The 12 Toasty Drinks of the Holistic Holidays

Dec 19, 2013 12:02:00 PM | holistic nutrition The 12 Toasty Drinks of the Holistic Holidays

Are you read to curl up with a hot cup of deliciousness? Choose one of these 12 toasty (and healthy!) beverage recipes for the Holidays!

The lights are hung and twinkling. The gifts are wrapped. The cards are in the mail. It’s time to treat yourself by curling up near the fire with a good book and a mug of your favorite holiday beverage. At ACHS, we love brewing organic herbal teas and using organic essential oils and herbs to make delicious and warming drinks for the holidays. Did you enjoy our 12 Essential Oils of the Holidays (our aromatic spin on the classic carol) last year? The post was so well received that we decided to continue with the 12 Days of Christmas theme this year by bringing you The 12 Toasty Drinks of the Holistic Holidays, our comprehensive list of the top 12 drinks you should have in your cup this December! 

chamomile tea12. Chamomile Tea with Lemon Herb Syrup!   

There’s not much that can warm the tummy and help you relax like a fresh cup of chamomile tea before bed. I suggest adding a little bit of this lemon herb syrup (recipe courtesy of the talented Susan Belsinger) for a citrusy sweetness. 

For the tea:

1-t dried chamomile Matricaria recutita (pictured right)

1-cup boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the chamomile and leave it to steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the tea and it is ready to drink. Add ½ a teaspoon of the lemon herb syrup or more to taste.

Recipe for the lemon herb syrup:

1 ½-cups water

1-cup organic cane sugar

Large handful of orange mint and/or lemon herb leaves

Few drops of orange flower water

Heat the water and sugar in a small saucepan until it simmers and dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the herbs, cover and let stand until room temperature. Remove the herbs, squeezing the flavor essence from them and discard. Add a few drops of orange flower water to the syrup. This can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week.

chai tea drink recipe11. Chai Tea!

This tea is the perfect combo for tea and spice lovers alike. Get your chai on and brew up this toasty drink recipe for the whole family on Christmas or New Year’s morning!

Boil 5 minutes, then steep 10 minutes:

1-T fennel Foeniculum vulgare var. or anise seed Pimpinella anisum

6 green cardamom Elettaria cardamomum pods

12 cloves

1 cinnamon stick (pictured above)

1⁄4-inch ginger root Zingiber officinale, sliced thin

1⁄4-T black pepper Piper nigrum corns

2 bay leaves
 Laurus nobilis

7-cups water


Add, bring to a boil, and simmer 5 minutes:

2-T Darjeeling tea

Add: 6-T organic local honey or organic brown sugar 1-cup organic milk. 

peppermint tea recipe10. Peppermint and Ginger Tea!

That wintry fresh aroma of peppermint and the warming zest of ginger is the perfect recipe blend for cuddling up by a fire and watching the snow fall through a frosted windowpane. Not to mention, both of these herbs help support healthy digestion…so keep this brew around for after those hearty holiday meals!

1-t dried peppermint Mentha piperita (pictured right)

1-t dried ginger root Zingiber officinale

1 cup boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the herb and leave it to steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the tea and it is ready to drink. Add ½ teaspoon or more of our lemon herb syrup (see recipe above), organic local honey, or organic brown sugar to taste. 

holiday drink recipes9. Ginger, Lemon balm, and Lavender Tea!

Here is another yummy bedtime tea recipe perfect for lulling you and your loved ones into a restful night while visions of sugarplums dance through your heads.

1-t dried ginger root Zingiber officinale

1-t dried lemon balm Melissa officinalis

1-t dried lavender Lavandula angustifolia

1 cup boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the herbs and leave it to steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the tea and it is ready to drink. Add ½ teaspoon or more of organic local honey or organic brown sugar to taste. 

hot lemonade recipe8. Hot Lemonade with Rosemary!             

Who says lemonade is only appropriate in the summer months? Lemonade can be enjoyed all year round—and we even like to heat it up, and of course kick it up with a seasonal herb like rosemary! 

1 organic lemon 

1-inch sprig of fresh rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis, minced

2 ½-cup water

¼-cup organic local honey or to taste

Scrub lemon and cut in half. Squeeze juice and set aside. Put rind and other ingredients in a small saucepan and heat. Remove rind and add lemon juice. Taste for sweetness and add more honey if desired. Drink hot and inhale steam. Recipe serves two. 

holiday beverages7. Licorice Cappuccino or Latte!

For all you coffee loving baristas, I recommend adding a teaspoon of our licorice syrup to your morning latte or cappuccino.

For the cappuccino:

Brew 1 ounce of espresso. Steam 5 ounces of organic milk or substitute of your choice (7 ounces for a latte). Add ½-t licorice syrup (or more to taste) and stir. Pour steamed milk over espresso and then add foam on top with a spoon.

Recipe for the syrup of licorice:

3-oz licorice Glycyrrhiza glabra root (pictured above)

2-pt distilled water

2-lb organic raw sugar or organic local honey

Stir the licorice root into the cold water. Cover and soak for two hours. Place on a medium heat. Stir gently as you slowly bring it to a boil. Simmer gently for 15 minutes. Strain. Return the mixture to a clean saucepan. Bring to a boil again, stir in the sugar or honey, and continue stirring until dissolved. Remove from heat, and bottle when cool. Store in the refrigerator.

