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8 Warm Drinks Perfect for Chilly Fall and Winter Nights

Woman reading in a softly lit room, enjoying a cozy fall drink.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock

Whether you have a traditional saucepot, slow cooker, or an Instant Pot, these recipes are a perfect set-and-forget way to keep the cozy drinks flowing all evening.

We prefer tossing the ingredients directly into the Instant Pot, heating them on sauté, and then hitting the Warm button to keep them at the perfect temperature for hours. If you’re using a Crock-Pot, be sure to keep an eye on it, even if it has a warming function.

Older and more expensive slow cookers tend to run on the hot side—what you think will be a slow simmer might be scalding in no time.

Now, let’s get those ingredients ready and whip up some drinks that are bound to warm you from the top of your head to the tips of your toes.

Hot Chocolate

What’s the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate? Well, hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder, whereas real, authentic hot chocolate is made from chopped-up chocolate. The latter variation is a far richer, more decadent choice.

Watch the video above to make a delectable mug of hot chocolate. Use your Instant Pot to make a double, triple, or even quadruple batch. There’s no such thing as too much hot chocolate!

Plus, the kids are bound to be thrilled with this scrumptious recipe. Just make sure to stock up on those marshmallows!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Whole milk
  • Sugar
  • Bittersweet chocolate
  • Vanilla extract (optional)
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Marshmallows (optional)

Get the recipe: Fifteen Spatulas

Looking for more variations? Here are some of our favorites, including gingerbread and cookies-and-cream hot chocolate. Yum!

Spiced Chai Latte

There’s no need to go to a cafe to enjoy a rich, divine, spicy, and sweet drink. You can easily whip up this spiced chai latte right in the comfort of your own home. Life doesn’t get much better than this.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Black tea bags
  • Cardamom
  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Cloves

Feel free to tweak the spices, and add more sugar, as needed.

Get the recipe: A Beautiful Mess

Mulled Apple Cider

A pot of mulled apple cider with oranges.
Food Network

This simple cider recipe pairs sweet spices with a subtle orange flavor that’s perfect for those chilly nights at home. It’s bound to satisfy everyone’s palate—from your youngest to grandma.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Apple cider
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Whole allspice berries
  • Whole cloves
  • Orange

Get the recipe: Food Network

Pumpkin Spice Latte with Salted Pumpkin Spice Syrup

We have to admit, this recipe is a bit time intensive. However, it’s oh, so divine! It’ll wash away those winter blues. The recipe is vegan, but you can add real whipped cream if you have no issues with dairy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Coconut sugar
  • Maple syrup
  • Unsweetened pumpkin purée
  • Cinnamon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Ground cloves
  • Sea salt
  • Vanilla extract
  • Espresso
  • Unsweetened almond milk
  • Coconut whipped cream

Welcome autumn with this delectable pumpkin drink. Your taste buds will thank you!

Get the recipe: Oh She Glows

Thick and Creamy Hot Vanilla

A mug of hot vanilla.
Oatmeal with a Fork.

What’s the deal with hot chocolate getting all the attention? What about its delicious counterpart, hot vanilla?

Well, here’s your chance to celebrate the simple, yet luxurious taste of the vanilla bean. And the best part is this recipe is completely vegan and paleo! Serious indulgence has never been healthier.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Nondairy milk
  • Arrowroot
  • Maple syrup, honey, or liquid stevia
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Get the recipe: Oatmeal with a Fork

Caramel Latte

Enjoy the buttery richness of caramel with this heavenly latte. The added coffee makes it a perfect afternoon pick-me-up, keeping those winter chills at bay.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Milk
  • Brown sugar
  • Caramel topping
  • Caramel sauce
  • Vanilla extract
  • Coffee

Get the recipe: Allrecipes

Hot Buttered Rum

A mug of buttered rum.
The Spruce

If you’re looking for an irresistibly sweet drink to warm the depths of your soul, this is it!

Hot buttered rum is a recipe steeped in history, dating back to the colonial days. Just make sure you wait until after the kids go to bed before whipping up this drink. Trust us—it’s the perfect addition to a date night at home.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Butter
  • Brown sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Allspice
  • Vanilla extract
  • Rum (dark)
  • Hot water

Get the recipe: The Spruce Eats

Chocolate Mint Tea Latte

This drink is just like chocolate chip ice cream, except warm and soothing! Plus, it has all the flavors of hot chocolate, but fewer calories. Perfection!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cacao nibs
  • Assam black tea
  • Peppermint tea
  • Brown sugar
  • Milk

Get the recipe: Oh How Civilized

Whipping up delicious and satisfying hot drinks at home isn’t rocket science. Just toss those ingredients in your saucepot, Crock-Pot, or Instant Pot, and enjoy the warm sweetness all night.

Jill A. Chafin Jill A. Chafin
Jill A. Chafin is a freelance writer, aerialist, dancer, food enthusiast, outdoor adventurer, and mama, based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Read Full Bio »
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