Stay warm (and caffeinated) this winter with these local drinks
Winter is finally upon us — freeze the day from some great locales.
Cozy up and try a local spin on peppermint mochas, hot chocolates and all of the best festive drinks.
Jack Frost Latte, Wassail Cider and more | Beans N Cream Bakehouse
Among the Beans N Cream Bakehouse selections is the Jack Frost Latte, a twist on the classic white chocolate and peppermint drink. Managing Partner of Beans N Cream Jeff Gauger says a turmeric ginger chai and a golden toffee latte are also on the horizon and will be released in early January. For now, he says the team is excited about its Wassail Cider, made with spiced apple cider and steeped with elderberry and ginger. Gauger says Beans N Cream is also selling its midwinter reserve blend, which is roasted in Sun Prairie, and contains notes of spice, nut and fruit. 1120 W. Main St., Sun Prairie
Hot Chocolate, Eggnog Latte and Gingerbread Latte | Cafe Brittoli
Right on Atwood by the bike path, this intimate, small cafe gets its coffee beans from the JBC roaster in Madison. Owner Conner DiPersio says the pumpkin chocolate chip bread and banana nutella crepe are great pairings with any drink, especially one from its gourmet hot chocolate menu, consisting of six different types of hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows. DiPersio says the team will also offer an eggnog and gingerbread latte. 2326 Atwood Ave.
Merry Cranberry Tea, Windy Ci-Tea, Peppermint Fluff Latte, Bonfire Mocha and more | Colectivo Coffee
Colectivo has multiple cold weather drinks to sip on this season. Some tea drinks include the cranberry hibiscus tea, Merry Cranberry, with notes of ginger, citrus and cinnamon — Colectivo calls it “a vibrant and festive holiday tonic — or opt for the Windy Ci-Tea, a mix of lavender syrup, oat milk, black tea and earl grey. The Peppermint Fluff Latte with vegan peppermint fluff, similar to its pumpkin spice fluff, is made in-house with vanilla syrup, Espresso Toro and 2% milk. Events and communications manager Ramie Camarena says it’s the “star of the show.” The bonfire mocha is a smoky, sweet treat with a blend of cocoa powder, smoked paprika, espresso toro and oat milk. The maple oat-lait and salted caramel lattes are also on the menu. All of its holiday drinks are available until Jan. 4. 583 State St. 25 S. Pinckney St., 30 Monroe St.
Old Fashioned Latte, Nitro Nog, Oh Hey Dasher and Festivus Fizz | Crescendo Espresso Bar + Music Cafe
Crescendo has a couple offerings on its special winter menu. Only in Wisconsin can you find a locally crafted Old Fashioned latte, made with Gentle Breeze honey, cherry and whiskey bitters. Go simple with the Crescendo “Nitro Nog,” half nitro cold press and half real eggnog. Warm up with a cortado, holiday-style with Oh Hey Dasher. Crushed candy cane bits and white chocolate add some sweetness to this drink. Crescendo is also selling a sparkling “Festivus Fizz” soda, made with cranberry syrup and bitters. Pair any one of its drinks with a double chocolate peppermint scone. 1859 Monroe St.
Eggnog Latte, Peppermint Mocha and more | Fair Trade Coffee House
“Our winter drinks are meant to bring together the flavors of the holidays — spending the colder days with a cozy reminder of the joys of the season,” owner Casey Thompson says. He thinks the Eggnog Latte, made with eggnog and nutmeg, and Peppermint Mocha, which has chocolate and peppermint, brings out all there is to love about the holidays. Other offerings include the gingerbread latte, toasted white chocolate mocha and tiramisu latte. 418 State St.
