5 Friday Favorites

‘Tis the season for sipping something hot, frothy, and utterly scrumptious from a giant, festive mug.

Our blogger team is full of coffee and tea lovers, so we’re sharing some of our favorite holiday drinks—and recipes!

1. Bethany’s Pick: Pumpkin Spice Latte

Bethany is a big homemade pumpkin spice latte fan—here’s a recipe you can make without special equipment. (Though an espresso maker and milk frother would take it to the next level!)


1 cup milk (coconut or almond milk are good dairy-free substitutes!)
2 tablespoons pure pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot espresso or strong brewed coffee
Sweetened whipped cream, for serving


  1. Combine the milk, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla in a medium microwave safe bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and vent with a small hole. Microwave until the milk is hot, 1–2 minutes. Whisk vigorously until the milk mixture is foamy, about 30 seconds.
  2. Pour the espresso or coffee into a large mug and add the foamed milk. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice.

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network

2. Leanna’s Pick: Chai Tea Latte

Here’s Leanna to share about her pick!

“One of my favorite hot drinks is chai tea latte. Honestly, I’ll drink any kind of tea any day of the year, but chai feels more festive around the holidays. My ‘recipe’ is pretty simple:”

  1. Steep 1 bag (or 2 for stronger tea) of your favorite brand of chai tea in about 1/2 a mug of boiling water for 3–5 minutes.
  2. Tip: Heat your mug first by filling it with hot water, and let sit.
  3. Heat about 3/4 cup milk (or almond milk) with a dash of vanilla extract, cinnamon (or a cinnamon stick), and sugar or honey to taste.
  4. Whip the heated milk with a frother or whisk and combine with the tea.
  5. Sprinkle additional cinnamon or nutmeg on top and enjoy!
  6. Tastes yummy with a cinnamon craisin scone.

3. Beecher’s Pick: Wassail

Beecher’s recipe cracks me up. Could it be any simpler than this?

“Throw some apple cider in a pot, drop a couple cinnamon sticks in, heat, and DRINK UP!”

If you’d like to get a little fancier with the citrus and spices in your wassail, you could use this recipe—it does make 10–12 servings, so it’s perfect for a party!


2 quarts apple cider
11/2 cups orange juice
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
Dash ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves


In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20–30 minutes. Discard cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs.

Recipe Courtesy of Taste of Home

4. Samantha’s Pick: Over-the-Top Hot Chocolate

Cue the Hot Chocolate song from Polar Express! I’m extra when it comes to homemade hot chocolate. Tossing a powder into a mug of water just doesn’t cut it; hot chocolate deserves better.

I don’t have an exact recipe—this may, in fact, be the one time I advocate that you follow your heart. But I think that’s what creamy, chocolatey warmth calls for.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Half and half (Forget the skim milk. It’s Christmas!)
  • The chocolate of your choosing—bittersweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, fancy dark chocolate chips, even white chocolate, a happy combination of them all, the snowy sky’s the limit.
  • Vanilla
  • Homemade whipped cream (I make mine in a standing mixer with one pint of heavy whipping cream, two teaspoons of vanilla, and two tablespoons of sugar.)
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Candy canes

How to make it:

  1. Pour half and half into a saucepan, and slowly heat on medium-low.
  2. Add the chocolate—the more chocolate, the richer the drink.
  3. Whisk and whisk and whisk while the chocolate melts.
  4. Add a touch of vanilla.
  5. I do have a secret: Sometimes I add some packaged hot chocolate powder. For added flavor, of course.
  6. Once it looks all melty-melty, pour it into a mug.
  7. Then top generously—overflowingly—with whipped cream.
  8. Sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg on top.
  9. Then stick a candy cane in the mug.
  10. You’ll reach your calorie quota for the day, and you’ll feel oh-so-festive.

5. Mindy’s (Our Copy Editor Extraordinaire!) Pick: Sparkling Cranberry Apple Cider Punch

That’s quite the name, right? If you’re looking for a cold option—and one that’s perfect for a party—here’s a fun recipe to try!


1 cup fresh cranberries
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
4 cups apple cider, chilled
2 cups ginger ale, chilled
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cups cranberry juice, chilled


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries and water and simmer for 2–3 minutes until the cranberries pop and split. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. Let cool to room temperature (or chill in the refrigerator).
  2. In a 2-quart pitcher, pour in the cranberry mixture. Add the apple cider, ginger ale, lemon juice, and cranberry juice. Mix.
  3. Serve in cups with crushed ice.

Recipe Courtesy of Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

What are your favorite holiday sips? Let us know!

Feeling extra festive? Looking for even more Christmas blog posts? Visit the Revive Our Hearts First Songs of Christmas blog every day in December! It’s like an online Advent calendar, offering a special little something each day. Merry Christmas!

About Author

Samantha loves lazy lake days, strong coffee, and writing about the ways Jesus transforms our everyday messes into beautiful stories. She digs the four seasons in northern Indiana, is probably wearing a Notre Dame crew neck, and serves as the social media manager on the Revive Our Hearts staff.

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