As the weather darkens and the northern hemisphere angles itself away from the sun, we turn to warm, and comforting drinks. Here at JIFU, we know that exploring the world broadens our horizons and enriches our lives. However, sometimes a trip is not an option, so we have decided to gather a list of warm beverages from around the world.
The Netherlands: Anijsmelk
Our first stop is in the gorgeous Netherlands, where they are no stranger to cold winters. If anyone knows how to stay warm in a delicious way, it’s the Dutch. Traditionally, the drink is made to keep ice skaters warm. One only needs three ingredients to make anijsmelk.
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon anise seed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Combine the milk & anise seeds in a saucepan.
- Place over a low-medium heat; allow the milk to come to a low simmer.
- Add honey, and keep it simmering for 5-10 more minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat.
- Pour the warmed milk through a fine mesh strainer to remove the anise seeds.
- Serve warm
Matcha is probably one the more popular warm drinks from Japan. Though it has similar origins in China, there are two specific regions that are known for their matcha; Uji in Kyoto and Nishio in the Aichi prefecture. The drink traditionally has spiritual and ceremonial ties, but is also enjoyed for its earthy flavor and antioxidants.
- ¼ teaspoon matcha
- 2 ounces boiling water
- 6 ounces additional boiling water or steamed milk
- Maple syrup, honey, or other sweetener, optional
- sift the matcha into a mug or small bowl to get rid of any lumps.
- Pour in the 2 ounces boiling water. Using a matcha whisk or small regular whisk, whisk briskly from side to side until the matcha is fully dispersed and there is a foamy layer on top.
- Add the remaining 6 ounces boiling water or steamed milk and whisk again until foamy. Sweeten to taste, if desired.
United States: Pumpkin Spice Latte
The first pumpkin spice latte was developed by coffee giant Starbucks in 2003, but is easy to make for yourself at home, no matter where you are. Something about the pumpkin spice, clove aroma, and touch of sweetness is sure to warm you up and turn any frown upside down.
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
- Sweetened whipped cream, for serving
- Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.
- Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.
Tibet: Po Cha
Tibet is another place where the winters require a strong cup of warmness to heat your freezing insides. Po cha is a Tibetan drink, also called butter tea. The tea is salty rather than sweet, and is ideal for those who want to try a simple recipe from abroad.
- 4 cups of water
- Plain black tea (2 individual teabags, like Lipton’s black tea, or two heaping spoons of loose tea)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter (salted or unsalted)
- 1/3 cup half and half or milk
- First bring four cups of water to a boil.
- Put two bags of tea or two heaping tablespoons of loose tea in the water and let steep while the water is boiling for a couple of minutes.
- Add a heaping quarter of a teaspoon of salt.
- Take out the tea bags or if you use loose tea, strain the tea grounds.
- Add a third to a half cup of milk or a teaspoon of milk powder.
- Pour your tea mixture, along with two tablespoons of butter, into a chandong, which is a kind of churn. Since churns are kind of rare outside of Tibet, you can do what some Tibetans do, which is to use any big container with a lid, so you can shake the tea, or you can just use a blender, which works very well.
- Churn, blend or shake the mixture for two or three minutes. The Tibetans think the po cha tastes better if you churn it longer.
Turin, Italy: Bicerin
We expect nothing less from Italy than another chocolate drink, but this time with classic Italian espresso. Bicerin is actually Piedmontese (an Italian dialect) for small glass, which is what the drink is served in. Bicerin has been popular since the 18th century, and, though it may be small, it packs an energizing punch.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Italian espresso
1.Warm milk in a medium-sized saucepan with chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. Whisk the mixture until it begins to boil, then let it boil for 1 minute, whisking constantly (the chocolate mixture will foam up a bit.)
2. Afterward, remove it from the heat and set aside. Make a small pot of very strong coffee, or good Italian espresso.
3.Fill the bottom third of a clear, heat-proof glass with the warm chocolate mixture. Pour in some coffee or espresso. (If you want to help it create a definite layer, pour it over the back of a spoon, into the glass.)
4. Top with whipped cream.
This thick Mexican beverage is delicious and chocolatey, perfect as a sweet treat after a fun day spent out in the cold. Champurrado is popular in Mexico during the Christmas season for obvious reasons. The recipe is slightly more involved, but is worth the effort.
- 8 cups of water
- 5 oz. of piloncillo or ½ cup of sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 Mexican Chocolate tablets 6.5 ounces
- ¾ cup of masa harina corn flour
- Place 6 cups of water in a large saucepan along with the piloncillo and the cinnamon stick.
- Heat water until it starts boiling and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 10 minutes until the piloncillo has melted.
- Once the piloncillo or sugar has dissolved, add the 2 Mexican Chocolate Tablets and allow about 5 minutes to dissolve, stirring from time to time.