We’re approaching the winter season and with it comes festivals, moments with our family and friends, year-end reflections and at the heart of it all – delicious coffee to keep you warm and fuel your mood. While we love our cold brews, there’s no other feeling like that of the warmth one feels with a hot cuppa as it starts to get colder outside.
Coffee shops adorn their menus with festive specials to tempt our palate with sweet, chocolate-y delights that enhance our usual caffeine dose. We decided to take matters into our own kitchens this year and are glad to share a little winter inspiration for you to experiment with your coffee! Check out our top brews this season:
- Hot Chocolate/Cafe Mocha – a classic choice for every mood
What you need: Milk, Drinking Chocolate or Cocoa Powder or a bar of your favourite chocolate, Instant Coffee
How to brew: Mix the coffee and chocolate together. If you’re using a chocolate bar, melt it first. Boil milk and add a little bit to the mix to create a paste. Pour in the rest of the milk while continuously stirring.
Finishing touches: Top it off with marshmallows, chocolate sticks, anything that takes your fancy! You can also add sugar or cinnamon per your taste.
- Peppermint Mocha – bright, fresh and festive feels in a cup
What you need: Milk, Cream, Peppermint Extract, Cocoa Powder, Coffee (the stronger, the better)
How to brew: Heat milk and the peppermint extract (don’t let it boil). Add in cocoa and whip it till it’s foamy. Brew your coffee per your usual method and pour it in a mug. Top off the mug with the peppermint foam.
Finishing touches: Throw in a candy cane and whipped cream or lace the cup with chocolate syrup for some real Christmas-y feels!
- Spiced Coffee – trade ice for spice in the winters to stay warm
What you need: Any and all of your favourite spices (cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, ginger, nutmeg), Coffee, Water
How to brew: Grind your coffee and spices together. If you’re using instant/already ground coffee, mix them well. Brew per your usual method with this spiced mix.
Finishing touches: Add a tiny dash of milk to balance some of the spice flavours. You can also try it with condensed milk for a little density and a different texture.
For a little bit of a kick
- Tiramisu Latte – our kind of dessert coffee
What you need: Mascarpone cheese, Milk, Coffee, Cocoa Powder, Dark Rum/Kahlua, Vanilla Extract
How to brew: Whip the mascarpone with the vanilla extract and keep aside. Mix brewed coffee cocoa, milk and a little rum/Kahlua and stir well. Add the whipped mascarpone and you’re set! Some recipes suggest whipping the mascarpone with cream to give it a thicker consistency – we’ll leave this up to your preference.
Finishing touches: This drink deserves a nice tall glass and some chocolate swirls or cocoa powder dusted on top. Add a few wafers or biscuits to complete the look.
- Irish Fireball – a smooth, warm kicker
What you need: Whiskey (Fireball is recommended but you can use any kind – the peatier, the better) and Coffee
How to brew: Prepare your coffee. Throw in a dash of whiskey keeping a proportion of 3 parts coffee to 1 part whiskey. Combine well and enjoy your coffee with a buzz.
Finishing touches: We love adding a little Bailey’s to the mix. A cinnamon stick also adds a nice touch to the flavour and overall look.
- Rum-cappuccino – an unlikely but delicious combination
What you need: Coffee, Honey, Dark Rum, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon
How to brew: Mix honey, rum, vanilla extract and cinnamon at the bottom of your cup and create a paste. Pour coffee over it while continuously stirring. Add milk or consume as is.
Finishing touches: Cognac or Brandy gives it a deeper flavour and is a great addition if you’re willing to be a little more adventurous with this drink.
For something different
- Gingerbread Coffee – confectionary meets caffeine
What you need: Spices (ginger, cloves, cinnamon), Coffee, Honey, Whipped Cream
How to brew: Mix the spices with coffee and brew a cup. Mix whipped cream, honey and another batch of the spices and whip it well till it gets a foamy texture. Pour coffee in a tall mug and top it off with the whipped cream.
Finishing touches: Lace the mug with caramel before adding the coffee for a truly decadent drink.
- Red Velvet Cuppa – a great dessert enhanced with your best coffee
What you need: Milk, Chocolate Bits, Red Food Colouring/Beetroot Juice, Vanilla Extract, Coffee
How to brew: Mix milk, sugar and vanilla and bring to a simmer. Stir well to ensure the flavours blend consistently. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, coffee and beetroot juice/food colouring in that order and one by one while continuously stirring.
Finishing touches: Add a dollop of whipped cream on top and finish with chocolate sprinkles or dust with cocoa powder.
- Vanilla and Cinnamon Dalgona – “deck your coffee with boughs of spices…”
What you need: Instant Coffee, Sugar, Milk, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon Powder
How to brew: Add the coffee, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and a little bit of boiling water and thoroughly whisk using a hand whisk or electric mixer. Keep it going till you get a thick, fluffy, almost whipped-cream like texture. Pour milk in a glass and add a generous layer of the whip mixture.
Finishing touches: Springle some cinnamon powder on top and serve with almond biscotti for a warm and delicious evening snack.
We’d love to hear from you on what your favourite winter coffee picks are! Do share them with us in the comments or on Instagram.
Image Credits: Mauro, Anastasiia Rozumna, Toa Heftiba and Rinck Content Studio on Unsplash