#Winesday: 4 Hot Drinks to Ease That Winter Chill

It’s that time of year again. The temps have plummeted, the peppermint mochas are flowin’, and all of your coworkers’ desks are covered in tissues. Yep, we’re talking about: Flu Season.

Nothing kills those changing-of-the-seasons vibes quite like your first yearly bout with the common cold. Fortunately, wine exists. And for the days when not even a refreshing glass of vino can ease your winter blues, there’s warm wine.

It’s important to note, in no way are we condoning drinking vino over taking care of your physical health. But, if you’re looking to warm your spirits and enjoy some Netflix without the sub-zero chill, give one of these soothing sippers a shot.

Honey Pomegranate Mulled Wine

Makes 4 servings

Honey is kind of the universal cure-all when it comes to winter woes, isn’t it? It’s known for producing calming effects when consumed, and it can even soothe throat irritation. Pair that with pomegranate juice, everyone’s favorite (and most delicious) antioxidant, and you’ve got a perfect seasonal drink.

Ingredients:

  • 450 ml pomegranate juice
  • 1 bottle of red wine
  • 4 tbs honey
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cloves

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and gently heat for 10-15 minutes.  
  2. Remove from heat and allow the flavors to mingle while the mixture cools for a few additional minutes.
  3. Ladle the warm spiced wine into serving glasses. Enjoy!

Riesling Hot Toddy

Makes 4 servings

You know how your mom always told you to go heavy on the Vitamin C to ward off an impending cold? Next time you’re reaching for the OJ, consider this citrus and cardamom cocktail. The vitamins in lemons are said to have immune-system boosting potential, and the brandy in this bev will warm you from the inside out.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of riesling
  • 2 tsp brandy
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 strips of lemon zest, for garnish

Instructions:

  1. Toast the cardamom pods in a skillet over high heat. Toss often until the pods are fragrant (approx. 3 minutes). Gently crush the pods with a wooden spoon.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the riesling, brandy, honey, toasted cardamom and bay leaves. Squeeze the lemon halves over the mixture and toss the rinds into the pot. Bring to a gentle simmer and then reduce heat to the lowest setting on your stovetop.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep on low for 45 minutes.
  4. Strain the mixture and divide between 4 glasses. Garnish with lemon zest. Enjoy!

Red Wine Hot Chocolate

Makes 4 servings

Ok, so this one may not be the most health conscious of choices, but it’s certainly the most unique. Red wine AND chocolate? Come on! For nights when you just need to curl up with a good book and hot cocoa, try this recipe on for size.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle of fruit-forward red wine (try a well-balanced red blend or Merlot!)
  • 1 ¾ cups superfine sugar (caster sugar)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 5 star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • 3 ¼ cups dark chocolate chunks
  • 2 clementines, peeled and separated
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and gently heat for at least 10 minutes. The longer your mixture simmers, the more flavorful it will be.
  2. Remove from heat and allow the flavors to mingle and the mixture to cool slightly.
  3. Strain the warm liquid into serving glasses, discarding the herbs and aromatics. Enjoy!

Cabernet Hot Toddy

Makes 1 serving

This is just what the doctor (or your wine-loving grandmother) ordered. Hot toddies were classically made with a mixture of spirits like whiskey or brandy, hot water and honey. They were believed to soothe a sore throat, calm a cough, or lull those sipping on them into a relaxed sleep. Now, of course, we know that that’s likely just the whiskey. But nevertheless, this wine-infused twist on an age-old elixir is simple and satisfying.

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 4 oz water
  • 1 oz dark rum
  • 1-2 tbs lemon juice (to taste)
  • 1-2 tbs honey (to taste)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 lemon twist, for garnish
  • Slightly crushed cloves (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. Combine the Cabernet, water, rum, lemon juice and honey in a small saucepan.
  2. Heat the liquid slowly on low for 3-5 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Pour the mixture into your glass and garnish with the cinnamon stick, lemon twist and cloves. Enjoy!

Remember, with any “remedy” or activity involving alcohol, it’s important to always consume responsibly. One too many toddies and you’ll be waking up with more than just those winter blues.

Cheers and stay warm, friends!

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Bright Cellars

Our staff is full of winos with a passion for vino. With our amazing wine director at the helm, we’ve been schooled on all things wine. We came together to write this article, in hopes of spreading a little wine-ducation with you.

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