Winter is a season full of gatherings between friends, family and co-workers. I’m always on the look out for new frilly, fancy winter drinks for our teenagers to feel included in the celebrations. They’re growing past the age of being excited over Sprite Sherbet Punch. They’ll never pass up bottomless mugs of hot chocolate but it’s nice to treat them to more sophisticated options as they mature and explore more flavors.

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They’ve also begun to host their own Friendsgivings. Here are a few of our winter favorites we’ve discovered:

  1. Butterbeer

To get ready for the Holiday Season, our family loves to re-watch the first Harry Potter movie and Brew up icy mugs of “Butterbeer”. Let’s face it, Texas doesn’t always offer the frostiest of winter weather, so this frosty delight is still one of our favorite winter drinks. This recipe can be served over ice or blended with ice for a frostier finish.

2 Liters of Cream Soda, Chilled
1/4 Tsp Caramel Extract
1/3 Tsp Butter Extract
Dash of Vanilla Extract

For Topping:
1 Cup of heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butterscotch topping (like you’d use for an ice cream sundae)
1/4 cup powdered sugar

In large pitcher, combine cream soda, caramel, butter and vanilla extracts.
If you want to make yours more of an icee treat, you’ll want to blend with ice or you can pour as is into a clear mason jars filled with ice.

For whipped topping:
Whip heavy cream in large mixing bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
Add in butter scotch topping and powdered sugar and mix.
Spoon on top of filled mason jars.

2. Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider

Nothing makes a home smell more like the holiday than a simmering pot of cozy cider. It’s fast to throw together and can be kept warm throughout the evening by transferring to crock pot too on a warm setting.

2 Quarts of Apple Cider
1.5 Quarts of Cranberry Juice (no added sugar)
1.5 Teaspoons of whole Cloves
4 Cinnamon Sticks
Cranberries (Frozen is fine)

1 Orange, thinly sliced (Optional second sliced orange for garnishing)

1 Apple, chopped for garnish

Optional Caramel for rimming the glasses

Directions: Add all ingredients into a large dutch oven (can substitute a pot) and bring to a boil for 5 minutes.
Reduce to a simmer and cover for 40 minutes, occasionally stirring.

Have some fun garnishing glasses with a caramel topping rim, slice of orange and someof the cranberries and chopped apple.

3. Pomegranate Winter Tea

Grab your favorite mug, your favorite blanket, and get ready to crack open the first page of a new book by the fire place with this tea based concoction. This green tea antioxidant and nutrient packed elixir will keep you feeling healthy throughout all of you winter events! The Ginger warms you up and adds a touch of spice to your cup!
6 cups water
12 Grams of loose leaf green tea (Can substitute 6 bags of green tea)
6 thin slices of ginger
6 fresh lemon wedges
3/4 a cup of crushed pomegranate seeds
Directions: Cover green tea with boiling water then add in your ginger, lemon wedges and pomegranate seeds.
Let the tea steep for 10 minutes before removing bags. Pour into mugs using tea strainer. Leftovers can be served cold over ice.

4. Spicy Chai Hot Chocolate

Spice up your chilly nights with a fiery twist on a classic!


4 cups of almond milk

4 tablespoons cinnamon

1/4 Teaspoon of nutmeg

4 teaspoons of powdered ginger

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (plus extra to garnish drink)

1 and 1/3 tablespoons of raw honey

1 and 1/3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

1/2 cup of boiling water

(Optional Whipped Topping)

Directions: Mix all ingredients except for Honey into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Pour honey into mug, add your tea mixture, stir and serve. You can spice up your drink with an extra sprinkle of cayenne pepper on top of some whipped topping. You can also add a shot of espresso to make this a dirty spicy chai hot chocolate if you need an extra caffeine boost for late night holiday gift wrapping while the children sleep.

These teen-friendly winter drinks are perfect for holiday parties and cozy nights on the couch. Let us know your faves!

Jacy Knoop-Troullier
Jacy is a Nebraska native, married to Sebastian Knoop-Troullier from Hamburg, Germany whom she met at a Renaissance Festival. She has two step kids, both teenagers, Katie and Kera, who are at Meridian I.B. World School. The family likes to travel, try new restaurants, volunteer at Pioneer Farms, and explore “haunted” locations. Jacy and Sebastian are in the process of growing their family and have been on their fertility journey since their 4th of July “Pandemic" wedding in 2020. When Jacy’s not busy trying to translate just exactly WHAT her husband is saying to his family on the phone in German, or trying to learn the latest TikTok trend to keep up with the teens, she’s a Travel Coordinator for the TV Show, “WALKER”. She’s also an avid traveler and photographer, and mini zoo curator with her family’s 2 Dogs (Apollo & Atlas), 3 Cats (Harmony, Lafayette & Jack), two Pet Rats (Scabbers & August), and Rescue Turtle, Günther.


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