Nostalgia and Winter Drinks to Warm the Soul

Besides my mom and sisters, there are two special women in my life. Aunt Louella and Aunt Clara.

Aunt Louella’s house, filled with love, warmth, a bear hug and sweet kiss, always smelled of food. Delicious food. She could have a meal on the table before most women could gather their ingredients. A Godly woman, it didn’t matter if you were family or a stranger, the welcome sign was at all times in view. While I’d love to give you her biscuit recipe, there’s no way. She didn’t have a recipe. She’d give birth to a pan of catheads, brushed with butter, before you could barely set the table. 🙂 Oh…the jams and jellies, along with vegetables, she canned. Too good.

When another Godly womanAunt Clara, made this pungent, seriously warming drink, her entire house oozed with an amazing delicate scent that lingered long after the fireplace lost its magic. I still have a taste for Wassail, also known as hot cider, and I believe it permeated my sense of taste and smell for life! So did the pancakes that graced her table every Sunday morning. I’ve never seen her without a smile, a hug and a kind word.

While there are many versions of Wassail, a seriously spicy, flavorful cup of hot drink is a few short minutes away. Granted the drink is traditional at Christmas, but I like it anytime, especially during cold weather months. As much as I love coffee, sometimes my taste buds need a little boost. This drink does the job every time. This isn’t Aunt Clara’s recipe, but still almost as tasty.



8 cups apple cider

2 cups orange juice

½ cup lemon juice

4 whole cinnamon sticks

12 whole cloves, or 1 teaspoon ground cloves

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


Transfer liquids into a large pot, add remaining ingredients and place on stove.

Lower heat to medium and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and continue simmering for 30-45 minutes, to meld the flavor. Pour into cups or favorite mugs. Serve with cheese straws, crackers or cookies. Find a spot by the fire and enjoy!

Raspberry Zinger


If you want something even quicker and easier, grab a box of Raspberry Zinger tea from the grocery shelf. I add a packet of non-sugar sweetener or one teaspoon of honey and a slice of lemon. So good and spicy to perk up an afternoon of writing!

Do you have special memories or a warm drink to share?

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14 thoughts on “Nostalgia and Winter Drinks to Warm the Soul

  1. I’m a big fan of herbal teas and recently discovered David’s Teas. They make many different blends but one of my favorites is called Bear Trap: Any bear would love this berry-packed blend with rosehips and blackcurrant.
    I love a cup at night while I’m plunking away at the keyboard 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. I drink a lot of green tea. My favorite is Bigelow’s Blueberry and Acai green tea. Hot or iced, it’s a calming afternoon treat. More expensive, but wonderful teas can be found at The Republic of Tea.I love Dreaming By the Fire in cold months, and their different fruit blends in the summer.They even have a collection of Downton Abbey-inspired teas!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hugs and food~a magical combination if there ever was one. Your post brings back so many wonderful memories of my grandmother, Carol. Baking, making chocolates…I still use her double boiler today, although I make candles in it.

    Favorite drinks? That one is a bit harder. Like you, I love hot spiced cider in the winter, although I usually add spiced rum to mine. I drink iced tea year round–somewhere between a half gallon and a gallon a day. Black or some variant of green during the day, and white or peppermint tea after about 3p.m.. Life wouldn’t be the same without a cup or two of seriously strong coffee followed by a half gallon (or two) of tea a day. Then there’s the single malts….another blog altogether! Grin.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Smart idea to use you grandmother’s double boiler to melt the candle wax! The only items I have of my grandmothers, is an old coffee cup and a serving bowl. Oh if that bowl could talk. 🙂 My mom always said, “You cook like my mother.” One of the sweetest compliments I’ve ever received. Reading over your post, it seems I need to up my tea intake! As for the malts? I won’t even go there!


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