The Christmas Season has officially begun, as we have finally entered the most wonderful time of the year, December. With the weather getting chillier and our mood needing an uplift, cozy drinks are definitely a must at all times of the day, from morning hours to late evenings. Fortunately, the Mediterranean region is rich in heart-warming and incredibly tasty drinks, and here we present you 8 of them!
1. Italian Bicerin
Bicerin is a drink, originated from Turin, a city in northern Italy, and it combines espresso coffee with hot chocolate and whipped cream. The Italian word means “small glass”, as this drink is traditional served in a small glass. All you have to do is to melt the chocolate by using milk, prepare your coffee, whip the cream, and pour the three layers separately from one another. Enjoy!
2. Turkish Salep
Salep is a very popular drink of the Ottoman cuisine, with a long history. It contains salep flour, sugar, milk, and it is garnished with cinnamon, that adds a stronger Winter vibe. To prepare it, mix the salep flour with sugar at a small saucepan, add the milk and stir, until the mixture is homogenized. Keep stirring until it gets thick, pour it into a cup and add some cinnamon on the top.
3. Greek Rakomelo
Although Greece is mostly known for its sunny weather, there are various drinks for the colder days as well. Rakomelo, traditionally made in Crete, a Greek island, is a sweet alcoholic drink, perfect for your evenings, that contains raki, honey, cinnamon, and clove buds. It is pretty easy to make it, by warming up the raki, adding honey until it dissolves, as well as cloves and cinnamon. Stir for a few minutes, while heating, and you’ re good to go!
4. Italian Bombardino
We could not skip another Italian drink, that many people enjoy during the Winter and especially when going for skiing. Indeed, it is like a bomb, as the name itself reveals, as it is rich in calories, but also rich in flavors. It is usually made by mixing advocaat or eggnog with brandy and served hot with whipped cream. Molto saporito (aka very tasty)!
5. Spanish Hot Spiced Sangria
It is possible that you are already familiar with sangria, the alcoholic beverage that consists of red wine and fruits. This Winter add a Mediterranean twist on your classic red wine, by drinking sangria with warm spices and fruits. You can create a syrup enriched with warm spices like cinnamon, add fresh orange to the wine, and serve your sangria with fresh fruits such as apples and oranges.
6. French Vin Chaud
French and Wine often go together, and you should definitely try Vin Chaud, the French version of mulled wine. How to make it? Just combine red wine with peeled orange zest, sugar (optionally), cinnamon sticks, cardamon, and cloves, in a saucepan, with low heat. Stir until you cannot see the sugar anymore, and do not let the mixture to boil. Et voilà!
7. Moroccan Mint Tea
If the above sweet flavors are not really your thing, and you are looking for a healthier warming beverage, Moroccan Mint Tea is the one for you. Tea making and serving is a whole ritual in Morocco, and locals take this mint tea very seriously. To make it yourself, you can get some Chinese gunpowder green tea, put it in a teapot along with mint, and pour boiled water. You can add sugar, but if you prefer it less sweet, just leave it as it is.
8. Spanish Chocolate Con Churros
If you have a sweet tooth, you might not find great satisfaction in simply drinking a beverage, unless it is accompanied by a sweet snack. Well, we have the perfect drink for you too: Hot chocolate with churros, a fun and super tasty treat that is fried and served with sugar on top. The authentic recipe includes the making of a cinnamon sugar, a chocolate sauce, and, of course, churros! In case you just want to make the chocolate drink, you only have to use semisweet 70% chocolate and heavy cream.