There’s no denying it: winter’s chill is in the air here in The Great Waterway. As much as I love the coziness of a crackling fireplace or my favourite knitted afghan as a way to thaw out after playing in the great outdoors, the truth is that nothing beats curling your hands around a mug of your favourite hot drink, which is why I’ve rounded up the region’s best. Make no mistake, these are not your kid’s hot chocolates. Decidedly adult and downright decadent, your outdoor adventures in The Great Waterway earn you the right to enjoy each and every one of these beverages.
If you are…skating at Springer Market Square in Kingston
You’ll want…a creamy hot chocolate from Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar
“My go-to spot in Kingston definitely has to be Sipps Coffee and Dessert Bar on Brock Street,” says self-confessed foodie Rosalyn Gambhir. “Their hot chocolate is quite rich and who doesn’t love whipped cream to top it off. It is the perfect afternoon pick me up after after skating at Market Square!” Prefer to have your feet stay snug in your boots rather than in skates? Gambhir says Sipps couples will love Sipps for their selection of cakes and pastries, making it an ideal afternoon date escape.
If you are…Ice fishing on The Bay of Quinte
You’ll want…a Gingerbread Hot Chocolate from Urban Escape Cafe in Belleville
Juliet deWal, owner of the downtown Belleville coffee shop and cafe says that the Gingerbread Hot Chocolate is a wonderful way to warm up after time out ice fishing on the Bay, whether its bass or walleye that have you braving the bracing winds. The perfect mix of rich chocolate and soul-soothing ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg, try pairing the Gingerbread Hot Chocolate with one of their gooey butter tarts (I’m partial to the Skor, but traditionalists will fall in love with their raisin butter tarts).
If you are…crosscountry skiing in Prince Edward County
You’ll want…the Bourbon Con Leche from The Drake Devonshire
“At the Drake, we enjoying changing things up with the seasons. We added a twist to a holiday favourite, the salted caramel latte, and it’ll definitely please guests at this season’s holiday parties! Our Bourbon Con Leche makes the perfect après ski dessert drink to sip by the fire,” says The Drake’s Jessica Rodrigues. This sumptuous cocktail incorporates elements of both Café con leche as well as Arroz con leche — Peruvian rice pudding. Coffee, cinnamon, vanilla, condensed milk and nutty notes from the sherry intertwine creating a decadent dessert tipple. Rodrigues also adds that a non-alcoholic version that can be enjoyed anytime with baked goods or on its own…simply pour in a thermos and take with you on snowshoeing adventures.
How to: make The Drake Devonshire’s Bourbon Con Leche
1.5 oz. Cinnamon-infused bourbon
0.5 oz. Condensed Milk
0.5 oz. Coffee Syrup
0.25 oz. Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry
2 dashes of Elemakule Tiki Bitters
Place 2 sticks of cinnamon into a bottle of bourbon for 6 hours!
2 cups water
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup ground coffee
In a saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Whisk in 2 cups of sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Reduce to a simmer and add in 1 cup ground coffee, let steep for 10 minutes then strain and bottle.
1. In a shaker, combine the cinnamon bourbon, condensed milk, coffee syrup and Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry
2. Shake well and strain over fresh ice into your favourite coffee mug
3. Add a few dashes of Elemakule Tiki Bitters (or sprinkle some allspice to taste if you can’t find this!)
4. Garnish with cinnamon stick and serve!