5 Coffee Shop-Free Winter Beverages

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There’s nothing like a cup of something warm and sweet on a cold winter day. But who can afford coffee shop prices for seasonal coffees, teas and ciders? Ditch the barista and check out theses tasty winter beverages that you can make yourself.

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Tip #1: Use whole ginger to add a touch of freshness to your tasty gingerbread latte. Photo: Flickr/SweetOnVeg

1. Gingerbread latte

Treat yourself to something sweet this season with a tummy-warming gingerbread latte. Think you need to be a trained coffee shop pro to do it right? Think again. These tasty treats are actually super-easy to whip up right on your stovetop.

TheKitchn contributor Kathryn Hill uses shaved whole ginger to add a touch of freshness to her gingerbread latte creation. Simply combine the ginger – along with seasonal spices like cinnamon – with water and sugar, and put it on the stovetop. Then simply add your espresso and hot milk, and your drink is ready to sip.

Don’t have an espresso machine? Sub in extra-strong coffee instead, or take Hill’s advice and pick up a stovetop espresso maker for less than $20.

2. Hot apple cider

Not sure what to do with all those apples from the farmer’s market? Try making a homemade cider for an instant dose of seasonal cheer. Don’t worry. It’s way easier than you think. With this simple tutorial from mom, foodie and Chaos in the Kitchen blogger Katie, your cider will only take about five minutes to prep.

Simply place some roughly chopped apples in a pot full of water, and add a little spice with ingredients like orange, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Bring your mixture to a boil, and simmer on the stovetop for about three hours. An added bonus – your house will smell apple-y good for days!

For an even more decadent sip, add a drizzle of caramel sauce to your cider after it has finished cooking, and simmer until dissolved.

3. Spiced chai

The two main ingredients of a chai latte, tea and milk, are relatively inexpensive – yet somehow you wind up paying $4 or more at the coffee shop. Spend more time relaxing and less time racking up the credit card bill with a homemade alternative.

As outlined in her simple tutorial, frugal mom and Premeditated Leftovers blogger Alea Milham simply steeps black tea bags in a mixture of hot water, milk and seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger for a low-cost, high-taste latte. Tear open the tea bags or use whole black tea leaves for an even richer flavor.

4. Peppermint hot chocolate

Keep the holiday cheer going until the new year with batches of homemade peppermint hot chocolate. Serve a few cups to the kids after a day of playing in the snow, or sneak some for yourself on a lazy winter afternoon.

For a well-balanced sip, use both bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate like My Madison Bistro and Cook Eat Share contributor Sara Schewe suggests. Follow Schewe’s recipe and use peppermint extract, or add some crushed-up candy canes to your hot chocolate while cooking.

5. Eggnog latte

Nothing says winter like eggnog. But a tasty eggnog latte doesn’t have to cost $5 a cup. Brew some up yourself using this simple tutorial from writer, photographer and Savory Sweet Life blogger Alice.

If you don’t have an espresso machine, take Alice’s advice – use extra-concentrated coffee and create a “faux” steamed milk instead. Simply put your milk and eggnog mixture in the microwave for about two minutes and combine with hot coffee for a yummy winter treat.

For a drink that’s extra-flavorful and fresh, choose eggnog that was made in your area. Most grocery stores and farmer’s markets sell local local eggnog for the same price as the big-brand stuff.

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