In the cold winter months there’s almost nothing better than a winter beer, like a thick dark stout with yummy spices. Almost. Sometimes, if you’ve been walking around a Christmas market all day or you’re just plain cold, you may need a little something extra to warm you up. How about a hot drink! With beer? Yes, and it’s easy to make. Here are a few ideas to make two of my favorite hot winter warmers. Have fun experimenting!
Glühkriek is the beery version of glühwein (or in proper English mulled wine) and is made with similar spices like cinnamon, clove and oranges. The first time I tasted this wonderful drink was at the Christmas market in Cologne, where they were serving Liefmans glühkriek. It has a similar flavor as glühwein, though at 6% I’m guessing glühkriek is lower in alcohol. Liefmans is the only brewery I know that sells it ready-made in the bottle, recognizable by the festive green wrapper, and I was delighted when I found it at a Belgian beer store. In The Netherlands I haven’t come across it yet, but it is easy to make your own!
- 1 bottle (33 cl) Kriek beer*
- 1/2 orange sliced in parts
- 6 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- brown sugar
* To recreate Liefmans Glükriek I used Liefmans Brut Kriek, which is a bit more sour. If you like it sweeter, then you can use a regular kriek beer like Lindemans Kriek.
Heat the Kriek beer in a pan until it reaches about 70C. Be careful not to let it boil. Stick the cloves into the orange slices. Add the oranges and the cinnamon to the Kriek. Let simmer for about 20 minutes. Add sugar to your liking.
Irish Coffee Stout
Nothing says warm-me-up more than a shot of whisky in a hot drink! I just happen to be one of those that will remain wide-eyed all night if I have caffeine before bed, so I thought I would try this one with coffee stout instead. I used two different stouts to compare. Both worked well, so I think pretty much any coffee stout will do. I found quite a few nice variations of this recipe online, such as this one by Brooklyn Brewshop and an iced version by Bon Appetit.
Ingredients for one glass Irish Coffee Stout
- 20cl coffee stout*
- 15 ml whisky
- whipped cream
- cinnamon or speculaas spices
- optional: dash of hot coffee
- optional: brown sugar
* I used Rott.Ontbijt Oatmeal Stout (6,5%) and Lux Brewery’s Hallo Geen Licht (9,5%). I thought the 9,5% one was a bit more suitable, because the higher ABV and thickness seemed to give it a rounder flavor, but that is entirely up to your own taste.
Heat the stout beer in a pan until it reaches about 70C without letting it boil. In the meantime whip up the cream. Pour the whisky into a suitable Irish Coffee or tulip glass. Add the warm stout beer. Taste it to see if it is to your liking and then add hot coffee or sugar if needed. Add the cream on top. (Tip if you are using vegan cream: it’s a bit heavier than regular whipped cream, so be careful when adding it on top or it will sink into the glass.) Sprinkle cinnamon or speculaas spices on top as desired. Done!