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Travel Around The World with Holiday Drinks

Maybe you really don't want to spend your winter unpacking and repacking your summer clothes and battling the long line-ups of air travel just for a bit of warmth

Do you secretly wish for a simple, quiet, peaceful, and ultimately comfortable winter holiday season by just staying home?

Have the best of both worlds this winter with a taste of Britain, Germany, Morocco, Mexico and Ireland. With your favourite mug and a few simple ingredients, you can have your exotic hot holiday this winter without leaving home.

Pack your imagination, creativity, and taste buds; your winter vacation starts with a recipe from Britain.

pot of Wassail, 2 filled glasses and cut up pieces of fruit
Wassail is served hot at social gatherings

Wassail from England

Wassail is an immensely popular hot drink at social gatherings and at Christmas time in England. As a mulled punch or cider, there are nearly as many variations as there are occasions to drink it. With or without alcohol, for example, Wassail is delicious no matter how you choose to have fun with it.


1 gallon apple cider

2 cups pineapple or cranberry juice (or 1 cup of each)

1 orange, thinly sliced

1 lemon, thinly sliced

¾ cup of honey or sugar, or to taste

10 whole cloves, or to taste

5 cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon Allspice, or to taste

½ teaspoon nutmeg, or to taste

½ to 1 cup brandy (optional)

Method: Combine and slowly simmer all ingredients (except brandy) in a large pot. Allow the ingredients to release and infuse their flavours by simmering for 3 hours on very low heat. Add brandy 15 minutes before turning the heat off. Allow the Wassail to cool for 20 minutes before straining and serving. Cheers!

Glühwein from Germany

Glühwein is a German mulled wine recipe traditionally served at Christmas and other winter occasions. Glühwein is found in variations throughout German-speaking countries, often served up warm from street stands.

The Glühwein in this easy recipe is a delicious soul-warming version, but like any recipe here, you can alter it to your creative tastes. Prost!


1 bottle dry red wine

3-5 tablespoons of sugar or honey, or to taste

2-4 cinnamon sticks, or to taste

5-8 cloves, or to taste

3-4 cardamom pods, or to taste

1 orange or 1 lemon, thinly sliced

Method: Add all ingredients to a pot and bring to a very slow simmer. Let steep with the lid on for about 30 minutes. Be careful not to let this mixture boil. Let cool a bit, then strain and serve.

Mint Tea from Morocco

Mint tea is a culturally important and ubiquitous drink in Morocco. Serve this tea by pouring each glass from high above, so the tea foams a little on the surface.

Both the mint and the green tea ingredients are healthy alternatives to some of the more calorie-laden hot drinks that are seasonally popular, so pour yourself a cup or three. Saha wa’afiab!


1 tablespoon loose leaf Chinese Gunpowder Tea, or any Chinese Green Tea

1 Large handful spearmint leaves, washed. (May use other types of fresh mint)

3-4 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

Method: Bring the water to boil in a stove pot or metal teapot. Add green tea leaves and sugar. Return to boil. Add the mint and turn off the heat. Allow this to steep with the lid on for a few minutes. Stir the tea and pour into cups from a high distance.

Mug of Mexican Hot Chocolate, chiles and cinnamon sticks
The list needs at least one version of hot chocolate

Mexican Hot Chocolate

No winter holiday drink recipe list would be complete without at least one version of hot chocolate. Hot chocolate is popular in variations throughout the world and is high in antioxidants, so it’s not all “bad”.

This version adds a Mexican flair by adding a touch of chilli powder, which also has health benefits. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it, this is one drink that will warm you from the inside out. Salud!


3 cups milk

1 cup water

1 ½ cups sweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips.

2 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

2 teaspoons vanilla, optional

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon chilli powder

pinch of salt

Method: Combine all ingredients in a pot and put on medium heat. Whisk constantly until the mixture blends together and is hot. Do not allow it to boil. Serve in your favourite hot chocolate mugs.

Mugs of Irish coffee with whiskey in the background
Irish coffee is on the menus of many restaurants and bars

Irish Coffee

The popularity of Irish coffee is evidenced by its location on the menus of bars, pubs and restaurants in many countries around the world.

The stimulating effects of strong-brewed coffee, coupled with the euphoric combination of Irish whiskey will ensure you are more than content to have travelled at home this winter holiday season. Sláinte!


3 cups strong-brewed coffee

½ cup Irish whiskey

¼ cup sugar

1 cup whipping cream

Method: Brew your favourite pot of strong coffee and add the sugar and whiskey. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Irish coffee has heavy cream sitting on top, so the coffee is sipped through the cream. The first method has you gently pouring the cream over the top of a spoon that is resting on the coffee.

The sugar in the coffee is essential for the cream to rest above the coffee, but you may also need a little of that “Irish luck” to make it work. An easier way is to whisk the cream until it thickens a bit and then spoon it on top.

These five hot international drinks will help you have an exciting, exotic, and warm winter holiday season from home this year. Adjust these easy recipes, from one cup to 20 cups, it’s all up to you. Who knows, you may like some of these drinks so much they become a part of your new yearly tradition. Bon Voyage!


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