Festive Fall Drinks

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Festive Fall Drinks

By The Paula Deen Test Kitchen

Autumn is likely to be a beautiful, favorite part of the year no matter where you live. Sometimes though, it gets cold enough that you would rather admire the changing leaves through the window, curled up in a big chair by a crackling fireplace, steaming beverage in hand.  Or maybe you want to welcome a cheerful group of friends and family to a warm dinner with an introductory spiced offering.  Here are some suggestions for your sipping pleasure…

Forage Your Pantry and Make Ahead
Fortunately, delicious, soothing versions of ciders, hot chocolates, and teas can easily be made from very few ingredients, many of which you can improvise from you have on hand, simmer to a delicious blend, and adapt variations later for winter holidays.  Most warm drinks, especially ciders, intensify in flavor the longer they simmer (but account for reduction- don’t let your whole pot boil away) and can be reheated with little trouble. 

Free Your Space (and Time!)
If you need all the elements on your stove, or all the pots in your cabinet, or want your blend to be easily accessible to guests outside of the kitchen, use a slow cooker for 2-3 hours on low.  It is self-contained, requires little attention, and most newer models have keep-warm settings that, when covered, will retain more liquid than an uncovered pot on a typical gas stove. Which is ideal, as people will want seconds.

Spruce It Ip Your Style
You don’t have to bind yourself to a particular juice, chocolate, or spice- experiment with your preferred combinations.  For a rustic look, serve with the simmered cinnamon sticks or pieces of fruit from the recipe. Otherwise, you can strain and reheat if needed, or tie your spices in cheesecloth.  Garnishes of fruit, caramel sauce, or whipped cream are always welcome, but should be done right at serving time.

We have linked some tasty spiced ciders and teas, which may inspire your own personal variations, such as adding citrus zests, different spices, and slices of your favorite fruits (or maybe a little bourbon, port, or other liquor at the beginning, maybe in partial replacement of water or juice):
Hot Spiced Apple-Pear Cider
Mixed Fruit Cider
Spiced Lemon Apple Cider
Hot Cranberry Cider
Hot Spiced Tea
Orange Spiced Chai

For more chocolate and coffee-based drinks, try:
Caramel and Spice Latte
Cafe au Lait with Chocolate Dipped Spoons
Dreamy Creamy Hot Chocolate
Work-a-holic’s Hot Chocolate
Dulce de Leche Coffee

If it’s not too cold yet, and you just want some adventurous, unique treats, try:
Paula’s Party Potion
Cherry-Chocolate Coffee Float

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Reader Comments:


You are such s sweet lady. Personally I am so sorry you had to go thru so much STUFF this past year. God bless you and your family. Love, Kathleen. And you and your sons make the best gooey butter cakes and zi have bought a lot of the captains' coffee 😄😄😄

By Kathleen Quinlan-Malmendier on November 15, 2013


You are such a sweet Lady and I love the way you are saying you just took a break. I wanted to say you really inspire me to try new things. I like to get crazy because of you like my lemon pie on a ginger cookie crust with a strawberry pie on top I have been combine two different pies by layering and I am a big hit. and when the seasons change I remember things you have said about certain recipes so I now where to look like you cinnamon rolls or the Christmas things that are so good. I still love seeing you on the chew I think with your true fans sticking by you these shows will see we still need to see you and bring you back you still have a big following and you will be back bigger and better then ever thank you for being you

By Lisa Mosher on September 28, 2013


To begin with I love you Paula. I was lucky enough to get the LAST available copy of the Southern Bible Cookbook that was available for the book signing at Hastings in Tyler. It was my birthday present to myself and even though you were signing just your name but you did give me a "HB" in my copy. I will treasure this book as a permanent part of my cookbook collection. I love watching your shows but many of the recipes I can't prepare for myself because of the stick of butter. I am a Gastric Bypass patient and I am now 3 years out as of today. I was wondering if you could give some suggestions or do a show on how to alter some of those mouth watering dishes for the diabetic or weight loss patient. Just was watching the Rachel Ray show you were on and Henry is adorable.

By Tricia Wyatt on October 23, 2011

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