The best in holiday beverages

by Lydia Cox

This article was originally published in December 2011

hot chocolate

Embrace the spirit of the season with liquid refreshment that’s perfect for a festive gathering of friends or a quiet evening at home. You’ll find these holiday sips and more at PCC.

Nog — Whether you like your nog hot or cold, spiked or plain, with eggs or without, you’ll find several choices in the cold case at PCC. Enjoy organic options from Organic Valley (a blend that features fairly traded nutmeg, sugar and vanilla) and Straus Family Creamery (packaged in a glass bottle and as good as homemade). For nog that’s dairy- and egg-free, try the new Soy Nog from Earth Balance. It’s certified organic and verified Non-GMO. Also new: So Delicious Coconut Milk Nog, made with organic coconuts.

Cider/Juice — Three Skagit County apple farmers have joined forces, using Jonagold and Honeycrisp apples, to concoct Skagit Fresh Ciders. These locally made, seasonal drinks are bursting with flavor and offer “fresh from the tree crispness.” Pick up half gallons in Apple, Apple-Blueberry and Apple-Raspberry. Let the little ones make a toast this year with sparkling beverages from R.W. Knudsen. Sparkling Organic Apple, Sparkling Organic Pear and Sparkling Cranberry offer plenty of non-alcoholic bubbles alongside delicious taste.

Hot chocolate — Grab a mug and cozy up by the fire. Ah!laska Organic Cocoa Chocolately Chocolate Mix is perfect for kids of all ages with its classic, creamy flavor. Dairy-free? Ah!laska’s Organic Cocoa Non-Dairy Chocolate Mix is Non-GMO Project Verified and can be mixed with any non-dairy beverage for a delightful cup. If you’re looking for something a little bolder, check out Dagoba Drinking Chocolate. It’s fairly traded and features organic cacao powder along with dark chocolate bits for a decadent treat. Kick it up a notch with Dagoba Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate (available in all stores except View Ridge), which mixes chiles and cinnamon with cacao and rich, dark chocolate.

Beer — Share a pint of winter ale with friends to add warmth and cheer to the season. Schooner Exact’s Hoppy Holidays is so well made, you can’t tell where the evergreen and forest floor-scented hops leave off and the nutty, roasted coffee beans and cacao malt takes over. Did we mention it’s locally brewed in West Seattle? Also try Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale, a rich and robust brew that’s been dry-hopped for a lively, intense aroma.


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