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Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their favourite winter warming drinks for cold nights

How does a brandy-spiked hot chocolate sound?

Image: Shutterstock/petereleven

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we’ll be asking readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-dishes. From the secret to quick-and-easy dinners, to the best way to scramble an egg, we’ll have a new question every seven days.

This week, we’re asking…

What’s your favourite winter warming drink – and how do you make it?

As usual, our home cooks had lots to say. If you’d like to join the panel (and be in with the chance to win Lidl prizes), send us your name and a bit about yourself to food@thejournal.ie!

Give your hot chocolate a boozy kick:

This is my all time favourite decadent hot chocolate recipe, made with 500ml whole milk and 250ml cream. Pour both into a pot, and heat to just under boiling point, and then add 250g chopped dark chocolate, again heating gently. For a spiked version, take the pot off the heat and add a good slug of brandy, whiskey or cream liqueur. Top with a dollop of cream and a sprinkling of cocoa powder. Delish.

- Angela Nolan

shutterstock_330514004 Source: Shutterstock/Alexandra Lande

Try this Christmas spiced herbal tea:

For a festive spiced green tea, place a litre of water in a saucepan, add some cloves, a cinnamon stick, a bay leaf, a tablespoon of cranberry juice and half an orange. Bring the mixture to the boil, the remove from the heat, add in a green tea bag and let it steep for 2/3 mins. Strain the mixture through a sieve and serve warm.

- Jennifer Dillon

Or choose a classic hot whiskey with honey, lemon and cloves:

Nothing beats a hot whiskey on a cold windy winter’s night. The best thing is, most of the ingredients can be found lying around your average Irish kitchen or drinks cabinet. 

First, pour a shot of Irish whiskey into a shatterproof glass. Drizzle in a teaspoon of honey and add a slice of lemon, studded with a few cloves. Pour in around 125ml of boiled water. I keep the teaspoon in the glass as I pour, to conduct away some of the heat, meaning the glass is less likely to crack with the sudden temperature change. This drink is best enjoyed with your fluffy socks on, sitting in front of the fire.

- Donna Connolly 

More Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their family recipes for a comforting Irish stew>

More Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their secret tips for perfect roast chicken>

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