Coffee served cold might be en vogue, but nothing eclipses the joy of hot coffee during the cold.
Whether you’re sipping by the fireplace or on-the-go, here are coffee drinks to enjoy through the winter months and snow.
Overview of Coffee Drinks in the Winter
Winter coffee drinks take the base of fall’s most delicious drinks and dial them up to 11. The scents of gingerbread harken back to those spicy fall flavors while peppermint mocha takes a refreshing flavor and makes it indulgent with a blend of rich chocolate. They’re often non-fruity, spicy, and—to be frank—borderline sinful.
In short, they borrow the best of hot cocoa and add some attitude.
Winter Coffee Drink Ideas and Recipes
There’s no shortage of crave-able flavors for winter coffee drinks. Here, a few winter coffee recipes for creatives eager to concoct new homemade drinks for winter.
- Bourbon Coffee. This recipe calls for approximately 6 ounces of coffee, mixed with a standard shot of bourbon—note that the bourbon adds more sweetness than other whisky varieties—and orange zest, with just a dash of your choice of spice. Whipped cream is a nice touch and adds more of a milky sweetness, but is optional.
- White Chocolate and Peppermint Latte. A more mild-tasting peppermint mocha creation that lets the peppermint shine, this one is a straightforward mixture of espresso, milk, peppermint syrup, and white chocolate. Crush a small candy cane on top.
- Eggnog Coffee. Want a simple coffee treat for the holiday gatherings? Try heating a cup of eggnog on the stovetop, and then mix with a dark roast coffee. Add nutmeg and top with whipped cream. Tip: Try a French vanilla eggnog for more variety.
- Chestnut Praline Latte. It doesn’t take a trip to your local coffee shop to enjoy the nutty-sweet flavors of chestnuts and praline. How to do it: combine a few chestnuts, half a cup of pecans, a quarter-cup of heavy whipping cream, milk, and espresso. To blend the nuts with the other ingredients, roast the chestnuts and heat a quarter-cup of water and some sugar over the stove, stirring in the pecans and letting them simmer for a minute until taking them out. Time this so you can roast the pecans with the chestnuts for about 10 minutes. Use a food processor with the pecans to make a topping. Do the same to the chestnuts, with added brown sugar, to make a syrup. Then prepare the latte as you would normally.
Best Winter Coffee Flavors
Though there’s an endless supply of winter coffee drink recipes, it usually boils down to just a few that are billed as classics—the best winter coffee drinks. The ones that scratch that itch when hot coffee and cold winter mornings collide.
This flavor is easy to achieve with just a bit of peppermint extract and sugar. The pepper adds a wintry bitterness that complements the refreshingly cool mint.
A hallmark of the holiday season, gingerbread and coffee ooze yuletide feelings. Clove-spicy and molasses-sweet with an aroma that puts scented candles out of business. This winter wonder can be accomplished in latte, coffee, or creamer form—but, as a tip, a gingerbread coffee is most easily accomplished with a simple combination of condensed milk, ginger powder, allspice, and a hint of molasses.
Think: peppermint, but make it cozy. The peppermint mocha—the pumpkin spice latte before the pumpkin spice latte existed—is a staple of winter months thanks to its hot-chocolate-meets-herbal-cool attitude. Its richness makes it an especially appealing dessert coffee on a chilly January evening.
Vanilla is a year-round flavor friend for coffee lovers, but its combination with chai gives it a spicy oomph that is boldly rewarding when the temperatures start to dip below freezing. It’s the ultimate non-boozy belly warmer.
While some of us love winter for the cozy sweaters and snow on the ground, even if you’re not a fan of those cold months, a flavor-packed coffee beverage will get you through!