3 Hot Tea Cocktails That Will Warm You To The Core This Winter

Now that colder temperatures are officially here, I can't help but feel a sense of great joy knowing that there are three things I can most certainly count on over the course of the next 90 days: movies, sweatpants, and soothing hot tea cocktails. Although I love a good hot toddy just as much as the next girl, this season I'm looking to expand my hot cocktail repertoire beyond the traditional bourbon-lemon-honey blend. And friends, I'm proud to say that this expansion begins today, with three hot tea-based cocktails that are sure to warm your core faster than you can say "movie marathon weekend." 

Not only is hot tea good for mixing with your favorite cold weather booze, it's straight up good for you. Seriously, all four types of tea — green, black, white, and oolong — are rich in antioxidants, which help protect your body from various types of cancers, including breast and ovarian cancers. In fact, a 2009 study led by Dr. Nagi Kumar at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida found that women between the ages of 20 and 50 who consumed three or more cups of tea per day had a 37 percent reduced risk of breast cancer when compared to women who drank no tea. And in 2006, results from a 15-year longitudinal Swedish study revealed that just one cup of tea per day reduced a woman's risk of ovarian cancer by 24 percent. 

Bottom line? Hot tea is good for your health. But who ever said you can't maintain a healthy lifestyle and have fun? That's why I've included three hot teas below that are known to pair exceptionally well with warming winter libations. Sipping on a pomegranate herbal blend? Add mulled red wine to create a bright and fruity cinnamon-spiced holiday tea cocktail. Got apple rooibos on hand? Kick it up a notch with a splash of bourbon, and a hint of Grand Marnier for a soothing, citrusy riff on the classic hot toddy. Prefer notes of poached pear? Add a squeeze of fresh lemon and a splash of almond-infused liqueur for a spiced cake-like flavored hot tea concoction. And with that, I leave you with these recipes as I raise my mug for a well-deserved toast to hot tea, health, and having fun. 

1. Mulled Pomegranate Wine

Ingredients: 

Makes five servings 

  • 1/4 cup Teavana Mulled Pomegranate Cider herbal tea blend
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 1 bottle red wine (I prefer an inexpensive fruit forward red like Honoro Vera Garnacha, which retails for less than $10)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Juice from half an orange
  • Orange peels for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Add a quarter cup Mulled Pomegranate Cider herbal tea blend to a tea ball or bag, and top with two cups hot water. Steep for five minutes.
  2. While the tea is steeping, pour the entire bottle of red wine into a small pot. Add one cinnamon stick and juice from half an orange. Simmer over low to medium heat for five minutes, making sure the wine never comes to a boil. 
  3. Stir the tea into the red wine mixture. Pour into your favorite mug, garnish with a cinnamon stick and orange peel, and enjoy! 

2. Spiced Apple Rooibos Toddy

Ingredients:

Makes two servings

  • 4 teaspoons Teavana Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos tea
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 teaspoons Grand Marnier
  • 2 teaspoons bourbon
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (feel free to add more cinnamon sticks to garnish)
  • Juice from half a lemon 
  • Lemon peels for garnish

Directions:

  1. Add four teaspoons Teavana Spiced Apple Cider Rooibos tea blend to a tea ball or bag, and top with two cups hot water. Steep for five minutes.
  2. While the tea is steeping, in a heat resistant pitcher or pot, combine bourbon, Grand Marnier, vanilla extract, honey, two cinnamon sticks, and lemon juice. Stir.  
  3. Pour the hot tea over the bourbon mixture, and stir thoroughly. 
  4. Divide the mixture among teacups, adding cinnamon sticks and lemon peels to garnish. 

3. Poached Pear Reprieve

Ingredients: 

Makes two servings

Directions:

  1. Add four teaspoons Teavana Poached Pear Cider Rooibos tea blend to a tea ball or bag, and top with two cups hot water. Steep for five minutes.
  2. Divide tea among two mugs. Then add one ounce amaretto liqueur, one ounce honey, and a squeeze of lemon juice to each mug. 
  3. Garnish each mug with a lemon peel, relax, and enjoy the warmth! 

For more food ideas, check out Bustle on YouTube.

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Images: Fotolia; Marion Bernstein (3) 

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