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How To Upgrade Your Holiday Coffee Experience

Even in sunny LA, the weather is beginning to cool down and holiday cheer is filling the air. Unlike the Grinch, this happens to be my favorite time of year. Whether you’re hosting or attending holiday festivities, no get-together is complete without coffee. The real question is, are you simply going to brew regular drip coffee, or are you going to wow everyone with a holiday coffee experience to remember? It’s time to spice things up and make those fancy holiday favorites everyone will enjoy.

 

#Basic: Pumpkin Spice

This is a quintessential fall beverage that, for many, marks the beginning of the holiday season. A perfect blend of holiday spices with the sweetness of pumpkin goes great with espresso and milk in a Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL) or even paired with drip coffee. You can buy a premade syrup or make it at home with our easy recipe below.  

Pumpkin Spice Simple Syrup Recipe

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 8 Oz. pumpkin puree (~1/2 can)
  • 1 Tsp. pumpkin pie spice

 

A Classic: Peppermint Mocha

The combination of peppermint and chocolate is a tried and true classic for the holidays. The addition of peppermint to a traditional mocha evokes those holiday feelings associated with candy canes and good ole Saint Nick. You can add this syrup to a cold brew or latte topped with whipped cream. If you really want to impress your houseguests, try adding some crushed candy canes and chocolate curls on top. Delicious!

Peppermint Mocha Syrup Recipe

  • 1 Cup water
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 2 Tbsps. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 -1/2 Tsp. peppermint extract

 

Afterhours: Spiked Eggnog Coffee

When regular coffee just won’t cut it, and you want to enjoy something special with your (adult) friends, this should do the trick. A beautiful marriage of your favorite coffee, holiday eggnog and a little booze never hurt anyone. Serve this hot with whipped cream and nutmeg. With this drink, you’ll be the life of the holiday party in no time!

Spiked Eggnog Coffee Recipe

  • 1 Cup coffee (dark roast preferred)
  • 2 Oz. eggnog
  • 1 Oz. Irish Whisky
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • Optional: whipped cream and nutmeg

 

For the Kiddos: Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows

When I look back on my fondest childhood holiday memories, they usually involved bundling up by the fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate in my hand. For those youngsters in your life, or even those just looking for a walk down memory lane, there’s nothing quite like it. This holiday season, let’s ditch the store-bought powders and make the real deal from scratch. It’s easier than you may think. Whatever you do, don’t forget that whipped cream and marshmallows!

Hot Chocolate Recipe

Mix the ingredients below in a saucepan over medium-low heat until everything is dissolved and the temperature is to your liking.

  • 2 Cups whole milk
  • 2 Tbsps. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 Tbsps. white sugar
  • 1/4 Cup chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsps. teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Optional: whipped cream and marshmallows
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