Western Wheel reporter Remy Greer and festival organizer Katie Fournell landed the enviable assignment of getting to taste test the imaginative offerings from the 15 bakeries, cafes, restaurants and home businesses that make up the 2021 event, which runs from Feb. 10-20.
Festival goers are asked to register on the festival website, hotchoco.ktevents.ca, and rate their favourites for a chance to win a gift card to the winning business.
94 Take the Cake
A ton of little touches make the 0094 Chocolatetini sing. There’s the sugar-rimmed glass and ample whip cream along with a delightful green macaroon on a stick that’s reminiscent of an olive in a martini glass. –Remy
All Through the House
This is a traditional hot chocolate with many great spices and flavours added, a less sweet choice for those who have toothaches just reading these reviews. The drink comes with an educational write up about historic hot chocolates too. –Katie
Brown Sugar Bake Shop
A new location to the hot chocolate festival yet approaching it like experts. The CANELA is a wonderfully blended cinnamon hot chocolate with a cookie alongside. The perfect drink if you always add a little extra cinnamon to your recipes. –Katie
The hot chocolate cookie, one of those insanely good ideas that makes you wonder why I never thought of this. Cookie is pure decadence with hot chocolate flavour in every bite, including the delightful stringy, melted bits of mini-marshmallows. -Remy
Fantasy By Numbers
Chocolatey Dragon’s Breath packs a punch underneath the dragon’s egg with chili powder giving it an extra kick as it lives up to its name. Wafers and marshmallows add a nice touch of sweetness to go along with lingering notes of the chili powder. -Remy
Home Ground Coffee
Who doesn’t love salted caramel? This tried-and-true flavour is well crafted and the “cherry-on-top” is a caramel square. I let mine sink to the bottom adding more caramelly goodness. I then got to fish out the warm, gooey square. –Katie
Most know a fan of a certain boy wizard… this is where they should visit. This “not” hot chocolate stays true to the literary description of the magical drink. It warms you all the way through, especially your sweet tooth. -Katie
The best of both worlds, a café and DIY hot chocolate. They add all the fixings and give you an in-house made chocolate pyramid. You get to drop the chocolate in your cup and stir it to your desired sweetness. –Katie
This take-home unicorn hot chocolate looks like a crayon box explosion with fun coloured marshmallows and white chocolate to make it really kid-friendly.
The Hershey’s Kisses are a nice added touch and the subtle notes of white chocolate make this one memorable and unique. –Remy
A very interactive drink that’s sure to be a hit for kids and adults with a healthy sweet tooth. The blue cotton candy and pop rocks give the drink a blue raspberry flavour to it which, while unconventional, actually pairs very well with the cocoa. –Remy
Modern Catering & Boutique Cafe
The gold of this drink is getting to visit with owner and expert Jordan. She explained the historic methods she learned to make this hot chocolate while she was studying baking abroad. The drink sure lives up to its legacy. –Katie
The Belgian Hot Chocolate Bomb does not disappoint.
Pour over your boiling water or milk and you’ll discover a strawberry flavoured heart marshmallow during this romantic time of the year. This is a creamy, richer hot chocolate like mom and dad used to make. -Remy
Sweetgrass Deli & Eatery
It is worth trying this cold drink so you remember what an amazing idea it is this summer. Such an inventive idea, the cold hot chocolate is a chocolate milk float. I have been turned into a cold chocolate fan. –Katie
The British Chippy
The Berry Boss is very refreshing with a frozen fruit and a choco-dipped popsicle. The toppings melt quickly so don’t take too many pictures of this drink, a nice balanced blend of tart fruit to offset the sweetness. -Remy
Velvety Rose Hot Chocolate is stunning to look at and even better to drink. The chocolate milk features notes of rose flavoured syrup which is also added to the delicious whip cream on top along with a red rose petal. -Remy