10 Signature Sips To Try For YYC Hot Chocolate Fest
This is just a sample of what is available at restaurants and cafes through the month of February for the Meals on Wheels fundraiser.
Friendly competition, fundraising and potentially binging on liquid chocolate – it must be time for YYC Hot Chocolate Fest.
Meals on Wheels runs the fest February 1 to 28 (with a launch party January 31, 11 a.m. at the Calgary Farmers’ Market). Coffee shops, restaurants, hotels and chocolatiers create signature hot chocolates with proceeds from the sale of those beverages supporting Meals on Wheels. The charity has been promoting health and providing nutritious meals in Calgary for 50 years.
It’s a great cause, but the genius of this fundraiser is in the competition. As you sample your way through the city’s hot chocolates, go to YYC Hot Chocolate Fest and vote for the Best Hot Chocolate and Best Spirited Hot Chocolate. With bragging rights on the line, the cafes and restaurants are in it to win it and created concoctions designed to be the best.
A full list of locations will be posted online. Here is sample of what to expect.
Chili Caramel Hot Chocolate
The cafe makes its own cocoa with smoked ancho chilies and tops it with vanilla bean whipped cream and dulce de leche caramel.
Atco Blue Flame Kitchen, 909 11 Ave. S.W., 403-460-7546, atcoblueflamekitchen.com, @ATCOBlueFlame
Spicy Rosemary Hot Chocolate
The Main Dish also brings on the spice with a mix of cayenne pepper and fresh rosemary blended with dark chocolate and steamed milk. Regular milk can be substituted for almond or soy.
The Main Dish, 903 General Ave. N.E., 403-265-3474, tmdish.com, @themaindish
Thai Coconut Hot Chocolate
Chocolate is melted to order and infused with coconut. Add milk (including dairy free options) and a dash of cayenne and you have Euphoria Caf’s signature hot chocolate.
Euphoria Caf, 124, 5403 Crowchild Tr. N.W., 403-313-0503, euphoriacafe.ca, @EuphoriaCafeYYC
White Chocolate Chili Truffle Latte
TotaliTea added White Chocolate Chili Truffle to its line of black teas, which is delicious all on its own and even better when used in a latte. This drink is half black tea and half steamed milk with a flavour shot of white chocolate and a whipped cream topping.
TotaliTea, the Tea Boutique, 510 77 Ave. S.E., totalitea.com
The Trib Peppermint Cocoa (Spirited)
This one goes in the boozy category. The chocolate base uses Lindt chocolate. There is a house-made vanilla marshmallow. And, peppermint schnapps is the spirit of choice.
Trib Steakhouse, 118 8 Ave. S.W., 403-269-3160, tribsteakhouse.ca, @TribSteakhouse
Salted Caramel Drinking Chocolate with Cinnamon Heart Marshmallows
Fiasco Gelato’s hot chocolate comes in a kit for you to make at home. The drinking chocolate is made with salted caramel dust and comes with a side order of house-made cinnamon heart marshmallows.
Fiasco Gelato, A20, 416 Meridian Rd. S.E., fiascogelato.ca, @fiascogelato
Surely You Zest!
This one gets seductive with its dark fair trade chocolate whipped with warm cardamom and fresh organic orange zest. It gets fancy with an orange twist garnish and whipped cream.
Vie Caf, 102, 2505 17 Ave. S.W., 403-685-4410, viecafe.ca, @VieCafe
The Roasterie claims to have created a hot chocolate with deep complex flavours and there is a good chance it is correct. The drink includes salted dark chocolate, spices and milk and is topped with roasted marshmallows and nutmeg.
The Roasterie, 314, 10 St. N.W., 403-270-3304, roasterie.com
Cornerstone won the title of Best Hot Chocolate in 2014 with its Hot Mayan. This year it is inspired by India. Spices from that country are added to Cornerstone’s already fantastic hot cocoa.
139, 14919 Deer Ridge Dr. S.E., 403-278-3070, cornerstonemusic.ca
Black Pearl Hot Cocoa
The Bean Stop’s hot chocolate has a lot going for it. First, it has a pirate theme. It is a reduced spiced rum hot cocoa made with 72 per cent dark chocolate and finished with brown sugar spiced crumble whipped cream. There are no artificial ingredients in this drink.
The Bean Stop, Eau Claire Market, 145, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.
For a full list of participating restaurants and cafes, visit yychotchocolate.com