As I’m writing this, I’m curled up with a blanket in front of the fireplace, and while it’s still early in the season, I’m doing all I can to establish the coziest cozy vibes. Candles, fall décor, and a plethora of soups are all included in my comfy arsenal. But my true go-to when it comes to embracing my favorite season? Hot drinks to sip on throughout the day to keep me warm from the inside out.
Do you have a warm drinks routine, too? In the morning, I start with a hot mug of coffee—between the months of September and December, spiked with pumpkin creamer. From there, I progress to a cup of Earl Grey, strong. The day usually tapers off with golden milk to ensure I’m meeting my daily quota of anti-inflammatory fighters while setting the right tone to help me wind down. Thankfully, there are plenty of simple, homemade options I can mix up—truly, the world of hot drinks is vast. So, to help you cozy up as well, I compiled all of my favorite hot drinks recipes. Cheers to staying warm, all season long.
Featured image by Michelle Nash.
27 Hot Drinks to Keep You Cozy This Fall
There’s something special about hot drinks this time of year. Scratch that—there’s something special about everything this time of year, but things certainly feel more festive with a steamy mug in hand. As we’re looking onward to the start of the holidays, I have vivid pictures of trimming the tree with a mug of hot cocoa in hand. And of course, happy hour trades cold, refreshing spritzes for mulled wine and hot toddies.
These warm bevvies keep you toasty on the inside to help you live out your coziest, comfiest dreams this fall and winter. If you’re in need of some of the best hot drinks to sip on this season, we’ve got you covered. From hot chocolate to apple cider, this list has something merry in store for all the elves in your life. Happy sippin’!
Hot Chocolate Recipes
Boozy Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Why We Love It: This boozy peppermint hot chocolate combines two party favorites: dessert and a cocktail. In one loveable form, it’s exactly what you’ll want to sip on throughout the chilly season. This one is definitely indulgent, so prepare for no holds barred.
Hero Ingredient: This recipe is equally delicious sans alcohol.
Adaptogenic Hot Chocolate
Why We Love It: On the other end of the hot chocolate spectrum, this adaptogenic hot chocolate takes an earthier, healthier approach that you’ll still love—promise! Instead of hyping yourself up on sugar, you’ll experience relaxation and zen thanks to adaptogens. That said, it’s still rich, luscious, and chocolatey with a ritualistic spin that you might just implement year-round.
Hero Ingredient: You can make this ahead of time as a mix! Hello, upgraded instant hot cocoa.
Why We Love It: It’s vegan, it’s dairy-free, and it’s still as rich and indulgent as a typical mug of hot chocolate. Sound promising? I think yes. This healthier hot chocolate uses raw cacao powder, maca powder, almond milk, maple syrup, coconut oil, and cinnamon to craft the perfect chocolate flavors. It’s not your typical cup of Swiss Miss, but I highly recommend taking the leap of faith. You’ll be glad you did.
Hero Ingredient: Don’t even think about skipping the salt. A pinch makes each and every flavor in this hot chocolate pop.
Why We Love It: Classic hot chocolate gets an upgrade in spice form in this Mexican hot chocolate. With a mix of chili powders lending a subtle kick to the chocolate, you’re in for a treat. This one warms you up twofold, with the spice content and literal temperature working for you. It’s like a hug in a mug.
Hero Ingredient: I’d encourage you to fiddle with the spices until you find your perfect ratio. Make it how you like it, folks!
Why We Love It: My favorite childhood twist on hot chocolate involved one of my favorite flavor combinations—s’mores! Now, as an adult, if I’m not feeling a coffee and maybe feeling a bit festive for dessert, I always try to find a s’mores bev on a drink menu.
Hero Ingredient: Marshmallows… need I say more?
Why We Love It: Caramel is simply a flavor I can’t get enough of during the fall and winter. Its sweet and nutty flavor goes with almost any dessert (or drink!) I could conjure up when it’s chilly outside. Plus, when hot chocolate and caramel meet, the results make a top-tier hot drink.
Hero Ingredient: Espresso gives this cocoa all the kick it needs.
Why We Love It: If I ever traveled to France during the winter, I think the first thing I would do is seek out one of these delicious hot chocolate desserts. They’re known to be thicker than your traditional American-style hot chocolate and all the more sweet and rich.
