What's the Most Popular Cold Weather Drink?

Hot chocolate beats out hot apple cider and coffee in our latest reader poll

After last weekend's surprise snowstorm on the East Coast, there is no doubt that winter has crept up on us. So we asked our readers what they drink to keep warm.

Most readers (38 percent) reached for the wintertime classic — a cup of hot chocolate, while 20 percent of voters choose to steep a comforting cup of tea. Coffee got 19 percent of the votes, but only 12 percent of readers chose hot toddies. Surprisingly, hot apple cider came in dead last with 11 percent.

With its rich blend of nostalgia, comfort, and whipped cream, hot chocolate is a clear winner. Recently, hot chocolate has gotten a gourmet makeover — companies like L.A. Burdick are offering a multitude of exotically sourced chocolate, not to mention the wide availability of grown-up mix-ins (think peppers for spice, Mexican hot chocolate, and Bailey's).

Hot apple cider's unpopularity, however, was surprising given a recent fascination with unpasteurized cider. Perhaps the cider trend stalls at the end of autumn, and while the spicy apple drink goes well with caramel, nothing really beats a cup of thick hot chocolate on a snowy day.

For tips on making the perfect hot chocolate, click here.

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.