For many, the start of October – along with its imminent cooler weather – marks the unofficial beginning of the holidays. And in the beverage world, that means there are plenty of delicious seasonal flavors to dig into, from harvest through the new year.
Whether you’re gearing up for a crisp fall or a bitter winter, there’s a holiday drink for everyone and we’d like to make a few suggestions. In this special edition of the Flavorman blog, we’ve chosen five of our favorite classic seasonal flavors with drink recipes for you to try. So snuggle up and get ready to sip your way into 2020. Cheers!
1. Pumpkin Spice
Arguably the most famous fall beverage flavor is pumpkin spice, largely due to the popularity of the Pumpkin Spice Latte. Since making its debut in 2003, it has become a cultural mainstay and since then, nearly everyone has taken a crack at grabbing a piece of the “PSL” pie. Although pumpkin spice has stolen the spotlight, there are many other flavors that can remind us of the cozy sweater weather of autumn. We recommend mixing things up with a Pumpkin Bourbon Punch or Pumpkin Spice Smoothie (pictured). Add some crumbled graham cracker or gingerbread for a crunch.
Nothing compares to the joyous tradition of picking sweet, crisp apples on a cool fall day, only to return home to bake them in the oven with cinnamon and brown sugar, served up with vanilla ice cream. It’s true that we enjoy a good home baked apple as much as anyone, but as beverage lovers, we prefer using the fruit of our labor to create a delicious Warm Apple Cider. Like the PSL, apple cider has been a staple seasonal treat for decades. And while it’s hard to replace a classic, you can also try a Hot Cinnamon Apple Toddy or an Apple Pie Punch (pictured). Top with chopped apples!
Sweet and gooey, caramel is another classic flavor that complements everything from salted popcorn to creamy shakes and sour apples slices. The first recorded type of caramels were hard candies dating back to the 17th century. Caramel was also consumed by early American settlers who would cook together sugar and water to make quick treats for their children. Since then, caramel has remained a simple, affordable staple in many households and today we still enjoy this delightful flavor in a variety of forms. Dazzle your taste buds with a Caramel Apple Float (pictured), Malted Caramel Shake, or Salted Caramel Latte. Don’t forget to add an extra caramel drizzle.
4. Dark Chocolate
During the cold season, it’s hard to say no to a s’more and a mug of Fluffy Hot Chocolate. And any drink recipe calling for dark chocolate can make it even more delectable and healthier for you too! In fact, dark chocolate with a cacao percentage of 70 or higher is full of antioxidants, although you might want to stay in the 65 percent range for something a little sweeter. Winter treats are incomplete without the addition of this rich flavor, which is why we recommend mixing it up with a Red Velvet Hot Chocolate (pictured) or a Chocolate Mocktail. Add a little whip cream and sprinkles for an extra special finish.
Pairing the sweet warmth of a Peppermint Hot Chocolate (pictured) with a cooling candy cane stir in can make any dark December morning feel cheery and bright. While peppermint is a wildly popular seasonal beverage flavor, it’s also the most extensively used volatile oil throughout the rest of the year with 30 percent of the world’s supply coming from the US. That’s right. You don’t need a special occasion to enjoy this refreshing flavor. But to fight the chill, we recommend trying a Hot Peppermint Patty or a Mint Mocha Coffee. Serve with crushed peppermint and chocolate flakes.
Think you have the next winning holiday flavor combination? Let us help you bring it to life! Learn more at flavorman.com