Hero Ingredient: Real, high-quality chocolate bars are essential for this recipe.
Curcuma Golden Mylk
Why We Love It: Nothing says cozy quite like a mug of golden milk. With functional spices like anti-inflammatory turmeric, ginger, cardamom, and cinnamon, it’s a perfectly spiced, just creamy enough drink that’ll spark delight every time you sip.
Hero Ingredient: Black pepper and a fat like coconut oil or, in the case of this recipe, MCT oil, helps you absorb all of turmeric’s goodness.
Why We Love It: With matcha’s rise in popularity in Western cultures over the years, the cozy, energizing beverage—unfortunately—has been rendered almost unrecognizable. Unless I’ve been referred to it by an obsessed friend, I often avoid any and all matcha served at coffee shops. I find it’s overly sweetened and I can’t trust the matcha’s sourcing. So, that’s why I took it upon myself to learn how to perfect the drink at home. Jules Acree, a matcha expert, showed us how it’s done. Follow her simple recipe for a frothy, perfectly-flavored matcha.
Hero Ingredient: Good matcha powder is an absolute must. Jules recommends looking for brands that source directly from Japan, as this will likely come from smaller farms with higher standards of production.
Turmeric Tea Latté
Why We Love It: Turmeric is always a good idea—especially around this time—for its anti-inflammatory properties. In this recipe, it’s combined with fresh espresso shots to give you the perfect afternoon pick-me-up in your mug. If you’re serving for a crowd, try simmering a big pot of the turmeric-infused almond milk on the stove so all that’s left to do is ladle, add in your brew, and enjoy!
Hero Ingredient: If you go with the pot method, you get an added bonus of festive aromas wafting throughout your kitchen. I’m all about it.
Why We Love It: Chamomile, lavender, and a touch of vanilla come together to create this latte that gives off total chill-out vibes. It’s exactly what I’d want to sip on in front of the fireplace after a day of end-of-year busyness. With the calming characteristics of chamomile and the relaxing tendencies of lavender, you can literally sip your way to a great night’s sleep. I have nothing but admiration for this one.
Hero Ingredient: If you have fennel seed on hand, steeping the tea with a pinch gives your cuppa a subtle anise flavor that’s divine.
Why We Love It: There are few things cozier than salted caramel and coffee. It’s a festive change of pace from your typical cup of joe and looks so inviting in a mug. Fire up the fireplace, kick up your feet, and sip your way through the season.
Hero Ingredient: This one is definitely sweet, so feel free to tinker with the sweetness depending on your preferences.
Why We Love It: You’ve heard of (and probably had) almond milk, oat milk, cashew milk—you name it. But have you ever had pecan milk? If you have, then you’re no stranger to the decadence that’s to be had, and if you haven’t, prepare to be amazed! This latte uses homemade pecan milk to build the base of an exceptional chai latte that you’ll want on repeat this season. Don’t be intimidated, it’s much easier than you might think!
Hero Ingredient: There’s a lot of spice going on in that chai tea. It’s the perfect combination of cardamom, ginger, cinnamon, and black pepper. Yum.
Why We Love It: This recipe makes a luscious golden milk concentrate that you can keep on hand for up to five days. It’s so simple to enjoy with your choice of milk for a glowy latte on demand. With turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon, there’s a lot of goodness working for your body, which the black pepper brings front and center. It’s easy to make, easy to enjoy, and gives you lots to feel good about as you savor.
Hero Ingredient: To highlight the vanilla flavor in the concentrate, I’d go with oat or almond milk, but soy and regular milk work wonders here, too.
Why We Love It: This list wouldn’t be complete without one of the best drinks of the season. Yes, the PSL can be made from scratch, and it makes it all the more delicious. The flavor is far from basic, and this recipe is naturally sweetened, easily dairy-free, and vegan.
Hero Ingredient: Real pumpkin puree is the way to go.
Why We Love It: If hot chocolate is just a bit too dessert-y for you, mocha is the way to go for the colder months. It’s that perfect bit of chocolate to complement coffee’s bitterness.
