Have you heard? If you are reading this on the day it was published, it is exactly one month until Christmas Day. Which makes today the perfect day to present to you my Annapolis Valley Festive Holiday Drinks Guide!
As with my Pumpkin Spice Latte Guide, this is not a complete list of all the handmade holiday drinks you can find here in the valley, but as I one-woman show who can only visit (And drink) so many lattes in the run of a week, I’ve tried to bring you the most interesting drinks I could find in hopes that it will help to make your holiday season just a little bit more festive!
Because there are so many different types of holiday drinks, I’ve tried to cover a variety of drinks, though did end up having a few similar drinks as they were the only ones available when I started this tour a few weeks back.
Now let’s get right to it, shall we?
Classic Eggnog Latte
The Eggnog Latte is my go-to holiday drink. I love a peppermint mocha but since I can make my own peppermint mocha anytime at all, I really love loading up on all the eggnog things while it’s available.
There are a lot of eggnog lattes around because it is such a classic, but in an effort to try different drinks I only had two classic eggnog lattes. One from Half-Acre Cafe in Kentville (which, when bought on a Tuesday also gets you a free cookie…)
and one from Just Us! in Wolfville
Half-Acre and Just Us! are two of my valley cafes, and I’ve yet to have a latte from either that I didn’t love, and these were no exception. Comparing them to one another is much more challenging than it was for the PSL. I adored them both, they were both perfectly balanced and so good!
I hear that The Real Scoop’s eggnog latte is really smooth and delicious too so I think if you chose any of these three cafes you’ll be quite happy if it’s a classic eggnog latte you are looking for!
Blueberry Eggnog Latte
If you are looking for a fun fruity twist on the classic, head to Hill’s Grills in Kentville and ask for their Blueberry Eggnog Latte. Though it’s not officially on their menu (yet) tell them you heard it is amazing and I’m sure they will be more than happy to whip one up for you!
The perfect amount of fruitiness without being overly sweet, this tea latte is perfect for easing you in a festive mood
I’m about to make a pretty strong statement here. Are you ready? Ok.
I think this was the best peppermint mocha I’ve ever had.
You may have noticed by now that overly sweet drinks are not really my preference. And while I enjoy a peppermint mocha, I usually find by the last 1/4 it’s become so sickly sweet that I can’t enjoy it. That wasn’t the case with my Peppermint Mocha from The Real Scoop. In fact, I drink it down to the very last drop. With real crushed candy cane pieces and the option to get it def-caf or regular, there is little to NOT love with this peppermint mocha. It doesn’t have an overly strong coffee taste (good for those who are in it more for the chocolate and peppermint than they are the coffee) and it truly just so. darn. good.
If you like peppermint mochas, you need to visit The Real Scoop stat.
My trusty associate Sondra tells me that the Half-Acre Peppermint Mocha is also great. An even blend of coffee and hot chocolate with a tasty hint of peppermint and real whipped cream.
North Mountain Coffee has all the classic holiday favorites, but I decided to go for the Gingerbread Latte.
North Moutain can always be depended on to give you an authentic flavor in all of their specialty drinks, so the ginger taste in their gingerbread latte give a real ginger kick – which I love. As a girl who enjoys ginger candy, the spiciness of the gingerbread latte is quite lovely. But if you are someone who prefers a sweet dessert like drink, North Mountain probably isn’t the place for you (though they also have tea, hot chocolate, and apple cider so there are lots of sweeter drink options available too).
Santa’s Sugar Cookie Latte
If more decadent drinks are your desire, the Green Elephant is where you need to go. They have an extensive list of festive drinks you won’t find anywhere else, and your real problem is going to be on deciding what to get.
It was so good and guys – it really did taste like a sugar cookie! I spent much of my drive home trying to put my finger on what exactly it was in the latte that made it taste like a sugar cookie, and why it tasted so familiar and I think I figured it out. It tastes like the whipped cream that goes in my Butterbeer recipe. But that’s all I can tell you.
Because the drinks all sound so amazing once again my associate has pitched in to give me her impression of some of the drinks she has tried.
The Candy Cane White Mocha is best suited for someone who loves white chocolate as it actually tastes like a candy cane white chocolate bar, really smooth but not overly sweet.
Chocolate Peppermint Mocha is your classic peppermint mocha and is fairly sweet but doesn’t have a strong coffee taste (great for those who don’t love the coffee factor of the mocha).
The Gingerbread Smores Latte had a weaker gingerbread taste but you could definitely taste the cookie in it and on the whipped cream.
White Hot Chocolate
Back at Hill’s Grills in Kentville, their white hot chocolate is amazing. It is so frothy and the perfect drink to warm you up o a cold day. I like white chocolate but don’t LOVE it, but I loved this drink. It’s not overly sweet and did I mention that froth? I am a sucker for good froth.
Not exactly Christmas-y, but their French Toast Latte is also a delicious choice, as is their Dirty Chai and Pink Lady Latte <–this one is definitely a must-try. It’s so good!
Eggnog Chai Latte
Y’all probably know I love me a chai latte so I thought I’d mix things up a bit and get an eggnog chai latte at TAN and OHMYGOSHYOUGUYS IT WAS SO GOOOOOD!
Just looking at it you can see the eggnog. And it might seem weird to say since this was an eggnog chai, but it had a stronger eggnog flavor than any of the other eggnog drinks I had (including the class eggnog lattes)!
Perhaps the spices in the chai brought the eggnog flavor out more? In my head, I’m thinking about how Rachael Ray always added a little nutmeg to her mac and cheese because it helped bring out the other flavors. It’s quite possible I’ve made that all up in my head, but it’s a good story, haha.
Update: November 27, 2018
This morning I visited Half-Acre cafe and tried a new latte – the Holiday Joy Latte. When I asked what was in it, they told me it is basically a liquid almond joy bar, with a shot of almond, a shot of coconut and a shot of chocolate – YES PLEASE!
While there I saw Janet who decided to check them out after reading my blog post and she was having the Candy Cane Latte which she said was really good.
I see they also have added a Gingerbread Latte (which Meagan tells me they add a shot of vanilla to which sounds amazing!) and a Cinnamon Maple Latte which I may have to try too!
Annapolis Valley Festive Holiday Drinks Guide
There you have it, this year’s Annapolis Valley Festive Holiday Drinks Guide. I know there are other drinks out there I could try but I know many of you have been waiting for this and I didn’t want to leave you waiting any longer! But if you know of a great handmade drink here in the valley that I didn’t try, or a great cafe I keep missing – let me know! I’ll keep them in mind for future round-ups!
I guess the next question is, with fall and not the holiday drinks behind us, what should be my next drink round up? If you have a suggestion please let me know!