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Bust the winter blues with these toasty toddies
by Laurel |  Jan 17, 2013

On a hot summer day, there are few things more refreshing than sipping on an ice cold drink. Whether you add liquor to yours or not, there's nothing like that cooling sensation rushing through your body. But what about when the mercury drops to those not-so-toasty temperatures?

A warm drink is actually one of the best ways to beat a head-to-toe chill. Just as a cold drink can freeze you to the bone, a warm one gets your blood pumping and body temperature rising. Try sipping on these soothing beverages to keep you cozy all winter long.

Make-your-own chai
​You can spend $4 on a chai at the coffee shop down the street, but when the weather is particularly frightful (and you're feeling particularly thrifty) you can make your own at home. Crush eight cardamom seeds and cloves and four black peppercorns, then add them to 2 cups of milk in a medium saucepan. Add cinnamon sticks, fresh ginger and 2 cups of water, then bring to a boil. Once it's boiling, remove from heat, add four black tea bags, and let steep for 10 minutes. Add two teaspoons of sugar to each for a tasty and toasty drink. Spiced rum is an optional kick.

Spice up your hot cocoa
Ever heard of Mexican chocolate? Usually, it's that familiar cocoa flavor, ramped up a bit with cinnamon, almonds and vanilla. You can give your cup of cocoa some south-of-the-border flair with two pinches of cinnamon and two pinches of ground chipotle chili pepper. Top off each piping hot cup with two tablespoons of whipped cream. Add a touch of tequila for an even warmer twist!

Apple pie cider
Why choose apple cider when you could have apple pie cider? Martha Steward adds the same spices to this treat as she would to apple pie, so it's like drinking a delicious slice. To make it, whisk 3 tablespoons of brown sugar, seven whole cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, a few ground cloves, some freshly grated nutmeg and salt into 1 1/4 quarts of apple cider in a medium saucepan. Bring this mixture to a simmer over medium heat. When you remove it from the heat, you can stir in brandy, if you choose, but either way make sure to strain the solids out before serving.

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