As the cold draws in it’s time to shut the curtains, curl up under the blankets and get hot. We’ve searched the whole world (figuratively) to round up some of the best winter warmers from across the globe. So grab a mug and let it snow (drizzle, fog, whatever).
Winter drinks from around the world to (pumpkin) spice up your life
The national drink of Argentina, mate (pronounced ma-tay, not mate) is drunk across South America. It’s traditionally made from the ground leaves of the yerba herb infused in hot water and drunk from a gourd with a metal straw (which seems like a potentially painful choice but still). There’s lots of social etiquette surrounding the drinking of Mate, with the server always going first and the gourd passed around until the tea loses its distinctive flavour.
Pumpkin Spice Latte
This sweet, vegetable flavoured coffee has become an unlikely staple in the pantheon of winter drinks. Created in Starbucks’ Seattle coffee lab (we’re not making this up), the main flavours are of nutmeg, cinnamon and clove with hint of pumpkin to set it all off. Its popularity has seen the drink exported all over the world, including the UK, so it’s no more than a pop to the shops away. If hot vegetable liquid is your thing of course.
Of the many mulled wine variants out there, glögg not only wins the prize for the best name (really, glögg is just a great word) but also for one of the most alcoholic. Drunk in countries where keeping out the cold is a serious business (Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Iceland and more) it’s made by heating red wine with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and orange and finishing with raises, almonds and (supposedly optional) rum AND whiskey. We feel warmer already.
Made with a special filter to maximise flavour, Vietnamese coffee has a distinct chicory tang and is often served with condensed milk to taste. The drink has become (deservedly) famous outside its homeland as smitten travellers returned home with cravings. Though this means you can now buy it in tins and packets all over the world, nothing really beats sitting in a cafe in the streets of Hoi An or Ho Chi Minh, lingering for an hour and watching the world go by.
Courtesy of Larra Jungle Princess on Flickr
Originating from Malaysia and literally translated as “pulled tea”, teh tarik is black tea, sugar and condensed milk. The “pulled” part comes from the tradition of pouring it through the air to froth up the mixture and create a unique type of street theatre and even a world championships!
Panela factory - courtesy of Serge on Flickr
As the name suggests (if your Spanish is better than mine) aguapanela is simply water mixed with panela, a brown block made from sugar cane. Our resident Colombian Carolina assures us this drink is used for just about everything in parts of South and Central America. In the summer it’s served cold with lime as a kind of iced tea where as in the winter it’s heated and used for everything from a breakfast tipple to a cold remedy!
Sake connoisseurs may know that in Japan every variant actually has its own recommended serving temperature – drinking is no simple business after all. Though really good sake is rarely served hot, Junshu sake’s rich flavour lends itself well to heat. Honestly though, it’s all about personal preference, and if hot shot of rice wine is what you need to get you through the cold winter evenings – heat up what ever you fancy.