10 drinks to cozy up with at YYC Hot Chocolate Fest

The weather outside is frightful, but at least the hot chocolate beverages are delightful! February is YYC Hot Chocolate Fest month, the perfect time of year to enjoy a confectionary drink while winter is still in full swing. Restaurants around the city create a signature hot chocolate drink specifically for the festival with traditional, unique and hot chocolates with spirits involved! This isn’t your typical hot cocoa and peppermint Schnapps!

The nice bonus about YYC Hot Chocolate Fest is that you’ll be drinking to a good cause. The event is an annual fundraiser for Calgary Meals on Wheels to help them keep up with demand to feed needy seniors. The 2017 event saw over $35,000 raised for the charity through the thousands of hot chocolates sold throughout Calgary. So with an entire month to get drinking, here’s a look at just 10 of the available hot chocolates to check out for the 2018 edition of YYC Hot Chocolate Fest.

  • Vendome Cafe – Dutch Hot Chocolate

This spirited hot chocolate is spiked with oak barrel-aged Genever. Smells like juniper, vanilla, toffee and oak with taste profile of vanilla, toffee and fudge. Garnished with whip cream and a candied orange wheel.


  • Alforno Bakery – S’mores Hot Chocolate

S'mores style hot chocolate from Alforno Bakery

Made with rich dark chocolate, home-made giant marshmallow & topped snickerdoodle crumble as well as 1 oz. of Godiva White Chocolate Liquor for a little extra warmth!


  • The Nash – Smoked Chocolate Chili Mocha

Chili inspired hot chocolate at The Nash.

Smoked Valrhona chocolate, warm winter spices, chili and espresso.


  • River Cafe – Honey & Haskap Hot Chocolate

Featuring Haskap (honeyberry) which are native to the northern hemisphere and similar to a tart blueberry.


  • Boxcar Cafe – Gingerbread Hot Chocolate

Gingerbread flavours at Boxcar Cafe

Notes of ginger, nutmeg and other seasonal spices plus a cute gingerbread design!


  • Bridgeland Market – Be Still, My Beet(ing) Heart

Beets inspired hot chocolate at Bridgeland Market

Fresh beets combined with coconut milk, dark chocolate, vanilla, fennel seeds and cardamom. Topped with a beet-flavoured marshmallow heart and shards of beet chip.


  • Rosso Coffee Roasters – Orange Blossom Hot Cocoa

Orange flavoured hot chocolate at Rosso Coffee Roasters

Unique blend of orange and floral notes, Deutsch processed cocoa, orange zest cookie and dried orange slice.


  • Analog Coffee – Thai Chili Chelada

Chili hot chocolate at Analog Coffee

Dense and creamy cocoa with lingering Thai chili heat, garnished with a fiery kouign aman and lime macaron.


  • Cravings Market Restaurant – Cinnamon Spice Hot Chocolate

Cinnamon and spirits hot chocolate at Cravings Market

Shaved Bernard Callebaut chocolate, shaved cocoa, cinnamon, steamed milk, marshmallow, cream cheese, whip cream, Fireball liqueur, Godiva liqueur, and S’more flavored vodka. Served with chocolate graham cracker cookies.


  • Deane House – Caramelized Honey Hot Chocolate

Honey and marshmallow hot chocolate at Deane House

Dark chocolate marshmallow, candied walnut crumb, bee pollen.


Don’t these hot chocolates all look so amazing! Check out the YYC Hot Chocolate Fest website for full details and locations. Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, and fair trade options are also available at some locations.

Irene Seto

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