By Meghen Jones
The cold, winter days are now in full effect, and it’s likely that you’ve already broken out those cozy winter clothes and adjusted the indoor climate of your off-campus apartment accordingly. And honestly, it wouldn’t surprise us if you’ve taken down all your best blankets from the top shelf of the closet to keep yourself bundled up as you Netflix and Chill—quite literally.
But, sometimes the usual precautions we take to survive the cold are just not enough, and there just aren’t enough blankets in the world to keep us warm. So, what do you do next? Your heart says, “Starbucks!” but your brain tries to remind you of your already thin budget—especially after the holidays completely slashed your checking account. But you can please your heart’s impulsive “want” by stocking up on a few supplies to make your very own hot beverages, saving both time and money.
With so many recipes to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to begin. The tried-and-true favorites include hot chocolate, coffee, and warm apple cider, but how do you figure out exactly where your palate’s loyalty lies? Well, we suggest giving uCribs’ list of hot drinks a shot before making any final decisions, and you’ll just be “snow” happy that you did.
Gingerbread Hot White Chocolate
Warm spices, creamy milk, and sweet white chocolate set the perfect tone for wintertime. So, why not enjoy all three in a warm mug of this Gingerbread Hot White Chocolate. The aroma of this beverage will fill your home with appealing scents like vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and molasses. It would put anyone in a good mood—even a student who knows that they are returning to the grind of the school semester very soon. With one sip of this drink, you’ll be reminded about all the goodness of the most beloved season of the year!
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 teaspoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Generous pinch of ground clove
Generous pinch of salt
Oatmeal Cream Pie Drink
Do you remember those days as a kid when you munched on those delectable Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cream Pies? Maybe you still remember them so well because you still enjoy them from time to time. Now, you can transform those soft, chewy baked oatmeal cookies stuffed with a layer of creme into an equally delicious hot beverage. All you need is brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, butter, vanilla, and eggs to create this rich, drinkable cookie!
4 cups half-and-half
4 cups almond milk
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup butter, cut up
1 vanilla bean
4 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups sweetened whipped cream
4 3-inch oatmeal cookies, crumbled
Warm Vanilla Milk
Although it may seem a little basic to some, sometimes all that is needed to soothe your cold, tired bones is a mug of Warm Vanilla Milk. Hey, it’s also Santa’s favorite, and how could the jolly man in red be wrong? If anything, it’s the classic choice when served beside a plate of fresh cookies. But, cookies or not, it’ll help keep you warm as you bundle up in one of those blankets you brought out of storage. We also highly suggest pairing this drink with a good book on your list of wintertime must-reads.
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon sugar
Warm Strawberry Cider
Anytime winter rolls around, it’s almost a must to have a warm cup of apple cider before the season ends. Like warm milk, the recipe for warm apple cider can only be reimagined so many times. But, when you hear this recipe for Warm Strawberry Cider, you may feel differently. Imagine all of the things you love about apple cider, in addition to sweet, juicy, and flavorful strawberries. Once you try this delightful spin on a wintertime favorite, we think it’s safe to say that you’ll be back on your warm apple cider game for good.
8 cups apple juice
1 10-ounce package of frozen sliced strawberries
4-inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon whole cloves
Fresh strawberry or apple slices
Enjoy the bold, rich flavor of your favorite herbal tea as you mix up this new concoction, a Tea-Chino. If you didn’t already guess, a Tea-Chino is a play on the ever-popular cappuccino. So, if you’re not one for coffee, or if you’re trying to cut back as per your New Year’s resolution, this may be the hot beverage for you. Plus, it comes with many health benefits including a natural energy boost and improved digestive health. Made with only water, herbal tea, and your favorite milk, this soothingly warm drink is simple and affordable—two adjectives college students love.
2 herbal tea bags
1 cup milk
Allow this blend of coconut milk, cocoa and espresso powders, sugar, and vanilla extract to warm you up on a cold morning. What hot beverage are we talking about now? Well, Hawaij Coffee, of course. This simple-to-make, coffee-based drink is concocted around the hawaij spice blend, which consists of cumin, turmeric, and cardamom. If anything, it is sure to take your taste buds to a whole new world of flavors, while satisfying all of your coffee cravings as you prepare for another jam-packed day ahead.
1 14-ounce unsweetened light coconut milk
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
Hawaij spice blend
Coconut Tres Leches Hot Chocolate
We, at uCribs, are pleased to introduce you to the soon-to-be favorite drink of the winter season: Coconut Tres Leches Hot Chocolate. Taking you away from the hot chocolate norm, Coconut Tres Leches Hot Chocolate is infused with a blend of coconut, vanilla, and cocoa powder. Better yet, it combines your favorite flavor profiles: Tres Leches and Almond Joy. Topped with curls of chocolate, this lightweight, chocolatey drink will help you unwind after a day spent on campus in harsh, cold weather conditions.
3 cups fat-free milk
1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Sweetened whipped cream
1/4 cup chocolate shavings