Winter is officially upon us. We can no longer deny it – woolly sweaters and Pumpkin Spice Lattes are around every corner. It’s easy to get into a mid-semester slump around this time of year, but I believe embracing winter festivities is crucial to surviving the midterm period. Here are ten ways to bring a bit of spice into your life using the flavour of the season: cinnamon.
1. DIY Chai latte: You could spend the money to get yourself a professional Chai latte at Starbucks, but when you’re a student on a budget the last thing you want to be overspending on is lattes (when you could be overspending at Hive instead). Make some strong black tea and microwave some milk or dairy substitute. Typically a latte has steamed milk in it, but if I knew how to steam milk on my own I would not be writing this column every week. Combine your tea and milk, and stir in some cinnamon and sugar. What you should end up with is a little cup of winter to sip while you avoid writing an essay.
2. Spicy hot chocolate: Spicy hot chocolate is THE drink of the season. Just take your standard hot chocolate mix and add in a decent amount of cinnamon. I’m fairly certain store bought spicy hot chocolate has some other mystery ingredients, but for our purposes cinnamon is the key one. Prepare your hot chocolate as you normally would. This drink combines two necessary components for surviving this time of year – a spicy kick to protect you from the Scottish winds and a sizable serving of chocolate to get you through the mid-semester essay deadlines.
3. Cinnamon bread: Cinnamon bread is a staple of the Autumnal season. Just the smell of it is enough to act as an instant cure for cold-weather related bitterness. So why not try and make your own? Mix butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl. Spread over a few slices of bread, then heat up over the stove.
4. Air freshener: It’s the perfect time of year to invest in some seasonal candles. However, if you don’t trust yourself with fire hazards this is a quick fix: heat up some cinnamon and orange peels in a pan of water. This will leave your house smelling like you’ve done some seasonal baking, when in reality you’ve just been eating chocolate digestives.
5. Stewed apples: Put some sliced apples, cinnamon, and sugar on the stove. You should end up with something that resembles an apple filling. An impressive treat to make for your friends on a day when you all skip your lectures because it’s just too cold to go outside.
6. Cinnamon vegetables: With essay deadlines and midterm exams, you’ve likely been living off of late night instant noodles and crisps. Do yourself a favour and have a few roasted vegetables BUT give them a seasonal twist by sprinkling a little cinnamon over them. These also compliment roast ham nicely.
7. Cinnamon & Calci-rum: You’ve handed in your last essay. Time to celebrate. Mix rum, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a bit of warm almond/soy milk together. This drink gives you a healthy dose of vitamins and a crucial dose of alcohol.
8. Coffee with a kick: Mix vodka, black coffee, and cinnamon together. This drink is the perfect mix of practical and fun. Consider it the drink version of ‘the mullet’.
9. The Fireball alternative: Fireball, the notorious cinnamon whiskey, was recently recalled in multiple locations. This comes at an especially inconvenient time of year, considering how seasonal cinnamon. So instead, just mix some cinnamon into some regular whisky and hope for the best.
10. The Cinnamon Challenge: If you haven’t heard of the cinnamon challenge, don’t look it up before trying it out. Take a tablespoon of cinnamon and put in your mouth. This is probably best to attempt after indulging in numbers 7-9.