11 Best Nonalcoholic Drinks To Warm You Up This Winter

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The chilly winter weather is rolling around, and for many of us that means nothing sounds better than a warm, cozy drink. And while there are tons of liquor-infused hot beverages to go around, it’s nice to heat up without the booze every now and again.

Whether you’re staying sober for the winter or just want to cut back, you’ve come to the right place for toasty alcohol-free alternatives.

Below, we’ll cover some of the best nonalcoholic winter drinks to keep you warm all season long.

Does Drinking Alcohol Warm You Up?

hot winter drink in saucepan
Photo by Hannah Pemberton on Unsplash

We’ve all heard the urban myth that drinking keeps you warm. But in reality, its effects are a little more complicated than that. So, what’s the truth? Does alcohol warm you up?

While alcohol can make you feel hot, this is often an illusion. Alcohol creates a warming sensation because it redistributes your internal heat outward, prompting the blood vessels near the skin to dilate. But this means your body is actually releasing heat.

In actuality, alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to regulate temperature. This means it can make you colder, even if you feel hot at first.

So, if your goal is to heat up, it’s best to avoid alcohol. Instead, try opting for one of the delicious warm winter drinks below.

1. Vanilla Chai Tea Latte

Nothing says “cozy winter day” quite like a chai latte. Warm, frothy, and flavorful, this tea is sure to hit the spot whether you’re curling up with your favorite book or relaxing at a get-together with your family.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered non-dairy creamer
  • 1 cup powdered French vanilla non-dairy creamer
  • 2 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cup instant tea, unsweetened
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 6 oz. milk

Find the recipe here: Vanilla Chai Tea Latte

2. Nonalcoholic Hot Not Toddy

This classic mocktail will hit the spot when you need to curb your alcohol cravings during the cold season. It only takes a few simple ingredients, including hot tea, lemon, and spices. Mix them all together, and you’ve got yourself one of the most delicious winter drinks out there (entirely whiskey-free!).

  • 7 oz. hot tea
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Lemon wedge

Find the recipe here: Nonalcoholic Hot Not Toddy

3. Homemade White Hot Chocolate

This recipe puts a white chocolate spin on the classic beverage that we all know and love. You’ll only need a few simple ingredients: milk of your choice, white chocolate, and vanilla extract. Throw it all together in a saucepan, and you’re ready to brew up one of the best winter drinks out there.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups milk of choice
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Optional pinch of salt
  • White chocolate shavings, whipped cream, marshmallows, or candy canes for garnish 

Find the recipe here: Homemade White Hot Chocolate

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8 Easy & Delicious Nonalcoholic Drink Recipes

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4. Russian Tea

Russian tea is a southern favorite in the United States, made from a blend of citrus, strong black tea, spices, and sweetener. If you want something hot but aren’t craving chocolate or coffee, this drink is a tasty alternative.

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water
  • 4 black tea bags
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 3 orange slices
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 8 cloves
  • ½ cup sugar 

Find the recipe here: Russian Tea Made from Scratch

5. Spiced Apple Cider

person holding hot mug wearing christmas lights
Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Apple cider is one of those nostalgic fall drinks that brings memories of colorful leaves, frosty temperatures, and the holiday season. This warm, spiced beverage is a classic that’s sure to heat you up no matter how cold it is outside.

Ingredients:

  • 1 gal apple cider
  • ½ tbsp nutmeg
  • ½ tbsp cinnamon
  • 3 lemon slices
  • 3 orange slices
  • 4 apple slices
  • 6 cloves
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 5-6 star anise pieces

Find the recipe here: Spiced Apple Cider

6. Honey Lemon Ginger Tea

If you’re avoiding alcohol for the winter, you’re already reaping some serious health benefits. But if you want to go all-out with your healthy choices, honey lemon ginger tea is the perfect recipe to add to your routine.

Not only is it delicious and refreshing, it’s astoundingly wholesome for you, too. Ginger root can help warm you up and provide a slew of other potential health benefits.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1-2 lemon wedges
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • ½ tsp raw honey

Find the recipe here: Honey Lemon Ginger Tea

7. Nonalcoholic Mulled Wine

For a classic spiced wine without the booze, this nonalcoholic mulled wine recipe is a go-to. And the best part is, it’s super easy to whip together. All you’ll need is about 30 minutes to heat up the ingredients, and you’ve got yourself a toasty, delicious winter drink that everyone can enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, or alcohol-free wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 cloves 
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 orange slice
  • Sugar to taste
  • 6 blackberries (optional)

Find the recipe here: Easy Nonalcoholic Mulled Wine

8. Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate

peppermint hot chocolate mug in the snow
Photo by Mekht on Unsplash

Are you someone who can’t get enough of festive winter mixed drinks as soon as October hits? If so, you’ll love this minty twist on hot chocolate.

Made with refreshing peppermint and rich dark chocolate, this recipe is a guaranteed tasty treat for anyone wanting to get warm and cozy.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups non-dairy milk
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2-3 drops peppermint extract
  • Whipped cream and candy canes for garnish

Find the recipe here: Vegan Peppermint Hot Chocolate

9. Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

Red velvet is an instant way to make anything a little fancier. Interestingly, this red velvet hot chocolate recipe doesn’t call for red food dye—it actually uses beets! According to the recipe creator, the taste of beets is subtle and delicious when combined with traditional hot chocolate flavors.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups non-dairy milk
  • ½ beet, cooked and grated
  • 3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 3-6 pitted and chopped dates
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Coconut whipped cream for garnish

Find the recipe here: Red Velvet Hot Chocolate

10. Matcha Latte

A matcha latte is a classic pick-me-up at any time of the year, thanks to its wellness-promoting properties and natural caffeine. Sure, other hot beverages are nice, but nothing gives quite the same boost as green tea caffeination and the distinct flavor of matcha.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • 2 tsp honey
  • ¾ cup hot milk

Find the recipe here: Matcha Latte

11. Homemade Nonalcoholic Eggnog

Not many drinks bring out the holiday spirit quite like eggnog. For this creamy homemade version, you’ll need just 15 minutes of prep work, a few classic ingredients, and two hours of setting time to let everything meld together.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 ½ tsp grated nutmeg
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 4 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Whipped cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg for garnish

Find the recipe here: Non-Alcoholic Homemade Eggnog

Looking for some extra assistance controlling winter drinking? Online programs can give you support from home, without having to venture out in the cold to attend meetings. You don’t even need to identify as an alcoholic to join.

Get in touch with us today.

Written By:
Alicia Schultz
Minnesota-based freelancer and health advocate who aims to empower others through her work.
Reviewed By:
Evan O'Donnell
NYC-based content strategist with over 3 years editing and writing in the recovery space. Strong believer in accessible, empathic, and fact-based communication.
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