When it’s cold and dark outside, one of the best wintertime comforts is to close the curtains, pull on a cosy jumper, settle down on the sofa, and wrap your hands around a piping hot drink. But, if you’re tired of regular tea or coffee, you might be wondering what other drinks are out there.

Luckily, there are loads of comforting hot drinks that taste delicious and will help keep you warm through the long winter nights.

From boozy evening concoctions to mouthwateringly sweet ones, here are nine warming recipes for you to try.

1. Mulled wine

Mulled wine

The great thing about making mulled wine from scratch isn’t only that it tastes better than shop-bought versions – it’s that as it cooks, the scent of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg will release and infuse your home with wonderfully festive fragrances.

Mulled wine is incredibly simple to make. Just mix a bottle of red wine with some slices of orange, spices (usually cloves, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and cardamom), brandy, and a sweetener like sugar or honey.

Mulled wine is really versatile and you can easily put your own spin on it. While dry red wines like merlot, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon are popular, you can use any type of red wine you like. If you don’t like brandy, there’s no need to include it, and if you’d like to add other flavours like vanilla or star anise, go ahead.

Why not try giving our mulled wine recipe a go?

To read more about how to make the perfect mulled wine, have a read of this article by The Guardian, or watch Gordon Ramsay’s video below.

2. Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate

Sweet, velvety, rich, and decadent, hot chocolate is one of the most beloved drinks in the world – and for good reason. Aside from how delicious and comforting it is, hot chocolate is also really adaptable.

For instance, you can make light, milky hot chocolate or dark, rich drinks. You can top with marshmallows, chocolate shavings, or whipped cream. You can add flavours like salted caramel, peppermint, hazelnut, or even chilli. You can use dairy, oat, almond, or soya milk. There really is a hot chocolate recipe out there for everyone!

If you’re a fan of dark, French-style hot chocolate, check out this recipe from Well Plated. Or, for a more ‘classic’ hot chocolate, this recipe from BBC Good Food looks great – and if you’re dairy-free or follow a plant-based diet, try BBC Good Food’s super creamy oat milk hot chocolate recipe.

Or, if you fancy a more sophisticated hot chocolate, why not add a splash of alcohol? Baileys, whiskey, Amaretto, rum, and coffee liqueur all make great additions if you’re looking to make a hot chocolate with some extra warmth.

Alternatively, you might fancy making Italian-style hot chocolate, Cioccolata Calda: if that’s the case, have a watch of the video below.

3. Hot eggnog

Hot eggnog

Though eggnog is often seen as having American roots, this creamy drink actually hails from Britain, where it was popular among the aristocracy in the early 19th century. Milk, eggs, spices, and brandy were foods of the wealthy, so eggnog was seen as a drink which reflected prosperity.

But, it was when this drink crossed the Atlantic that it really took off, and these days it’s made from egg yolks, cream or milk, spices, and rum, whisky, or brandy. While eggnog is normally served chilled, you can also enjoy it warm. Plus, this way, it’s closer to the old British version – which was then called ‘posset’, or milk punch.

This eggnog recipe from Wine Enthusiast looks great, as does this one from No Recipes. Alternatively, you might like to try Gordon Ramsay’s recipe for chilled eggnog.

If you don’t eat eggs, are trying to reduce your calorie intake, or watch your cholesterol levels, why not try this vegan eggnog by Minimalist Baker? It might not be traditional, but it’s just as delicious!

Or, watch the video below for more guidance on making warm eggnog.

4. Mulled cider

Mulled cider

If you’re craving the comforting warmth and spice of a mulled drink but fancy something lighter than mulled wine, why not try making mulled cider?

Just like mulled wine, mulled cider is made by infusing cider with spices like cinnamon, star anise, cloves, and adding a glug of brandy – but there are many ways to put your own spin on this festive drink. We think adding maple syrup instead of honey or sugar tastes great, and including a dash of ginger beer gives it a warming, spicy kick, too.

If you’re not big on brandy, you can easily swap it for rum. Or, you can omit the alcohol altogether.

Using a good quality, cloudy apple juice instead of cider works really well too, and means that kids can also enjoy this winter warmer. To mix things up more, you could also consider using a flavoured cider like pear or strawberry.

For inspiration, you might like this quick and easy mulled cider recipe by The Londoner. Alternatively, why not try Nigella Lawson’s fruity and mellow mulled cider recipe, this recipe from Vintage Roots, or the Tesco recipe that’s featured in the video below?

