My favorite technique for warming up from a winter chill is to sip a hot beverage. Here are three that were inspired by drinks I’ve had in my travels.
It was at a hostel in Tel Aviv where I first encountered botz, a thick brew of finely ground Turkish coffee mixed with hot water. After I learned not to drink down to the dregs, I became a fan of its potent convenience. Botz is also known as mud, thus the name of the recipe below.
The spiced apple drink is based on a hot, cinnamon, Arabic beverage, iner, that I had in a café in Nazareth. There are variations throughout the Middle East, and for mine I use apple juice instead of water. Substitute a cinnamon stick for half the ground cinnamon, if desired, but don’t skip the nut topping (it adds texture and taste).
The “submarine” drink combines two of my favorites: orange and chocolate. I first had a dark chocolate and hot milk drink called submarino in Buenos Aires. In this version, a few squares of orange-flavored dark chocolate are stirred in hot milk until melted.
For all of these, multiply amounts for additional servings, and add sugar to taste.
Mud Mocha au Lait
- 2 tsp. ground Turkish coffee (see notes)
- 2 tsp. sugar
- ⅛ tsp. cardamom or cinnamon (see notes)
- ½ cup boiling water
- 2 tsp. unsweetened cocoa powder plus extra for garnish
- 1½ cups cold milk or nondairy milk, divided
Just before serving, combine coffee, sugar, and cardamom or cinnamon in cup. Stir in boiling water. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover to keep warm.
Place cocoa powder in bottom of a 16-ounce glass. Stir in 1 Tbs. of milk to make a smooth paste. Strain coffee mixture into cocoa paste, discarding any coffee grinds. Stir coffee and cocoa until smooth.
Heat remaining milk in small pan over medium-low heat, stirring often, until heated through and beginning to simmer. Mix 1 cup of the hot milk with cocoa-coffee mixture, reserving the rest. Stir well. Taste, and add additional sugar as needed.
Return pan of reserved milk to stove over medium-low heat. Reheat, whisking quickly and constantly until milk is hot and foamy. Pour or spoon foamy milk on top of cocoa mixture. Sprinkle with cocoa powder if desired.
Notes: To make a Mud Mocha minus the “au lait,” reduce milk to 1 cup. Add cocoa powder with 1 Tbs. milk to a large mug. Combine all the hot milk with the coffee-cocoa mixture … Add spice only if Turkish coffee is unflavored … If Turkish coffee is unavailable, skip hot water. Substitute ½ cup brewed espresso or very strong coffee, dissolving sugar and cardamom in the hot liquid before adding to cocoa paste.
Spiced Apple Drink
- 1½ cups apple juice or cider
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
- ⅛ tsp. ground cloves
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped almonds or walnuts
- Strip of lemon or orange peel, optional
Put juice in small saucepan with cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and sugar over medium-low heat. Bring to a simmer. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring often. Pour drink into mug. Sprinkle with nuts and garnish with lemon peel.
- 1½ cups hot milk or nondairy milk
- ½ to ¾ oz. orange-flavored dark chocolate, broken in large pieces
- ½ tsp. minced orange zest, optional
Pour milk in large glass. Add chocolate pieces. Stir until chocolate is melted. Mix until drink is as smooth as desired. Garnish with zest.
Notes: Use a chocolate that is flavored, not filled. The more chocolate used, the richer your beverage will be. If orange-flavored chocolate is not available, substitute plain dark chocolate and leave out the zest; then you will have a traditional submarino.