What kind of drink gets you in the perfect autumn mood?
Halloween’s over and done with and Thanksgiving is right around the corner, so you can finally start pretending you didn’t just destroy your diet with fistfuls of candy…even as you stock up on eggnog. I’m certainly feeling the chill in the air (and the regret in the distance), figuring out how to keep my office space warm and admiring the fall sheen on the trees. This week got me to thinking about all my absolute favorite homemade drinks. Everyone’s got a thing that just never seems to leave the cupboard…and if it does, has to be replaced at all costs.
I’ve got a three cupboard’s worth of favorites, but for the sake of brevity I’ll sum up my top five seasonal go-tos below. Who knows? You might just discover a new love.
1. Celestial Seasonings Vermont Maple Ginger Tea: I found this through a recommendation on Twitter and haven’t looked back. This can be found at just about any grocery store (or, if you want to get specific, Safeway) and couldn’t be a more perfect summation of what makes autumn such a cozy season. Fans of chai and those eager for good decaf options will both find something to love in this spicy, flavorful herbal tea. The ginger pairs great with a little brown sugar and milk or all on its own. The scent is to die for and will put your scented candles to shame.
2. Celestial Seasonings Lemon Lavender Lane: Let’s keep the ball rolling with one of my favorite tea brands. This is another new addition I’ve picked up, particularly when I don’t want something quite so rich and still need a cup to warm my palms. The name of this tea alone was enough to grab my attention (it sounds like the title to an old-fashioned children’s book), but it stands on its own as a light, simple herbal tea. You can’t go wrong with the two standard ingredients for a calm mood, particularly alongside a dollop of honey.
3. Bigelow Spiced Chai Decaf: What can I say, I love the classics (provided they have as little caffeine as possible). Dessert teas are a mainstay for me, giving me something to pad out my breakfast in the morning or helping me etch away at my to-do list during that lukewarm period between afternoon and evening. I’ve been drinking this one for years and don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Add a spoonful of whipped cream on top and it transforms into heaven. Even better, this stuff is great hot or cold. Just be sure to use an extra teabag when mixing in your ice.
4. Just Give Me Apple Cider: What kind of November would it be without a little cider? I’ll take apple cider in just about any form you can give me. Cold, hot, alcoholic, non-alcoholic…apples, as far as I’m concerned, are worth their weight in gold. My keurig has a lot to do this month and December’s shaping up to be its most productive yet. Unlike dessert teas or even calming herbal teas, cider rarely needs mixing. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to remember to buy more Strongbow this week…
5. …Or Literally Any Hot Chocolate: Last, but certainly not least, a mug of hot chocolate adds some much-needed cheer to my weary week. It’s impressive how a simple drink can turn into a ten-minute therapy session. I turn to something herbal when I’m tired and not feeling too good, then dig out a new favorite when I’m feeling indulgent. Dark hot chocolate or white hot chocolate with a little peppermint (crushed or pre-packaged) brings out the child in me. Don’t even get me started on stuffing my mug full of marshmallows a la Calvin And Hobbes.
The winter season may be cold and busy, but that doesn’t mean it can’t also be comfortable. What kind of fall and winter drinks put a smile on your face?