5. Hot buttered rum

Hot buttered rum

Hot buttered rum is a deliciously warming drink, and a great way to brighten up a cold day, or to slowly savour in front of the fire.

Just like many of the other winter warmers in this article, buttered rum can be adapted to your own preferences. If you have a favourite flavour, go ahead and add it in – and if you have an old bottle of liqueur that’s just gathering dust, why not add a splash of that to the mix too?

Traditionally, hot buttered rum is made with brown sugar, butter, rum, and spices like allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg – though this recipe from The Spruce Eats uses vanilla extract to make it that little bit more flavoursome.

Jamie Oliver’s recipe for hot buttered rum is simpler, using Bacardi Carta Negra rum and less spices. While, for a real treat, this recipe from Delish uses softened vanilla ice cream to make this winter warmer part-drink, part-dessert.

For step-by-step instructions on making a classic buttered rum, why not check out the video below?

6. Gingerbread latte

Gingerbread latte

Ever since Starbucks started making a gingerbread-flavoured latte, these festive coffees have become an incredibly popular winter warmer – and we think the best versions are homemade.

Most gingerbread latte recipes are pretty simple: just heat up some milk (dairy and non-dairy milks work well) with ground ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, and treacle. The ginger and treacle are what give gingerbread its signature taste, so these two ingredients are important – although, if you have gingerbread syrup, you can always just use that. Then, just add some brewed espresso into your mix, stir until combined, and voila – a homemade gingerbread latte.

This recipe from Life Made Sweeter looks really great. Or, if you don’t want to use treacle, or don’t have it at home, try this recipe from BBC Good Food instead.

Alternatively, for more details on how to make the perfect gingerbread latte, watch coffee connoisseurs Costa Coffee’s video below.

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7. Hot toddy

Hot toddy

If you fancy a winter warmer but are worried that you’re coming down with a bit of a cold, why not make yourself a comforting hot toddy?

Unlike other alcoholic winter drinks, hot toddies are light and refreshing – and because they contain lemon and honey, they’re good for the throat too.

As this recipe from Epicurious shows, all you need to make this simple yet classic winter warmer is hot water, whisky, honey, and lemon – although to make it that bit more festive, you could add cinnamon and cloves, like this recipe from BBC Good Food does.  Or, if you’d like to get even more creative, why not try making this tasty hot apple toddy by The Spruce Eats? 

For more guidance, you might also be interested in the video below.

8. Irish coffee

Irish coffee

Many of us are big coffee drinkers – but why not make things a bit more festive by having your coffee Irish?

Though many people think Irish coffee just means adding a shot of whisky to a standard coffee, an authentic Irish coffee requires more precision – although it’s still pretty straightforward to make.

All you need for this delicious brew is some strong coffee, sugar, Irish whisky, and cream. The trick is to heat up your cup, then mix the sugar with the hot coffee until it’s fully dissolved. Then, add the whisky and stir again. Finally, whip up your cream and pour on top – and remember not to stir! The authentic way to drink this winter warmer is through the cream.

While Irish coffee is a delicious finale to a dinner party, it tastes just as good sipped curled up on the sofa during a night in. To make your own Irish coffee, have a look at this recipe from Delish.

Or, if you’d like to make Irish coffee with a twist, this recipe for almond Irish coffee by Ateriet uses amaretto liqueur, almond cream, and cinnamon. Thick, creamy, and spicy, it’s a real treat!

Have a watch of the video below to learn more about making the perfect Irish coffee.

9. Spiced chai latte

Spiced chai latte

A chai latte is spicy, sweet, and creamy – and a lovely way to perk up your day when it’s cold and dark outside. It’s made by infusing spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger with tea and your milk of choice.

To read about how to make the perfect chai latte, check out this guide by The Kitchn – or, you may prefer the look of this recipe by BBC Good Food.

To make an authentic chai tea latte from scratch, have a watch of the video below.

Final thoughts…

Taking the time to make a special, warming drink, and sitting down to savour each sip is one of winter’s small joys, and we hope some of these recipes have inspired you to get creative with your drinks this year.

For more ideas on how to make delicious winter treats at home, why not visit the food and drink section of our site? Here, you’ll find articles like 10 creative Christmas dinner ideas and 12 Christmas recipe ideas to bring festive cheer to your kitchen.

Do you have a favourite warming winter drink – or are you looking forward to creating some of these recipes? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!