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November 2017

Soothing Autumn Drinks from Around the World

Stay warm this fall with a cup of something international

While pumpkin spice lattes may be exceedingly popular in these autumn months, it is by no means the only liquid option to soothe your soul. Taking a glance around the globe, we can find other delicious delights, hot tinctures that accompany well the changing of the leaves.

Mexican hot chocolate (Mexico)

The Mayans were likely the first to craft a chocolate beverage, so it's not surprising that hot chocolate is a national drink in Mexico. There are many ways to make hot chocolate, but what is commonly referred to as Mexican hot chocolate usually includes some spice. Today's Mexican hot chocolate combines milk, cinnamon sticks, melted chocolate, sugar, vanilla, a bit of salt, and some chili peppers. Whipped cream may be optional, but the kick from the peppers are a must.

The Maple Spout (Canada)

Also known as L’abreuvoir à l’érable, this non-alcoholic drink utilises one of Canada's most delicious exports: maple syrup. Add 3.5 cups of water with a quarter cup of orange juice, a quarter cup of maple syrup, two tablespoons of lime juice, and a quarter teaspoon of salt. Whether you drink it hot or iced, it's a refreshing and earthy sweet drink that rejuvenates.

Mulled wine (United Kingdom)

While its origins are not reserved to the United Kingdom, it's in the UK that mulled wine has strong traditional footing. Commonly regarded as a winter drink, the soothing autumn spices, hints of sweetness from added fruits, and the warming sensation of heated wine makes mulled wine perfect even for fall months. Mulled wine is simply wine, water, sugar, orange slices, and mulling spices (cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and/or mace) cooked together. Variations exist across Europe, and, for the little ones, apple cider is a popular wine-free alternative.

Irish Coffee (Ireland)

Imagine all the soothingness of a freshly brewed cup of coffee with a bit of sugar, heavy Irish cream, and Irish whiskey. Irish coffee, obviously hailing from Ireland, was popularised around the world when a travel writer named Stanton Delaplane returned from Ireland to San Francisco and shared the recipe with the Buena Vista Cafe. He mentioned the drink frequently when he wrote in his travel column for the San Francisco Chronicle, which many outside of the city also read. The drink became wildly popular outside of Ireland and can now be found in many establishments around the world.

Bock Bier (Germany)

If you’re looking for something cold and hearty, a refreshing German bock, a hearty style of dark beer, might put you in the autumnal mood. It is a strong lager now popular around the world, and many international breweries produce the style. Bock exudes a malty characteristic that's much more earthy than pilsners and ales. In the past, bocks were consumed during fasts by Bavarian monks because of its nutritious qualities. Not bad for a pint of beer!

Hong Kong-style Milk Tea (China)

The beauty of Hong Kong-style milk tea is that it’s easy to make. Simply take black tea and boil it to full strength in some water, then mix the blackness with some condensed milk (or evaporated milk if you’d prefer a less sweet result). What you’ll get is a sweet and strong brew perfect for the mornings. It’s a popular drink in Hong Kong, one that rivals coffee. Hong Kong-style milk tea is sometimes called "pantyhose tea" because of the large filter resembling a sock.

Matcha Green Tea (Japan)

Sometimes simplicity is the best and the most soothing. Matcha green tea from Japan is made with a finely ground powder of green tea. It can be dissolved in water or milk, and it produces a drink a bit different than traditional green tea. For those seeking extra solace, partake in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony which cherishes each step in the tea-making process. Because what's the point of sitting down for a drink if we aren't being mindful in the process?

What do you like to drink in autumn? Which warm drinks soothe your soul? Let us know on our Facebook Page (, and be sure to “like” TELC English for more articles on culture from around the world.