Hygge Drinks

Nothing says hygge like curling up in a cozy blanket with a warm drink. Here’s how to make five of my favorite hygge drinks:

1. European-Style Hot Chocolate

Indulge in this thick, rich European-style hot chocolate. I discovered this delicious drink during a trip to Philadelphia. This hot chocolate is like nothing you’ve ever had before, trust me! It’s a cross between hot chocolate and pudding. Yields 2.


    • 3 ounces milk chocolate
    • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate
    • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
    • 2 cups (16 ounces) milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Chop or grind chocolate into small pieces.
  2. Add the sugar and cornstarch.
  3. Pour the milk into the pot and cook over medium heat until barely simmering, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add vanilla extract and pour into cups.

2. Nancy Scarzello’s Chaga Chai


  • 5 cups of water
  • ¼ cup chopped chaga (Chaga is a very sacred mushroom. To learn more, check out this post about medicinal mushrooms.)
  • 1 Tbs. freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 can coconut milk


  1. Simmer the chaga, ginger, cardamom, and cloves in water for 10 minutes over low heat and then strain. (Save the grounds as they can be used to make a second batch.)
  2. Sweeten the chai with honey as desired, add coconut milk, and gently heat until warm.
Hand Stamped Teaspoon
Image courtesy of The Paper Spoon

3. Kava Chai

This is a magically joyous brew that Rosemary Gladstar taught me how to make. It’s my favorite cozy winter drink. It exudes everything hygge.


  • 3 Tbs. kava root
  • 3 Tbs. sliced ginger root
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tsp. cardamom
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean, optional
  • 1 can coconut milk


  1. Simmer herbs in 6 cups water for 30 minutes, until you see yellow “fat globs” (like an iridescent shimmer), floating on top. Once this happens, it means that the kavalactones (the active ingredient in kava that produces feelings of happiness and relaxation) have been extracted.
  2. Let mixture sit for 12 hours.
  3. Strain herbs and reserve the liquid.
  4. Reheat and add coconut milk to taste. (You may feel a slightly numbing sensation on your tongue, this just means the kavalactones are working!)

(*Consult your doctor before taking kava as it can interfere with certain medications or health conditions.)

4. Hot Mulled Apple Cider

  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 8 whole allspice berries
  • orange peel From 1 orange
  • lemon peel From 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 6 cups apple juice

Place cinnamon sticks, ground cloves, allspice berries, orange peel, and lemon peel in a medium saucepan. Pour in maple syrup and apple juice, then bring to almost a boil. Reduce the heat to low  and simmer for 30 minutes.

Yields about 12 servings.


5. Faux Joe (pronounced Fo-Jo)

Faux Joe is a roasted grain, root, and bark beverage with just the slightest hint of coconut. It’s also a great caffeine-free alternative to coffee! (I brew mine in a French press.) Unfortunately, I don’t have the secret recipe, but you can purchase it from its creator, herbalist Susan Hess at The Still Room at Pitch Pines.  Even though I don’t have the recipe, I absolutely love this drink so it had to go on the list! She is currently going through some rebranding and doesn’t have any of her products listed on her site right now, but I’m sure if you email her you might be able to score a bag!

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