• Beyond Hot Cocoa: New Hot Drink Recipes for Kids

    Beyond Hot Cocoa: New Hot Drink Recipes for Kids

    Kid-Friendly Hot Drinks

    Kids love hot cocoa, especially after being outside in the cold, but there’s only so many times you can make it before wishing for something new. Thankfully, there’s a whole world of winter beverages to explore, from citrusy ciders and teas to spiced offerings guaranteed to take the chill away. Don’t miss our recipe roundup of kid-friendly hot drinks!

    Warm Russian Tea

    If you’ve never had Russian tea, you’re in for a treat! This easy-to-make recipe comes from Mel’s Kitchen Café. The beauty of this drink is how customizable it is, so feel free to adjust the amount of sugar and flavor extracts.

    hand-holding-a-mug-of-tea
    Photo Credit: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

    Ingredients
    2-3 cups sugar
    2-3 cups water
    3 cups orange juice
    1 cup fresh lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
    3 quarts water (12 cups)
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    1 ½ teaspoons almond extract

     

    Directions

    1. In a large saucepan, heat the sugar and water to a simmer until the sugar is dissolved, 3-4 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the remaining ingredients. Heat again until warm; keep warm on the stove or transfer to a slow cooker and heat on low until serving.
    2. This can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated before heating and serving.

    Hot Spiced Cranberry Cider

    This recipe, from Pocket Change Gourmet, adds pineapple and cranberry juice for a fresh twist on a wintry classic.

    mason-jars-of-cranberry-spiced-cider
    Photo Credit: Pocket Change Gourmet

    Ingredients
    4 cups water (divided in half)
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons whole cloves
    1 tablespoon allspice
    3-4 sticks of cinnamon
    1 large can pineapple juice
    2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
    4 cups apple cider

    Directions

    1. In a large pot, simmer brown sugar and 2 cups water
    2. Place spices in a bag or place in pot
    3. Simmer for 10 minutes then bring to boil
    4. Add pineapple juice
    5. Blend cranberry sauce into 2 cups of water and add to mixture
    6. Simmer for 15 minutes
    7. If you don’t add the spices to a bag, you will need to strain the liquid
    8. Add apple cider just before serving
    9. Serve with fresh whipping cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon

    Hot Lemonade

    Most people associate lemonade with sweltering summer days, but it’s just as comforting in the winter when it’s served hot and spiced with ginger. This Saveur recipe calls for mint, but it’s just as delicious without!

    mug-of-hot-lemonade
    Photo Credit: Saveur

    Ingredients
    4 cups water (divided in half)
    ¼ cup brown sugar
    2 tablespoons whole cloves
    1 tablespoon allspice
    3-4 sticks of cinnamon
    1 large can pineapple juice
    2 cans jellied cranberry sauce
    4 cups apple cider

    Directions

    1. In a large pot, simmer brown sugar and 2 cups water
    2. Place spices in a bag or place in pot
    3. Simmer for 10 minutes then bring to boil
    4. Add pineapple juice
    5. Blend cranberry sauce into 2 cups of water and add to mixture
    6. Simmer for 15 minutes
    7. If you don’t add the spices to a bag, you will need to strain the liquid
    8. Add apple cider just before serving
    9. Serve with fresh whipping cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon

    Spiced Cider

    There are few things more satisfying in cold weather than a mug of hot cider, and this Food Network recipe hits all the right citrusy and spicy notes.

    mug-of-hot-spiced-cider-with-cinnamon-stick
    Photo Credit: Food Network

    Ingredients
    16 cups (1 gallon) apple cider
    1/4 cup light brown sugar
    1 teaspoon allspice
    Pinch grated nutmeg
    2 teaspoons whole cloves
    1 orange
    Cinnamon sticks, for garnish

     

    Directions

    1. In a large pot over medium heat, add the apple cider. Stir in the brown sugar, allspice and nutmeg until the sugar is dissolved and bring to a low boil.
    2.  Stick the pointy ends of the cloves into the orange so that just the buds of the cloves are visible. The entire orange should be covered with the cloves
    3.  Add the orange to the cider and reduce the heat to simmer. Cover and continue cooking for 20 minutes.
    4.  Serve in warm mugs with a cinnamon stick garnish.

    Fluffy Hot Chocolate

    What’s the secret to this totally delicious hot chocolate from Taste of Home? Melting the marshmallows in the cocoa gives it a light and fluffy texture that kids will love.

    mug-of-hot-chocolate
    Photo Credit: Taste of Home

    Ingredients
    8 teaspoons sugar
    4 teaspoons baking cocoa
    4 cups 2% milk
    1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Directions

    1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, baking cocoa, milk, and marshmallows. Cook and stir over medium heat until marshmallows are melted, about 8 minutes.
    2. Remove from the heat; stir in vanilla. Ladle into mugs.

    Honey Milk with Cardamom

    Don’t be intimated by the cardamom in this delicious drink from Rachel Ray – its spicy flavor is often paired with cinnamon and cloves, and it’s a staple in many baked goods.

    Photo Credit: Rachel Ray

    Ingredients
    2 cups milk
    1 1/2 tbsp. honey
    2 whole green cardamom pods, crushed, or 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

    Directions

    1. Heat the milk in a medium size saucepan over medium heat.
    2. Stir in the honey and crushed cardamom pods and heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan; do not boil.
    3. Remove from the heat and pour the milk into two mugs through a fine mesh strainer to remove the cardamom pods.
    Topics: All, Food, Seasonal, Winter

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