Winter Warmers – Spicy warmth for those cold days …in a mug!

From my little study window in Wellington, I am spoiled with a view over an olive orchard and a mountain! For a few days now, the grey clouds have hidden my mountain view and the word on the street is that we might see our first snow very soon.  So on this cold, rainy, wintry day – I decided to pull out these gems and swop my evening coffee for a bit of heart warming comfort in a mug.

You add the fireplace, the company and the music and I will supply the the recipes for awesomeness in a mug…deal?

All three these recipes can be made without the alcohol and will still cause the senses happy meanderings over the seven seas.

Let’s start with Buttered Rum… So much more than “Pirate juice!”



2 Whole cloves

2 Cardamom seeds

1 tsp Mixed spice

1 Tbsp Butter

2 Pieces Orange peel

1 Cinnamon stick

1 or 2 tsp Xylitol

A Sprinkle of nutmeg and a cinnamon stick

1 Tbsp Cream (Optional)

1 Cup Boiling Water

20 ml Dark Rum

(YIELDS ONE BIG MUG or two cups)


1. In a saucepan combine the spices (save nutmeg for last), water, orange peel, xylitol and butter.  Allow to boil and infuse for about 3 minutes.

2. Pour into a mug while straining the spice pods.

3. Add the rum if you are going that route stir in the cream if you want a bit more decadence, pop in the cinnamon stick and sprinkle the nutmeg.  (I use the cinnamon stick as a straw sometimes… just for the first few sips at least)


Chai Spiced Hot Toddy


This hot toddy is one of my favourites! It is proudly South African too, as I incorporated the sweet natural flavour of rooibos tea. The coconut milk and butter infused with spices thickens ever so slightly to a real good hot chocolate consistency … I know!


100 ml Coconut Milk

1 Rooibos Chai Teabag

125 ml Boiling Water

1 Tbsp Butter

1 tsp Mixed Spice

1 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1 Tbsp Xylitol

1 Cinnamon Stick

20 ml Spiced Rum


1. Infuse the teabag into the boiling water for  2 – 3 minutes.

2. Add the tea and all the rest of the ingredients except the rum to a saucepan and allow to simmer for 3 – 4 minutes.

3. Add the rum.

4. Pour into a big mug or two cups.  Pop the cinnamon stick back into the mug and enjoy!

(YIELDS ONE BIG MUG or two cups)


Hot Berry Toddy:


Saving the best for last!  This berry toddy will knock your socks off!  It simply is the friendliest, fruitiest, most comforting, soul hugging toddy of them all.  (I am nuts about berries, so I might not be trusted as being 100% neutral on this statement)


1 & 1/2 Cup Boiling Water

1 Freshpak Junior Apple tea bag

1/3 Cup Mixed Frozen Berries

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

2 Cardamom seeds

1 Tbsp Butter

1 Piece Orange Peel

1 -2 tsp Xylitol

20 ml Spiced or Dark Rum



1. Add all the ingredients except the rum to a saucepan and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Take out the tea bag, orange peel and cardamom seeds. Puree the berries with a blending stick if you would like them smooth.  (I leave mine and eat the berries at the end for an extended experience that lingers longer…)

3. Add the rum, stir in with a Cinnamon stick pour into a mug and sip slowly…

(YIELDS ONE BIG MUG or two cups)

Stay warm … from around my little fire to yours, Inè










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