3 easy recipes for classic winter sips from around the world

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The first time I drank a cup of champurrado, it warmed me to the bone.

Last December, my partner’s mother brought a thick homemade atole pitcher made from Mexican chocolate. It tasted like a bigger, spicier version of hot chocolate. The pitcher didn’t last long, but the cozy memory did.

If you’re looking for a toasted drink – with or without alcohol – to make for friends and family while on vacation, try making hot champurrado, coquito, or grog.

Here are three easy recipes:

Champurrado

Arizona Republic food journalist Priscilla Totiyapungprasert prepares champurrado, an atole made from chocolate, at her home on December 1, 2021.

Origin: Mexico

What is that? Champurrado is a chocolate atole thickened with masa harina and served hot. The cold-weather favorite pairs well with a plate of tamales or churros. The drink (as well as the chocolate itself) dates back to ancient Mesoamerica. Make sure to use Mexican chocolate in this recipe, which has a grainy texture and a spicy flavor profile.

Recipe: Classic Mexican Champurrado

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cinnamon sticks, more for garnish

  • 1 star anise clove

  • ½ cup of masa harina

  • 3 cups of milk or non-dairy milk

  • 1 Mexican chocolate disc

  • 3 to 4 ounces of piloncillo

Preperation:

  1. In a saucepan, add 3 cups of water, the cinnamon sticks and star anise and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove from heat and let steep for an hour.

  2. Remove the cinnamon sticks and star anise and return to the heat. Heating over medium-low heat, stir in masa harina until dissolved. Add milk. Stir in chocolate and piloncillo until solids dissolve.

  3. Remove from the heat and serve hot, garnished with a cinnamon stick, if desired.

To note: Although it is usually a non-alcoholic drink, feel free to add it with mezcal or rum.

It’s tamale season: Order Christmas tamales at these family-friendly restaurants

Coquito

Arizona Republic food journalist Priscilla Totiyapungprasert makes coquito, a coconut and rum drink, at her home on December 1, 2021.

Arizona Republic food journalist Priscilla Totiyapungprasert makes coquito, a coconut and rum drink, at her home on December 1, 2021.

Origin: Porto Rico

What is that? Coquito means “little coconut” in Spanish. While some people call it Puerto Rican eggnog, coquito doesn’t taste like eggnog, and many recipes, including this one, don’t contain eggs. This thick rum drink incorporates both coconut milk and coconut cream. It goes well with pastels, a popular Puerto Rican dish during the holidays.

Recipe: Classic Puerto Rican Coquito

Serves: 6-8

Preperation:

  1. Whisk and heat all the ingredients except the rum in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Remove from heat, cover and let steep for half an hour.

  2. Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod and stir in the rum. Pour into the pitcher and refrigerate. Coquito will last at least two months in the refrigerator.

  3. Serve cold as a shot or in a glass garnished with grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon on top.

Remarks:

  • Alternatively, you can halve all the amounts of liquid ingredients and pour into a blender with ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract. Mix and refrigerate.

  • Alcohol can also be omitted.

  • If the coconut fat in your coquito starts to solidify at the top, just stir it.

hot toddy

Arizona Republic food journalist Priscilla Totiyapungprasert makes a hot toddy at home on December 1, 2021.

Arizona Republic food journalist Priscilla Totiyapungprasert makes a hot toddy at home on December 1, 2021.

Origin: Disputed. Some say Edinburgh, others say India

What is that? Hot toddy in its most basic form is hot water, honey, lemon juice, and whiskey or scotch. It is originally believed to be a medicinal drink to soothe sore throats and relieve cold symptoms. The name of the drink could refer to grog, a South Asian drink made from palm sap and lime. Others attribute the drink to an 1800s physician, Robert Bentley Todd, who prescribed a drink of hot water, brandy, and sugar syrup for his patients. Still others say the drink is named after Tod’s Well, a source in the Edinburgh area.

Recipe: basic hot toddy

Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • A generous spoonful of honey

  • Squeeze half a lemon

  • 1 shot of whiskey or scotch

  • Cinnamon stick and / or lemon slice, for garnish

Preperation:

  1. Boil 1 cup of water and pour into a cup or mug. Combine honey, lemon juice and whiskey.

  2. Serve hot with cinnamon sticks and a lemon splice for garnish.

More holiday cheer: Wine Cocktail Recipes to Make Ahead

What’s your favorite drink recipe for the holidays? Contact the reporter at Priscilla.Totiya@azcentral.com. Follow @priscillatotiya on Twitter and Instagram.

Subscribe to azcentral.com today to support local journalism.

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Easy Holiday Drink Recipes for Coquito, Champurrado, and Hot Toddy



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