What’s more comforting, more soothing than a hot drink? There’s little more synonymous with soothing self-care, than the simple act of brewing up something hot.
When the weather is less than bright and cheery, and a chilly drizzle sets in, our instinct is to make a warm beverage of some sort.
When we struggle to sleep, time and time again, the age-old go-to suggestion to send insomnia packing and be lulled into blissful slumber, is warm milk or hot chamomile tea. It’s not necessarily the kind of hot drink – although that helps tremendously – but we’d be hard pressed to say that cold tea would be as soothing as hot tea when we’re feeling poorly. Why is this?
Perhaps it’s because you can’t chug something hot; you have to slow down and sip it. This gives us time to really analyze the flavor, to inhale the scent of the drink.
Drinking something hot forces us to slow down. It makes us live presently and, in the moment, and there’s nothing wrong with a little ‘in-the-moment’ living, especially in these strange times!
So, what are we talking about? Here we’ll list the most popular hot beverages, just to give you an idea of how many options there are to enjoy.
What do you get when you boil ale sugar and spice and everything nice (like toasted bread)? You get aleberry. The toasted bread, or bread sops are boiled with ale, sugar and spices (like nutmeg), strained and served hot – of course.
This is a beverage consisting of hot milk, anise seed and sugar. With its slightly licorice flavor, it might be more of an acquired taste, but a delicious one nonetheless.
Beginning its life as wassail, apple cider hasn’t changed all that much over the years. Initially wassail was part of a tradition called wassailing where hot mulled apple cider was taken in so as to welcome a fruitful (pun intended) apple harvest the next year.
Hailing from Cartagena, Spain, asiatico is made using hot coffee, condensed milk and cognac. If ever there was a drink more full-bodied and bolder in flavor, this would be it.
A hot masa (corn-based) beverage, atole has its origins rooted in Mexico and Central America. By boiling together, masa, water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla, atole is a warm drink that champions comfort and flavor. With the added option of chocolate (which makes atole become champurrado) or fruit, this hot beverage is tantalizingly tasty.
When it comes to taking coconut milk to the next level, Indonesia has pretty much nailed it. With coconut milk, palm sugar and little optional ginger and salt to taste, this native Sundanese drink sounds about as delicious as it gets.
Like bajigur, bandrek hails from West Java, Indonesia. With a base of water and ingredients such as cinnamon, palm sugar and ginger mixed in, this spicy solution ups the ante on savoring something warm.
This is a cocktail consisting of blackberry jelly, cognac, blackberry brandy or liqueur, lemon juice and water. Served in a small receptacle called a demitasse, it’s not necessarily your average kind of hot drink.
The blue blazer found its niche in ‘the first bartenders manual’ by Jerry Thomas. Made from boiling water, Scotch or Irish whiskey, honey and lemon peel, the whole premise behind serving it hot was the slow-sipping of the drink in order to really enjoy the intermingling flavors.
When we think of bouillon, a soup or stew base might spring to mind. We don’t readily associate bouillon with soda fountains and yet, food extracts were known to be used to flavor drinks at soda fountains. These extracts included tomato, oyster, clam, asparagus and others. An acquired flavor? Perhaps.
A.K.A Po Cha, is almost like a standard tea; hot water and tea leaves, the only difference is swapping out the milk for yak butter.
Similar to eggnog, this British alcoholic beverage is made from wine, honey, sugar, saffron and breadcrumbs all boiled, thickened with egg yolks and sprinkled with salt, sugar and ginger.
This list wouldn’t be complete without everybody’s favorite drink, right? Coffee varies from region to region, however the basic premise is that it’s a brewed hot or cold drink made from roasted coffee beans and water. You know the rest of the story – milk, sugar, soy milk, caramel drizzle, marshmallows, 3D printed latte art.. coffee is a past, present, and future culinary delight.
Made from eggs, malt or wine, and flavored with fruit, these drinks were the popular predecessor of ice cream beverages.
When you combine pressure, boiling water and finely ground coffee beans, you end up with a dark thick liquid we call espresso.
With ingredients like water, sugar, lemon rind, ginger, cream of tartar and lemon juice boiled together, it results in a delicious cordial.
Boiling plum or grape brandy together with honey gives you this tasty Bulgarian drink.
Made with boiling water and lemon juice, lime juice, cinnamon, sugar all mixed together with an alcohol like rum, grog was a concoction with variants such as nutmeg and rum, and was made popular by sailors and merchants traveling to and from the Caribbean.
These are beverages made by steeping fresh or dried flowers, fruit, leaves, seeds or roots in boiling water. They tend to be naturally decaffeinated by their very nature.
Comprised of rum, butter, hot cider or water, a sweetener of some sort, and a spice mixture which can include cinnamon, cloves or nutmeg, this concoction is the basis for hot buttered rum.
By mixing together hot milk or water, cocoa powder or melted chocolate, we lay the foundation for what we know and love today as hot chocolate.
Whiskey, water and honey all heated together results in a delicious hot toddy.
This drink is literally heated lemonade.
A Korean drink derived from a tropical plant called Coix Lacryma-Jobi (the powdered version), mixed with hot water.
Think: Horlicks, Ovaltine and Milo. It’s made from malted barley, wheat flour and whole milk, all of which is mixed and evaporated leaving us with a powder. The powder is mixed with hot water or hot milk and you have your malted milk drink.
Made by boiling Yerba Mate in water, straining it and serving up in cups.
This is red wine mixed with cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and raisins, boiled together resulting in a hearty (traditionally) winter beverage.
Imagine: hot milk curdled with spice wine or ale and served, just like that. Also an acquired taste? You never know if you’ll like something, if you don’t try it.
A hot beverage made from either barley, rice and/or corn, roasted and turned into powder. It was a replacement for coffee at one point in time.
Fermented rice drink versatile enough to be served hot or cold.
A Turkish beverage made from tubers from the orchid genus Orchist that is turned into powder before being added into hot water and sometimes garnished with nuts and cinnamon.
This drink can be taken hot or cold, and is made by steeping sassafras leaves to produce a root beer-tasting beverage.
A drink that is a type of mulled wine or punch usually made from port wine infused with lemon, cinnamon, cloves, mace and ginger.
Carbonated water flavored with natural or artificial syrups, served hot.
A punch that is made from a mixture of rum, fruits and fruit juice, along with a mixture of spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, served – you guessed it – hot.
Leaves of the camellia sinensis plant, steeped in hot water served with or without milk and/or sugar. There are lots and lots of varieties and depending on what you like you might lean towards green, white, black or herbal teas.
This is an Indonesian ginger tea made from ginger root and hot water with palm sugar to taste. Tasty!
There exists a hot beverage for every occasion and while we might not have the ability to travel as extensively as we’d like, just yet, we can still be creative and adventurous in our learning. And hey, want to know the best part about learning new things?
We can create and recreate any of these hot drinks, right in our very own kitchen! A few tips? Always do your research, be careful when working with hot things and have fun learning!