Cen­tral heat­ing

As the ad­vent evenings draw in, sip on these win­ter cup­fuls and you’ll ra­di­ate warmth. Choose from a hon­eyed spin on hot choco­late, a lightly spiced al­mond milk, ap­ple juice spiked with rum and but­ter, and a fruity twist on glüh­wein

The Guardian - Cook - - The Modern Cook - Anna Jones Anna Jones is a chef, writer and au­thor of A Mod­ern Way to Eat and A Mod­ern Way to Cook. (Fourth Es­tate); an­na­jones.co.uk; @we_are_­food

Iam a hot drink per­son. My day is punc­tu­ated by cof­fee, hot choco­late and, above all, tea in all its forms: Earl Grey, fen­nel, rose, cin­na­mon, camomile … The bit of work surface next to my ket­tle is piled high with jars of pe­tals and flow­ers from far-flung places.

These are the hot drinks I favour at this time of year: sooth­ing choco­late for gen­tle evenings at home, warm spiced al­mond milk for when I feel a lit­tle un­der the weather, and two fes­tive favourites.

Honey and camomile hot choco­late

Some­thing for bed­time, this is also a good way to curb a sweet tooth af­ter din­ner. Add a lit­tle shot of dark rum if it takes your fancy.

Makes 2 cups 500ml milk (I use al­mond) 1 camomile teabag 100g good choco­late, bro­ken up 2 tbsp honey

1 Heat the milk in a saucepan with the camomile teabag. When it is just about to boil, re­duce the heat and sim­mer for a cou­ple of min­utes.

2 Take off the heat, re­move the teabag and add the choco­late and honey. La­dle into cups and pop on to a lit­tle tray for bed­time.

Golden turmeric milk

This sunny yel­low milk bright­ens me up when I’m feel­ing un­der par. I try to have a lit­tle turmeric ev­ery day, usu­ally in a tea; its heal­ing prop­er­ties have been widely cel­e­brated. Al­low­ing the milk to cool a lit­tle be­fore you add the honey will stop the heat dam­ag­ing the honey’s nutri­ents. I also make a peppy morn­ing ver­sion with a lit­tle grated gin­ger.

Makes 2 cups 4 car­damom pods 400ml unsweet­ened milk (oat, co­conut, al­mond or any­thing you like) ½ tsp ground turmeric ½ tsp ground cin­na­mon 2 tsp runny honey

1 Bash the car­damom pods in a pes­tle and mor­tar and put them into a small saucepan with the milk, turmeric and cin­na­mon. Heat gen­tly un­til al­most boil­ing, no hot­ter – if you are us­ing a non-dairy milk, it may split.

2 Pour into a mug – or strain it if the car­damom seeds bother you – and, once it has cooled a lit­tle, stir in the honey. Make sure you don’t spill any, as the lovely yel­low colour can be rather per­sis­tent.

Hot but­tered rum ap­ple

A wel­come change from mulled wine, this can be eas­ily scaled up for a gather­ing. It can be made with­out the but­ter if you like, but it adds a com­fort­ing creami­ness.

Makes 2 cups 100ml cloudy ap­ple juice 25g un­salted but­ter, soft­ened 2 cloves 1 cin­na­mon stick 1 clemen­tine or small or­ange 30ml golden rum 1 tbsp maple syrup A lit­tle nut­meg

1 Heat the ap­ple juice, but­ter and spices in a pan along with 50ml boil­ing water. Add a cou­ple of strips of zest from the or­ange, along with its juice.

2 Once hot, take it off the hob and whisk in the rum and maple syrup. Serve in thick glasses or mugs with a grat­ing of nut­meg.

Vanilla and lime mulled wine

This is as de­li­cious as it is off­beat. You make a quick syrup in­fu­sion to en­sure you get as much flavour as pos­si­ble out of the spices and aro­mat­ics, then add the rest of the wine and warm through so that all the al­co­hol doesn’t boil away.

Makes 10 glasses 2 clemen­tines 2 limes 100g light brown sugar or maple syrup 6 whole cloves 1 cin­na­mon stick 3 fresh bay leaves, crushed in hands 2 star anise 1 whole nut­meg 2 vanilla pods 2 bot­tles good full-bod­ied red wine

1 Strip the zest from the clemen­tines and limes, us­ing a potato peeler to pro­duce large pieces. 2 Juice the fruit. 3 Put the sugar in a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add the pieces of peel and the fruit juice. 4 Add the cloves, cin­na­mon stick, bay leaves, star anise and about 10 grat­ings of nut­meg. Halve the vanilla pod length­ways and add to the pan, then stir in just enough red wine to cover the sugar.

5 Let this sim­mer un­til the sugar has com­pletely dis­solved into the red wine, then bring to the boil and sim­mer for 4-5 min­utes to al­low the heat to bring out the flavours.

6 Turn the heat down to low and add the rest of the wine. Gen­tly heat with­out boil­ing, then cover and leave to sit for about 30 min­utes. When you are ready to serve, warm the mulled wine again with­out boil­ing and la­dle it into heat­proof glasses.

This sunny yel­low milk bright­ens me up when I’m feel­ing un­der par. I try to have a lit­tle turmeric ev­ery day ...

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