Create Your Own Warm Winter Drinks

three mugs of hot cocoa with whip cream

When the weather is frightful, and you crave something warm and delightful, you want more than your regular mug of coffee or cup of tea. Instead of driving to your favorite coffee shop, why not use your refrigerator with Keurig K-Cup system to brew up some coffee or tea. Then, add some deliciously different flavorings that you already have in your pantry. 


Look to Your Spice Rack for Flavors

Your spice rack is filled with some truly amazing scents and flavors. Start there and add a pinch of your favorite to your coffee or tea. If you’re using a regular coffee maker or French press, you also can sprinkle spices over your coffee grounds before brewing. Then, add your usual sweetener and creamer and it’s even better than the coffee shop because you didn’t even have to get out of your comfy robe. Some flavors to try:

  • A pinch of ginger
  • Cinnamon or a cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of cardamom
  • Unsweet cocoa powder
  • Star Anise

​​​​​​Experiment with Flavor Extracts

Beyond baking, many of us don’t use flavored extracts in cooking. But as a liquid, they are perfect for stirring into all sorts of drinks. Peruse your baking stash and pull out your favorite flavorings. Try a drop or two in your cup to jazz up the taste or mix some with your regular creamer to make your own flavored version. You can also mix some a couple of flavored extracts in your cup to get creative with the taste.

  • Vanilla extract
  • Peppermint extract
  • Maple extract
  • Almond extract

Add Sweetened Syrups

Another way to amp up the taste of regular coffee and tea is to switch out your sugar or sweetener with sweetened syrups. You can buy flavored drink syrups at your local grocery or you can use some that you already have such as:

  • Maple syrup
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Caramel syrup
  • Honey

Try a spoonful or two and adjust to taste. You may also need to add a dash of sugar if you like your drink extra sweet.

Keurig refrigerator warm water dispenser for tea
copper french press

Create a Hot Cocktail

For those days when you need a little extra kick, try a shot of alcohol. Coffee- or cocoa-based cocktails are also great to serve at brunch. Having a cocktail ready with a warm cup is sure to please your guests and keep everyone warm and happy on a cold day. Beyond the traditional Irish coffee, we recommend these simple, warm cocktails based on things you may have in your bar or liquor cabinet.


  • Mexican Coffee—Add an ounce of coffee liqueur and a ½ ounce of tequila to your hot coffee, then top with whipped cream and cinnamon.
  • Spanish Coffee—Stir in sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons of rum, a tablespoon of triple sec, 2 ounces of coffee liqueur to your hot coffee. Top with whipped cream and nutmeg.
  • Red Wine Hot Cocoa—Add ¾ cup of red wine to your hot cocoa, plus a ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Top it with cocoa powder, marshmallows or whipped cream.

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