The invention of the refrigerator and the widespread availability of ice gave the world a taste for cold drinks. We all take ice cubes for granted, but I can assure you that when travelling to places where the ice is either dangerous to drink or just not available, I immediately become obsessed with ice cream and crave a freezing can of cola. Let us, however, leave cold drinks aside, and talk instead about winter warmers that will get us in a festive mood while they thaw our freezing fingers.

A favourite among elderly alcoholic relatives, the hot toddy is a traditional winter drink, often imbibed for ‘medicinal’ purposes to soothe a sore throat. If the toddy doesn’t cure your throat, at least you’ll be in a better mood after downing one of these! Just whisk 50 ml and three teaspoons of sugar together. Pour into two glasses, add half a cinnamon stick to each and top up with 200 ml of boiling water. Add lemon juice and a slice of lemon studded with a clove. Drink immediately, preferably in front of a roaring fire.

Christmas is coming, and it’s almost time for mulled wine. Known in Germany as Glühwein, it smells of nostalgia and the holidays, and is so delicious that it’s difficult not to drink too much! Remember that alcohol goes to your head much more quickly when it is hot so try not to overdo it. If you are expecting company on a chilly day, take two bottles of red wine, pour into a saucepan and heat gently. Add two cups of sugar, eight cinnamon sticks, two oranges studded with about 12 cloves and one to two cups of orange juice. You can also add some all spice and brandy if you like. Then let the holiday jollity begin!

What’s better than chocolate? How about hot chocolate with cream and Grand Marnier! Make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, add a shot of Grand Marnier or another liqueur of your choice, top with some whipped cream and enjoy. Hot chocolate also tastes fantastic spiked with Baileys or Kalua. If only it weren’t so fattening!

Although, the possibilities are endless and the internet is full of amazing suggestions and recipes, I would like to remind you about eggnog, a drink that dates back to 14th century England. This delicious concoction contains milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg, eggs, sugar and dark rum. I am sure you’ll love it, and if you do, you might like to try making a chocolate version…. Mmmmm.