like the Erotica Latte at Sitwell’s (Chambord for sweetness, chocolate for passion, espresso for bitterness & vanilla for purity).

5. Hot Toddies.  I was sick last week, and I swear to you that the thing that made me feel better the most? A hot toddy.  My recipe is very simple:

2 tablespoons honey

2 oz rum (Kraken spiced rum is my signature in this drink, but any good, dark or spiced rum will do.  It’s traditionally made with whiskey, so you could also do that).

juice of a whole, smallish lemon (or half a large one)

boiling water

In the bottom of a coffee cup, mix honey, lemon and rum.  Pour boiling water to fill the cup.  You may add more honey if you prefer it sweeter.  Sip.  Feel better.  Besides colds and flu, hot toddies are also indicated for nearly any day after December 1 and before March 1, particularly if you’re feeling chilly.

What are your favorite wintertime drinks?