Tis the season for eggnog ice cream, pumpkin spice lattes and so many other luscious flavors that roll around this time of year.
Here’s what magic is being whipped up at local places and chains alike this holiday season. These flavors won’t last long, so get ’em while you can.
The always creative people at Ampersand Ice Cream across from Fresno High have a ton of holiday flavors.
Peppermint ice cream: The most popular holiday flavor made with crushed peppermint candies.
Eggnog ice cream: Made with a custard base – the bumped-up egg content makes its more like eggnog – it has nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and rum.
Gingerbread ice cream: It’s gluten-free and made with molasses, ginger, cinnamon and cloves.
Buttered rum: Made with brown sugar-based ice cream, cloves, cinnamon and rum.
Fruit cake ice cream: This one is a test flavor that is stuffed with dried fruit, candied ginger, Three Sisters Organic raisins from Fresno, brandy and rum.
The alcohol content in all of this ice cream is tiny enough that they are safe for kiddos, by the way.
Peppermint latte: Forget Starbucks, Charcuterie at 211 Main St. in Visalia has a peppermint latte made with fresh mint. The mint is blanched in boiling water to bring out the flavor, then shocked in ice water to preserve the bright green color.
Caramel brulée latte: OK, I guess you can’t really forget about Starbucks because it is such a powerhouse when it comes to holiday drinks. Most are familiar with the fuss over the PSL – pumpkin spice latte – but that drink almost seems passé these days.
Now people are buzzing about the caramel brulée latte – espresso with steamed milk and a caramel brulée-flavored sauce, topped with whipped cream and caramel brulée topping.
Holiday Spice Flat White: A newcomer this year, Starbucks defines this drink as ristretto shots (a short shot of espresso made with less water) of its Christmas Blend espresso roast and steamed “microfoam” infused with “warm holiday spices to create a festive version of an espresso classic … finished with a latte art dot.”
Eggnog cheesecake: Locally owned Needa Cheesecake, 1041 E. Shaw Ave., has created an eggnog cheesecake for the holidays. It’s a New York style cheesecake blended with eggnog from a local dairy. It’s available whole or by the slice.
Peppermint bark cheesecake: The Cheesecake Factory rolls out this pretty red and white dessert every year. It’s a white chocolate cheesecake swirled with chunks of chocolate peppermint bark and topped with white chocolate mousse and chopped peppermint.