I think most people have a distinct moment when they are definitely over iced drinks and crave something warm. At least that’s how I feel where I’m from in Calgary. For me, that moment is usually below zero temperatures coupled with snow.
With the holiday season in full swing, nothing comforts more like a soothing sip from a mug of something warm and delicious. Here are 9 hot tasty beverages (some boozy, others not) that colder weather and extended visits from mother-in-laws seem slightly more bearable.
1. Ayden Kitchen and Bar (Saskatoon, SK)
Drink: Between the Winter Sheets
General Manager, Christopher Cho, just launched Ayden’s new winter cocktail menu that includes this spiced bevvy made with white rum, cider, brandy and a house-made syrup infused with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. I hope the name means you can order it to go and sip it in bed!
2. Higher Ground Cafe (Calgary, AB)
Drink: White Chocolate Chai
Steeping a traditional Chai tea blend that’s rich and peppery in a little hot water, followed by steamed milk and some sweet, silky white chocolate will result in a tea misto that’s even more comforting than a London Fog. Which, for the record, I did not know was possible.
3. The Coup (Calgary, AB)
Drink: Maple Matcha Latte
The combination of good quality maple syrup and earthy matcha green tea, blended into some frothy, steamed milk is sort of like an east-meets-west flavour experience for the taste buds at one of the country’s best vegetarian restaurants. Matcha is high in antioxidants and quite energizing too, so this one’s great for warming you up and making you hyper at the same time.
4. Juliette & Chocolat (Montreal, QC)
Drink: The Marshmallow Madness
You haven’t really had hot chocolate unless you’ve had one at Juliette’s. Milk and dark chocolate are melted together for a drinking chocolate of epic sweet proportions, finished off with a white chocolate couli and marshmallows that are made in-house. Perfect for kids or for the kid in all of us.
5. Medina Cafe (Vancouver, BC)
Drink: Lavender Latte
Any Vancouverite will tell you that if you’re heading to Medina for brunch for the first time, you’ve got to try the signature lavender latte. I know what you’re thinking. The flavour of lavender is not everyone’s cup of tea, but this is a latte, not tea, so get over it!
Seriously though, the subtle floral hint in a the well-crafted latte is a unique sip that’s worth experiencing at least once in your life.
6. Sofitel Montreal (Montreal, BC)
Drink: Caribou Cocktail
The ‘caribou’ is an iconic winter drink of Quebec’s Winter Carnival and Winnipeg’s Festival du Voyageur where it serves as something warm and boozy to fight off the chill while people take in all of the excitement outdoors. Head into Sofitel’s hotel bar to order up this classic combination of red wine, whisky and maple syrup.
7. UVA (Vancouver, BC)
Drink: Scrooge McHooch
You won’t be feeling so Scrooge like after a few sips of this hot cocktail. Made with a mix of rum, green chantreuse, steamed milk, chocolate bitters and more, mixologist Lauren Mote promises this will cure any winter blues you may have.
8. Krafty Kitchen and Bar (Kelowna, BC)
Drink: Hot Apple Toddy
Top Chef Canada alumnus, Chris Shaften puts a nice, warming spin on the classic hot toddy at his Kelowna eatery with apple brandy, whisky and honey with a bit of lemon and nutmeg. The perfect thing to get your hands on when you’re back in town after a solid ski day at Big White.
9. The Middle Spoon (Halifax, NS)
Drink: Wired Whiskey Coffee
I don’t necessarily recommend making this your daily morning brew, but a cup of coffee stirred up with almond liqueur and whiskey topped with orange zest and whipped cream is definitely A-OK on a Saturday morning.
10. Soma Chocolate (Toronto, ON)
Drink: Mayan Chocolate
A bit of spice makes everything nice — and that holds true for hot chocolate, too. Soma adds a little heat to their rich drinking chocolate by infusing chili pepper, ginger, orange, vanilla and a “secret” blend of spices. Mysteriously delicious!
Dan Clapson is a food writer and culinary instructor based out of Calgary. He is constantly creating new recipes and striving to expand his culinary horizons. He thinks yam fries are overrated.