7 extra-festive hot drinks

Here are some spicy, warm and particularly festive drink ideas to get you in the mood for Christmas. Have a swig while wrapping your presents or to warm you up after being out carol singing. They’re also perfect for sharing at your Christmas gatherings – just mix up a batch and keep it warming gently until your guests arrive. All of them have boozy and alcohol free options, simply by changing one ingredient.

Image credit: Susan Smith

1.Mulled wine
Perhaps the ultimate in festive drinks, on the continent shoppers have a glass of glühwein to warm them as they wander round the Christmas markets. It doesn’t get more jolly than that! Contrary to popular belief, heating the wine doesn’t burn off the alcohol content but you can make or buy very good non-alcoholic alternatives. This recipe swaps the wine for berry cordial.

2.Hot spiced cider
A lot of real ale pubs are serving hot cider in instead of mulled wine at Christmas time – and it’s delicious. Made with pretty much the same spice additions as mulled wine, you could instead use apple juice for the tee-totallers and kids.

3.Chai latte
This delicious Indian masala tea is infused with spices including clove and nutmeg that are so reminiscent of Christmas, as well as cardamom and ginger for an exotic twist. The caffeine in the tea would be a welcome pick-me-up after all those festivities. And here’s a cheeky tip, you can find it in pod form if you want to take away the hassle of brewing your own.

4.Warm cranberry wassail
A twist on the usual mulled drinks, this cranberry version would look spectacular as a centrepiece on your Christmas table. Serve it in a clear punch bowl with a ladle and the bright red colour will give everyone festive cheer.

5.Orange hot chocolate
This is a super indulgent homemade hot chocolate with lots of cream and dark chocolate – there’s no cocoa powder in sight. Chocolate and orange are dreamy together and the orange makes this drink smell delicious and feel really Christmassy. This recipe uses orange liqueur but you can make a non-boozy alternative with orange syrup or just skip this part and let the orange zest infuse for longer for that citrus hit.

6.Eggnog latte
There are so many different possibilities for Christmas flavoured lattes that it can be hard to choose. Some of the more unusual ones are praline, roast chestnut and spiced pumpkin latte. Eggnog is a winner though as it’s so rich and creamy it just seems right for Christmas. Flavoured lattes are easy to make with a shop-bought syrup. Simply mix 1 shot of espresso, 10 fl oz steamed milk and 20ml of syrup (eggnog syrup in this case). You can make you own eggnog to add to the coffee if you prefer. As it’s creamy you don’t need the steamed milk. Top with a grating of nutmeg for that final festive touch.

7.Cinnamon latte
Another classic latte for this time of year, cinnamon has such a warm scent that it sings Christmas. You won’t know whether to drink this cinnamon latte or just rest your nose on the edge of the cup.

Grab your favourite festive mug and enjoy!

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