10 of the best hot cocktails from around the world

When the cold sets in, one of the best ways to brighten up the cold and gloomy is to use a deliciously hot cocktail, especially a cocktail made with festive spices. The key to heating the alcohol is to do it slowly, without letting the mixture go above around 65 ° C. Here are the best hot and alcoholic drinks to try this winter.

1. Canelazo, South America

Canelazo is the kind of drink you want to wrap your hands on on a chilly Andean night – cinnamon soaked in hot water and unrefined sugar, topped with aguardiente or rum. Because the recipe is several hundred years old and made in the highlands of Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Argentina, there are many variations: sometimes the drink is made with nails of cloves or anise, with citrus or with the tangy flesh of the local naranjilla. fruit.

2. Black balm tea, Latvia

The object of great national pride in Latvia, black balm is a strong and bitter herbal liqueur whose secret recipe has been more or less constant since 1752 (except for a brief hiatus during World War II). Rarely drunk neat, it is often added to hot tea (or sometimes coffee) or served hot with heated cranberry or black currant juice.

3. Kanzake, Japan

Once upon a time, sake was quite expensive to import, so outside of Japan cheaper sakes were heated to enhance their flavor, while the best were always served chilled. But in Japan itself, carefully reheated high-quality sake has been common for centuries – and other countries have now started to reheat good things too. Known as kanzake or okan, reheated sake is best tried in a bar where they really know what they are doing, as dry, sweet, or aromatic sakes respond to changes in heat differently.

Read more: The Secret Life of Sake, Japan’s National Obsession

4. Jólaglögg, Iceland

Part of the Nordic tradition of drinking glogg (mulled wine) in winter, jólaglögg is the Icelandic version. Expect something a little more washed down than many mulls made with red wine, as some recipes involve aquavit, vodka, schnapps and / or port, and with all the usual warming spices. , you could also try cardamom and cranberries.

5. Grzane piwo, Poland

If mulled wine isn’t your thing, try grzane piwo, the hot Polish beer. It’s usually spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and sometimes ginger, then sweetened with honey or sometimes raspberry syrup. A richer version, on the other hand, is made by whisking together the egg yolks and sugar, before mixing them with hot beer to form a creamy emulsion.

6. Jägertee, Austria

Originally shared between hunters stalking their prey in the snow (the name means Hunters’ Tea), jägertee has become a mainstay of the Austrian après-ski experience. It’s made with local spiced rum, along with hot black tea, red wine, brandy, orange juice, cinnamon, cloves, sugar, and lemon.

7. Rakomelo, Crete

During the long hot Cretan summer the rakomelo is served cold, but in the winter the honey mixture of thyme, tsikoudia (the Cretan version of raki), cloves and cinnamon is reheated – sometimes in a briki, the distinctive pan used to brew Greek coffee. Unlike many hot drinks, rakomelo is served as a short hot drink or as a digestif at the end of a large meal.

8. Hot buttered rum, US

Made by mixing melted butter, sugar, rum, spices, and hot water, Hot Buttered Rum is a sweet drink with a bitter history. It was probably invented in 18e-Colonial America of the century, when the expansion of the rum market (part of the triangular trade between America, Africa, and Europe – in people, coffee, textiles, sugar, and weapons) meant strong spirits were inexpensive and readily available.

9. Ponche Navideño con piquete, Mexico

This Mexican hot punch is very popular as Christmas approaches, especially since there is also an alcohol-free version (just Ponche Navideño, without the piquete). It’s highly customizable, taking into account all the fruits available locally, from pineapples and guavas to apples and pears, as well as tamarind and hibiscus. It’s almost always made with tejocotes, sour fruits that look like tiny apples (and can be purchased canned in syrup outside of Mexico), as well as cinnamon, dried fruit, and sugar cane. Fruits and spices are simmered together and tequila, mezcal or brandy are added just before serving.

10. Cocktail Chai, India and beyond

Chai – spicy Indian tea – is not traditionally alcoholic, but its combination of ginger, nutmeg, fennel, cardamom, cinnamon, anise and black pepper makes it a perfect base for hot cocktails. Countless hot chai cocktails are being made in bars across India (and beyond), from simpler toddy-style hot drinks, with whiskey, lemon and honey, to more complicated creations, with cream, chocolate or liqueur added.

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