Peppermint Pattie Latte, Toasted Marshmallow Hot Chocolate and more | Java Cat Coffee
Java Cat Coffee has previously won awards for “Best Coffee Shop in Monona,” and this winter it is delivering some new, house-made favorites. Try the peppermint pattie, gingerbread or eggnog lattes, or for a little more chocolate, go for the toasted marshmallow hot chocolate or Mayan mocha. 3918 Monona Drive
Golden Chai, Peppermint Mocha and more | Lakeside St. Coffee House
“Our large window looks out to Monona Bay, so we get to see so much life during winter,” Miles Voss, manager of Lakeside St. Coffee House says. “Whether it’s migrating birds resting, ice fisherman out early in the morning, or groups snow shoeing across the bay, life keeps going on the bay,” he continues. “When the bay freezes with a covering of snow, it creates a picturesque Wisconsin winter scene that pairs great with a peppermint mocha or a spiced praline latte.” Voss recommends pairing the golden chai with a Madison Sourdough molasses cookie or any of the baked goods from Lazy Jane’s. The chai concentrate is made in-house, infused with milk, turmeric and sweetened with local honey. In his words, it’s “a cup of cozy.” 402 W. Lakeside St.
Gingersnap Latte, Peppermint Mocha | Ledger Coffee Roasters
Ledger Coffee Roasters is offering several winter specials, including the gingersnap latte. Try it with a Level 5 vegan gingerbread doughnut for the full holiday experience. As for the coffee, founder and CEO Richard Wirsta says the Ledger extraction process is “meticulous.” The most popular syrup-based drink at Ledger Coffee Roasters is its cardamom mocha. Cardamom seeds are steeped for hours for the syrup and a Dutch chocolate adds a sweet note. “My wonderful, extremely capable team is most definitely the biggest reason for our success. Second, our community embraced us right out of the gate,” he adds. “Our customers have become our friends and we get to learn about their families. We couldn’t be more fortunate and appreciative.” Ledger Coffee Roasters is also selling a peppermint mocha with espresso, steamed milk and house-made peppermint and mocha syrups. Order the Snowbird Winter Blend for home, or for a non-caffeinated drink, try the peppermint hot cocoa. 3241 Garver Green Suite 140
Gingerbread Hot Chocolate and Ghost Pepper Latte | Madison Chocolate Co.
House-made whipped cream tops the warm gingerbread hot chocolate at the award-winning Madison Chocolate Co. There’s nothing like sitting by the campfire and sipping some hot chocolate as you watch the snow fall. The ghost pepper latte is a signature for Madison Chocolate Co. This drink, made hot or iced, infuses a spicy “ghost pepper caramel,” with two shots of espresso and milk. 729 Glenway St.
“Everything Nice” Mocha, Candy Cane Mocha and Peppermint Mocha | Michelangelo’s
The Michelangelos winter specialty drinks will be available through January, with the most recent addition of “Everything Nice,” a blend of brown sugar, cinnamon, Irish cream flavor and white chocolate, to the menu. While the traditional peppermint mocha is a classic, the candy cane mocha — a peppermint white chocolate mocha — has become a fan favorite. The coffee shop will also introduce a turmeric ginger latte in the coming weeks. 114 State St.
Pistachio Oat Milk Latte | Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse
Jon Hain of Mother Fools suggests pairing any of its drinks with the vegan cocoa candy cane cream pie cookie. “The bright taste of the candy cane goes perfect with the pistachio oat milk latte,” he says, which will be available through the end of January. While the weather is getting chillier, Hain adds that they use a 24-hour steeping process to bring out all the flavor in its organic cold brew. 1101 Williamson St.
Peppermint Mocha | Sencha Tea Bar
While everyone knows Sencha Tea Bar for its sweet teas and the pumpkin chai shake, its peppermint mocha is another popular and festive drink — served iced or hot. The baristas are happy to add their own spin on any of its offerings. 430 State St.
Candy Cane White Milk Tea and Pumpkin Pie Milk Tea | Taiwan Little Eats
You don’t have to move on from PSL season just yet. Taiwan Little Eats is still offering pumpkin drinks too with its pumpkin pie milk tea. Add some caramel to Taiwan Little Eats’ candy cane milk tea for a little extra sweetness this holiday season. 320 State St.
Blended Hot Cocoa | Twisted Grounds
Although the Twisted Grounds’ staff favorite is the “Dirty Zebra,” an espresso-chocolate chai-white chocolate combination, a festive, beloved drink is the blended hot cocoa. 6067 Gemini Drive
Maple Nut White Mocha | Yola’s Cafe
Yola’s Cafe has become a knockout in the waffle Madison market, but its lattes — served hot or iced — are also worth a try. A good option this time of year is the maple nut white mocha latte. 494 Commerce Drive
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