Hero Ingredient: Try your hand at homemade mocha, it just might surprise you.
Why We Love It: Maple is another flavor I love bringing from fall to winter. This latte is the perfect balance of natural sweetness that brings that warm late-autumn flavor I always crave in my hot drinks.
Hero Ingredient: A pinch of ground cinnamon is a warm spicy note that pairs great with maple flavors.
Why We Love It: Our Food Editor, Suruchi, crafted this recipe as an homage to the masala chai she enjoyed growing up, and it’s about as perfect as can be. She likens the feeling of drinking it to “getting a hug in a cup from your aunty” and with that, I’m sold. It’s nostalgic, comforting, and full of layered spices that warm you from the inside out.
Hero Ingredient: It makes the biggest difference to grind your spices by hand. If you can, we highly recommend taking this extra step.
Why We Love It: 20 minutes and a handful of ingredients are all you need to make your chai dreams come true. This one makes a whole pot of goodness that you can savor solo or alongside your favorite baked goods. It’s simple, full of flavor, and all kinds of warm and cozy.
Hero Ingredient: The small amount of sugar here helps mellow out the bitter aspects of the spices.
Why We Love It: This chai tea recipe might be a breeze to make, but it doesn’t sacrifice quality for ease. Though it uses a chai tea bag, there are a few upgrades that help bring forward the most authentic chai flavors. You’ll start by boiling water with a handful of spices, then brew the tea bag, and finish with frothy vanilla milk that takes things to the next level.
Hero Ingredient: Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon or star anise for an aromatic treat.
Why We Love It: As I sip on my vanilla chai (with a shot of espresso, of course), I thought it appropriate to share this masterpiece of sweet and spice all in one cup. This recipe tastes straight out of a coffee shop, with freshly brewed chai and creamy frothed milk.
Hero Ingredient: Sweeten up your drink with a bit of honey or maple syrup.
Why We Love It: Lavender drinks aren’t just trendy, they’re absolutely worth the hype. I first became a fan of the herbal-flavored drinks after ordering a lavender London fog at one of my favorite coffee shops in Houston. “What would make this better?” I thought to myself. Well, chai, of course!
Hero Ingredient: The lavender brings this chai to the next level.
Why We Love It: Pumpkin and chai practically belong together. Pumpkin’s sweetness and chai’s spiced flavors combine to create the ultimate warm drink I’ll sip on every day.
Hero Ingredient: Almond or oat milk are my go-to’s for this latte.
Apple Cider Recipes
Why We Love It: This hot apple cider is a hit on all levels. First of all, it doesn’t contain added sugars, which is a respectable feat considering most apple ciders we know and love do. And secondly, it only takes four ingredients and 20 minutes to come to fruition. All you have to do is simmer cold-pressed apple cider on the stove with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peel. That’s it!
Hero Ingredient: Without the sugar, this apple cider is so much more flavorful. The natural sugars from the apple shine through beautifully.
Why We Love It: This five-ingredient apple cider hot toddy is practically made for Saturday, post-apple picking sipping. It’s full of cozy spices, easy to batch-prep, and guaranteed to warm you up as you enjoy quality time with your people. It uses apple cider, bourbon, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and star anise pods to create the ideal nightcap for the chilly season.
Hero Ingredient: To polish things off, stick a little thinly sliced apple and cinnamon stick in each mug. It’s the festive touch that makes all the difference.
Why We Love It: What is wassail, you might ask? Well, it’s basically a traditional warm apple cider that’s rooted in a whole ‘lotta tradition—I’d encourage you to read about it above this recipe! It uses apple cider, black tea, fresh fruits, and a mix of spices to craft the coziest cider for your holiday gatherings. It’s simple to make, universally enjoyable, and fit to serve a crowd. Gather your people and enjoy a-wassailing together!
Hero Ingredient: Bonus: this one simmers for an hour, so you get to enjoy the sweet scent of the holidays.
Why We Love It: Pomegranate and warm, spiced apple flavors combine to create the chilly weather bev of your dreams. Just the look of this drink gets me excited for holiday hosting and quality time with the family.
Hero Ingredient: Pomegranate juice is so delicious with your cider.
What are the best hot drinks in your recipe box? Drop them in the comments!