A very good friend of mine loves eating breakfast nearly as much as his own wife and children. He even wrote a song called “Breakfast” that became a favorite of his band’s fanbase.
Me? I love a good meal at any time of day. But I reserve a huge chunk of my enthusiasm for beverages. I’ve written extensively about my forays for fermented beverages and my coffee crawls. So I was really excited to read a post about warm winter beverages on a friend’s blog. Inge, who recently moved to Trondheim, Norway, is in a good position to talk about beverages that will chase the chill from your bones on a snowy day. Her post is all about drinks you can put into an insulated container for your forays into the outdoors.
Her post inspired me to link to it, and to add a few hot drinks for winter.
Hot Lingonberry Juice
If you ever wind up at the ICEHOTEL in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, odds are the staff will serve you some hot lingonberry juice. I heard about this from my friend, Cody, who said it’s perfect for making you feel warm when the snow falls hard and heavy. I still haven’t tried it … but I will the first chance I get. Well, hey – I don’t really have to go to Sweden. I just need to go to Ikea and get some concentrate and follow this recipe.
Bone BrothIf you don’t drink mulled wine during the winter, then you know nothin’, Jon Snow. (photo from imaginationlane.net)
Unfortunately, bone broth is all the hipster rage right now. But there’s a good reason for it aside from being trendy and retro: The stuff makes a great soup base. I make my own all the time, usually from beef bones, salt, rosemary, garlic and a splash of red wine.
Now, if I were hiking in the cold and wanted something super-nourishing to keep me warm and full of calories, this would be one of the hot drinks for winter I’d choose. Protein, salt, some fat – this stuff is rocket fuel. And salt is essential during exercise – you sweat, even in cold temperatures. Replenishing what you lose keeps cramps at bay. There are a loads of recipes out there, but I just take the ingredients above, toss them into a slow cooker and let set it to low for about 36 hours. I just eyeball the proportions. But you can turn to your favorite search engine to find a more precise recipe.
I was in Vietnam taking a tour of the Mekong Delta when I got introduced to this drink. Some beekeepers served it, using tiny green oranges, some ginger and a healthy dollop of their honey. Even though it was warm out, I could tell this would be one of the best hot drinks for winter.
I started making it home – I cut the ginger up pretty roughly, using a slice about the size of my pinky finger. I use the juice of half a large orange, add about 25 ounces of water and let it simmer for about 20 minutes. Just add honey to task. You’ll get a few healthy sized cups of this. I’m honestly not sure what this drink is called, so I didn’t even search for the recipe.
I am not a wine drinker. I’m a hard-core craft beer lover, and I’ve never tasted a single wine that tasted anywhere near as good to me as even a run-of-the-mill microbrew. Mulled wine served hot and spiced, though, is a really hard drink to beat on a winter night. And I know this list is mostly for something to take on winter outdoor expeditions, but we’ve gotta have some fun, right? Apparently, mulled wine is on a lot of the menus in Sapa, Vietnam. It’s pretty chilly there in the winter, so it figures they’d know some perfect hot drinks for winter.
Like bone broth, there’s no shortage of mulled wine recipes online. Chances are you’re in the right ballpark if you see cinnamon, cloves, orange zest … stuff like that. But here’s one link for a Swedish version called glogg. Who can’t resist a name like that? Not me.