Everything about this milk makes me happy.
The woodsy smell of the cinnamon as it heats in the pan, the way the turmeric bleeds gold into the milk, the way the vanilla perfumes the air as soon as it hits the hot liquid.
Better still, I know the magic mix of turmeric and black pepper will help ease the inflammation in my joints and keep my immune system in check.
Also, this golden milk tastes like the holidays in a cup.
(Pro-tip: Add a splash a spiced rum and you’ve got a egg-nog-like-situation that will sooth any holiday anxiety interrupting your zen.)
I also love how easy this is to make. If you’ve got 15 minutes and a well-stocked spice drawer, you are nearly there.
Speaking of spices, the way you handle each spice in this recipe matters. There are simple things you can do to get the most flavor out of each one.
First, toast the whole spices in a hot, dry pan before adding anything else. The heat will coax the natural oils from the cinnamon, cardamom and peppercorn. Those essential oils are where big flavor resides.
Next, allowing the fresh ginger, turmeric and nutmeg to hit the hot pan for a few seconds before adding the milk will also bring their natural flavors to life. Why don’t we add these in with the cinnamon mixture at the beginning? Because all of these would easily burn before the cinnamon was done toasting.
Lastly, choose a nut milk that is creamy. If you’ve been drinking “alt milks” for a while, you know they are not all created equal. Some are grainy, some are smooth, some are strangely thick from added gums, some are bitter, some are sweet. I like to keep different milks around for different uses. When it comes to creamy beverages, my current favorite is macadamia nut milk. Leave it to the nut with one of the highest fat contents to produce some of the dreamiest, creamiest milks.
So if you need a little holiday cheer in a cup, or a little help fighting those pesky Winter bugs, make a batch of this Holiday Spice Golden Milk. I think it’s most delicious enjoyed out of your favorite cup while curled up on the couch catching up on Netflix, but that’s just me.
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 green cardamom pod (crushed slightly to crack)
- 6 whole black peppercorns
- 4 slices fresh ginger
- 4 slices fresh turmeric OR ¼ tsp ground turmeric
- pinch freshly ground nutmeg
- 24 oz nut milk (macadamia nut is my favorite)
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
- pinch salt
- Heat a small pot over high heat.
- Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom and peppercorns.
- Heat for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
- Add the ginger, turmeric and nutmeg.
- Stir for another 30 seconds before adding in the nut milk.
- Heat, stirring often, until milk starts to bubble.
- Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Whisk in maple, vanilla and salt.
- Strain and discard solids.
- Serve warm.