Four Warm Winter Beverages to Take the Chill Off


Enjoy Life Hot CocoaFor roughly seven years we lived in the mountains of Lake Tahoe.  It was around year six that the novelty of shoveling piles of snow began to wear off.  Nonetheless, I do often miss those relaxing days by the fire, nestled in a soft blanket with a hot beverage in hand, just watching that snow fall (trying not to picture myself outside shoveling it the next day).  More often than not my mug was filled with hot tea, but on occasion I would venture away from the usual for a little excitement.  The following mugs of indulgence include a few of my favorite cold weather beverages (all dairy-free, of course), perfect for warming from the inside out …

Hot Chocolaty Cocoa  (Recipe from Enjoy Life Foods)
Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

1/4 cup Enjoy Life® semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 tbsp sugar
1-1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp vanilla
12 oz rice milk*

Microwave: Mix all ingredients. Heat in microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Continue heating and stirring until boiling. Let cool to your desired temperature and enjoy.

Stovetop: Mix all ingredients. Stir constantly, heat over medium/low heat until boiling. Let cool to your desired temperature and enjoy.

Options: Top with marshmallows. And don’t be shy! If you love chocolate, dribble a few chips on top for an extra chocolaty bite. It makes a pretty decoration too (any excuse for chocolate is good)!

Another Option: Stir with candy cane to add a dose of festive peppermint flavor.

*TIP To make this even creamier, use 8 oz. of rice milk and 4 oz. Silk Creamer (contains soy).
**TIP Non-dairy alternative to whip cream is Soyatoo! Soy Whip (contains soy).

Glühwein (hot spiced wine recipe from Christmas-Baking)
Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

For each 750 ml (3 cups) of wine, add:
1 stick cinnamon
6 whole cloves
Rind/zest of half a lemon
2 to 4 tbsps sugar
1 Cardamon pod (optional)
Rum, brandy, vodka or schnapps (optional)

Use cheap wine. Not that cheap, but still cheap. The amount of sugar is inversely proportional to the cheapness of the wine. Break cinnamon sticks into three or four pieces. Remove rind from lemon in large pieces or one long piece. In saucepot over medium-low heat, combine wine, spices and 2 tbsps sugar. Heat 1/2 to 1 hour, but do not allow to boil. Longer heating brings out a warmer, more cinnamon flavor. Taste and adjust sugar. Serve, adding a shot of rum or schnapps if desired. If you do add schnapps, be careful not to inhale while drinking the Wein; you’ll choke on the alchohol fumes. Remove spices and rind; reduce heat to low and cover if not all Wein is served.

Glühwein – non-alcoholic (posted by Jackie of The Vegan Diet)
Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

4 cups apple juice
2 cups strong black tea
2 tbsps raw sugar
1 orange juiced
1 lemon juiced
zest from lemon and orange
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves

In a saucepan heat but do not boil the apple juice and tea. Add sugar, cinnamon, cloves,lemon and orange zest and juice. Stir until sugar disolved. Heat but do not boil. Strain into mugs and serve.

Mulled Cranberry Cider (recipe from Ivy Kirchberg on
Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free

2 quarts cranberry juice
2 oranges, zested
14 whole cloves
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups honey
2 cinnamon sticks

Pour cranberry juice into a slow cooker; set on high. To the juice add the zest from the oranges, cloves, cranberries, vanilla extract, honey and cinnamon sticks. Heat, stirring occasionally, until hot and steamy, about 20 minutes.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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