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Warming winter drinks

Summer reminds us of long hot days and leisurely hours spent drinking cooling beverages; iced teas, tall glasses of cold, freshly made lemonade, smoothies and many more.

Brrr…it’s cold outside!

Winter paints a very different picture; warm fires, furry slippers, thick jumpers and hands wrapped around a hot warming drink.

The list of hot drinks available nowadays is endless so here are some warming winter drinks for you to try, some traditional and some you may not have tried yet.

Hot Chocolate

We all know that nothing cures the winter blues like a cup of hot chocolate. A piping hot mug of chocolate is one of the things that gets us through the coldest, darkest months of the year.

We all have a basic hot chocolate recipe that we love and there is a host of options that makes good hot chocolate great.

How to make perfect hot chocolate

Serves 2

450ml whole milk
70g 70% cocoa chocolate, finely chopped or grated
30g good-quality milk chocolate, finely chopped or grated
75ml single cream
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

1. Warm about 150ml milk in a pan over medium heat and stir in the chocolate. Continue to stir until the chocolate has melted into the milk, then whisk in the remaining milk and the cream.

2. Continue to heat until the mixture is hot, but not boiling, then add the cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Taste, adjust if necessary, and serve. For a frothy finish, whisk vigorously just before pouring.

For those of you who like a luxury version click here for ways to upgrade


Salep is a traditional Turkish milky drink popular on cold, wintry days.

It is made from the tubers of wild orchids* which are washed, boiled, dried and ground into flour. The flour is then mixed with cold milk or water and boiled until it thickens into a creamy consistency. Salep also contains glucomannan, which is good for coughs and bronchitis and eases sore throats.

It is even more pleasurable and healthy when mixed with ginger and/or cinnamon.

You can buy ready-prepared salep powder. Here’s how you make it

In a deep saucepan add cold milk and salep powder into the pan. For each cup add 3 tsp salep (10gr) into cold milk, and stir until boiling. Salep should be thickening in a few minutes. Pour the hot drink into the cup. Do not add sugar, all prepackaged salep drinks contain sugar already. Sprinkle cinnamon on top before serving.

*Wild orchids grow almost everywhere in Türkiye, and there are lots of varieties. Yet, some varieties are facing extinction. To get 1 kilo of salep flour, more than 1000 orchid tubers are pulled out of the soil. And it takes up to 7 or 8 years for the orchid’s tubers to grow sufficiently to use for salep production. Therefore, the export of salep is prohibited. However, instant versions with salep flavour are exported. – Source: The Istanbul Insider

A steaming cup of coffee

Nowadays, coffee is fashionable and there are so many different styles of coffee to choose from, from Espresso to Affogato and everything in between. Gone are the days when you simply ordered a “cup of coffee.”

There is a style to suit coffee lovers everywhere. Click here for 12 different types of coffee


Mocha is a mix between a cappuccino or latte and a hot chocolate. Click here for a delicious recipe for Cinnamon Spiced Mocha Latte

6 ounces of brewed coffee

4 ounces of milk, heated

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Once you’ve brewed your coffee, simply add the milk, sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and stir to combine.

Boza – porridge in a cup

Boza is a thick, nourishing winter drink made from fermented barley or mullet. It’s a little like drinking tangy liquid porridge. 

A version of Boza was enjoyed by Central Asian nomads in the 4th century, making it one of the oldest Turkish surviving foods.

It is typically sold in winter although it’s not a hot drink. It’s associated with cold days and snow because it has a warming effect.

Boza is traditionally served in typical Turkish water glasses with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas on the top. 

Boza is also rich in vitamin B and, if you’re forced to skip a meal, a good way to keep going until dinner time.

Click here for a step-by-step guide to making Boza

Spiced Tea


2 cups water
3 tea bags (unflavored black tea)
4-star anise
1 x 3-inch cinnamon stick
1 cup passion fruit nectar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice


In a medium saucepan bring water to boiling. Add tea bags, anise, and the cinnamon stick. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 to 5 minutes. Discard the tea bags and cinnamon stick. Stir in nectar, honey, and lemon juice. Heat through. Pour the tea mixture into four heat-proof cups, floating star anise on top of each. 

Makes 4 servings. 

All winter warmers should be enjoyed by the fire with cosy slippers and a good book!

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Lyn Ward

Lyn Ward

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