Free eBook: Holiday Gifts

healthy energy drink recipes6. Energy Boosting Protein Drink with Cinnamon and Cardamom!

If you’re dragging a bit from your holiday shopping spree, here’s a protein filled energy booster to give you the needed kick to get you through the rest of the holidays. While you’ll want to drink it chilled instead of warmed, this drink recipe is the holistic holiday planner’s best friend.   

1-t organic hemp protein powder

1-t kelp

1-t organic whey powder

½-t ground cardamom Elettaria cardamomum (pictured above)

½-t ground cinnamon Cinnamomum zeylanicum

1-cup organic unsweetened pineapple juice

Put the mixture in the blender, whip, and drink.

holiday drink recipes5. Turmeric and Warm Organic Milk!

Sometimes simpler is better, and a warm cup of organic milk (or almond, rice, soy, or your favorite dairy alternative) is just the right drink for a chilly December eve. I love to use a teaspoon of powdered turmeric (pictured whole to the right) for a golden holiday drink with added health benefits.

Warm one cup of organic milk (or alternative) on the stove top. Add ½-t of powdered turmeric Curcuma longa (or keep adding to taste). Slowly stir until lumps have dissolved, then strain. Add honey or organic raw sugar to taste. If you're really feeling adventurous, you can also add 1/2-t of ground cardamom Elettaria cardamomum

peppermint holiday drink4. Organic Hot Cocoa with Peppermint!

I have to admit it: being the most popular, hot cocoa is the king of toasty holiday beverages. But why not try making your favorite hot cocoa recipe with organic cocoa powder and organic milk instead of the processed commercial hot chocolate packets?

Add 2 drops (or more to taste) of peppermint essential oil Mentha piperita var. vulgaris to an 8-ounce cup of organic hot cocoa for a chocolaty and minty treat!

hot cocoa recipe3. Organic Hot Cocoa with Cayenne!

Now you may be saying: wait a minute! This is VERY similar to the 4th toasty drink of the holidays. But rest assured, organic hot cocoa with cayenne will give you a very different and spicy experience from hot cocoa with peppermint. 

Add 1/4-t (or more or less to taste depending on your sensitivity to spice) of ground cayenne Capsicum annuum (pictured right) to an 8-ounce cup of organic hot cocoa. If you want to round out your flavors, go ahead and add a pinch of nutmeg or mace to your spicy cocoa!

lavender tea2. Lavender Tea, Warm Organic Milk, and Honey!

Even though lavender blooms in the summer, there’s nothing like letting it’s lulling qualities relax you during the holidays.

1-t dried lavender Lavandula angustifolia (pictured right)

1 cup boiling water           

Pour the boiling water over the lavender and leave it to steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the tea and it is ready to drink. Add 1 teaspoon or more of local organic honey to taste.

And here it is, ladies and gentlemen… The #1 Toasty Drink of the Holidays is…

hot toddy recipe1. The Ginger Tea Hot Toddy!

Here is the ultimate toasty winter wellness drink. While you can make a hot toddy with water, our holiday recipe makes it with ginger tea for added flavor and health benefits! 

To brew the ginger tea:

1-t dried ginger root Zingiber officinale

1-cup boiling water

Pour the boiling water over the ginger root and leave it to steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the tea. 

To make the hot toddy:

1 organic lemon wedge

1-T of organic local honey

1 or 2 cinnamon stick(s)

1-oz (one shot) of whiskey or your preferred alcohol[*]

Fill the bottom of your teacup with ¼ inch of honey. Squeeze in the lemon juice and drop it into the cup. Pour in your ginger tea. Add the liquor last, and stir with your cinnamon stick(s). Enjoy!

Want to learn more natural and holistic recipes? Please click the button below to recieve free eBooks and offers from the American College of Healthcare Sciences!

 Free eBook: Holiday Gifts

Now that you have the ultimate toasty holiday drink list, make sure to share the recipes with your family, friends, and co-workers. You could even whip up one of these recipes for that upcoming holiday party! Which toasty drinks will you be making this holiday? Let us know in the comments!

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

[*] You can leave the alcohol out to make a Virgin Ginger Hot Toddy—a delicious and warm holiday drink! 

Dorene Petersen, ACHS Founding President

Written By: Dorene Petersen, ACHS Founding President

Dorene is the Founding President of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). She has over 45 years of clinical teaching and lecturing experience in aromatherapy and other holistic health subjects. She has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades Annual Conference (IFEAT) in California, USA; the Aroma Environment Association of Japan (AEAJ) in Tokyo, Japan; the Asian Aroma Ingredients Congress (AAIC) and Expo in Bali, Indonesia; the International Center of Advanced Aromatherapy (ICAA) at the WonGwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea; as well as the AAIC Expo in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Dorene is a founding member of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) and served as its chair until 2023. Dorene is also involved in the distance education community and has served as a volunteer, committee member, and standards evaluator for the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Dorene is a travel junkie, and has led ACHS Study Abroad programs to India, Indonesia, Greece, and Hawaii!