12 Drinks of Christmas Day 2 : Warm Lattes for a Cold Winter’s Night: With or Without a Little Alcoholic “Spicing” Up

This is Day 2 of the 12 Drinks of Christmas. It’s so close to Christmas and it’s in the middle of Hannukah and it’s COLD outside– even here in LA!. So what’s anyone to do for a cocktail? Most are chilled drinks and I like the thought of a warm drink. Given that I recently bought a Keurig I have been delving into coffees and teas a lot yet I miss some of those seasonal drinks like the spiced lattes from Starbucks. Courtesy of this lovely DIY recipe from thekitchn.com

Here’s a recipe for a Gingerbread Latte that’s very close to the same feel/taste of the one at your favorite coffee bar.

DIY Gingerbread Latte
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
A 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup hot espresso
1 cup hot milk or soy milk
Whipped cream (optional)

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and simmer slowly for 15 to 20 minutes.

Combine the espresso in a mug and add 1/4 cup of the gingerbread syrup. Top off with the heated milk. If you desire, garnish with whipped cream and a sprinkle of grated nutmeg. Enjoy!

Here’s the trick– you know how to do this pretty much if you have a regular auto-expresso maker. Kitchn.com has given you the instructions on how to do with with a plain expresso maker.
I am going to give you tips on how to do it with a Keurig and also what spirits you can add to give it a bit more holiday “bite”

For a auto one cup at a time machine (no matter the brand) you want either a latte mix or you want an expresso made from a dark, bold flavor. Use the same spices as shown above and mix them into the milk that you are heating up.
If you have one of those hand blenders (about $20 on amazon.com or as low as $15 at Target –occasionally– you can do the frothing the fast but fun way with that handy device).

Pour the milk after it’s warmed up into a narrow tall mug or bowl and whip up some froth and you will get the spices in the froth as well as in the milk still left at the bottom.
After you have your expresso made into a larger than normal mug, carefully spoon the froth/foam onto the surface of the coffee, leaving a little space for you to add the balance of the warm milk.

Want to add a bit more zip? Try a bit of tequila, spiced rum or vodka. A good gin might work if it’s not too herbal– so I hesitate to recommend it.

Another DIY recipe for one of Starbucks’ most popular holiday beverages, this is very easy to make and can be modified. Soy-based eggnog can be substituted for dairy eggnog and soy milk can replace milk in this recipe for a vegan version.

DIY Eggnog Latte
1/2 cup eggnog (or soy eggnog)
1/4 cup whole milk (or soy milk)
1/4 cup espresso
Ground nutmeg (optional)

Mix together the eggnog and milk and heat up, either on stovetop or microwave. Pour the espresso into a mug and top with the hot eggnog/milk mixture, and stir. Sprinkle with ground nutmeg if desired.

I would definitely add nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and maybe a tiny sprinkle of cocoa over the top. I think a spiced rum would be awesome. Tequila (Maestro Dobel is excellent ) but you could add in brandy or cognac too for a bit of a kick to this great drink.
Follow the same directions show in the Gingerbread Latte on how to make this up.

The recipes and photo are courtesy of Thekitchn.com

Stevie Wilson,

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