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Warm Drinks for Chilly Days

Sunday 11 November 2012
My girls and I love a hot cuppa to warm up after a chilly walk in Autumn or Winter, especially after coming home from school.  I've been experimenting with alternatives to hot chocolate, which is delicious but high in calories so I try not have it too often.  Hot homemade cordials and juices are a great way to warm up without a milky chocolate brew.  Here are a few ideas I have tried so far:

Warm Spiced Juice

1 litres of juice, I used apple and raspberry juice
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp mixed spice
2 Tblsp brown sugar
2 or 3 whole cloves

Pour the juice into a large saucepan and add the spices.  Warm gently for around 15 minutes then serve hot in mugs.     

Lemon and Ginger Syrup

3 large lemons, juice and zest
25g fresh ginger, grated
750g caster sugar
1 1/2 tsp citric acid
500ml boiling water

Put all the ingredients into a large heatproof bowl.  Stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved.  Cover and leave overnight to infuse.  Strain the syrup through muslin.  Pour into sterilised bottles or jars and seal.

Make a hot or cold drink with one part syrup to four parts water.  This would also make a fab Christmas gift or 'pick me up' pressie for a friend with a cold.

Raspberry and Vanilla Cordial

375ml boiling water
225g sugar
1 vanilla pod
zest of 1 lemon
2 large handfuls of frozen raspberries

Put the water and caster sugar into a small saucepan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.

Split the vanilla pod, scrape out the seeds and add to the sugar and water mixture along with the lemon zest.  Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the raspberries then leave to cool.  Strain the cordial through muslin then pour into sterilised bottles. Store in the fridge.  Add to hot water for a refreshing and warming drink.


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