With Christmas right around the corner and stores putting up their decorations and enticing you with all their sales, the city’s coffee shops decided to follow suit. Only, they played their cards smarter and came up with a special menu just for the month of December. If you’re looking for places to sip on something hot while you pretend like Mumbai has an actual winter, we’ve got the best places for you.
Some of them serve these drinks all year round, but I think they’d add the perfect Christmas caramel and cinnamon spice to your day with their themed Christmas drinks. And for those that think they can do it better themselves (and they probably can, the rest of us are just too danged lazy), I’ll throw in a couple of recipes to try out at home.
Skip to the alcoholic drinks
- Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf:
Go cappuccino crazy with the salted caramel cappuccino – my personal favorite, and the waiter’s recommendation. If you’d prefer something a little more mellow, the spiced honey cappuccino is your best bet. And if you want to be conventional and Christmassy order the cinnamon mocha cappuccino. In addition to their Christmas drinks, they have added the famous ‘Yule Log’ to their menu. It’s basically a well frosted sponge cake that is rolled into a cylinder and then frosted again, and decorated to resemble a log, sometimes with powdered sugar to resemble snow – it’s Christmas in your mouth.
The celebrated beverage trio that to many people signify the start of winter has taken a twist this year. They’re no longer going with pumpkin and spice, and we aren’t complaining. The Christmas Cookie Latte, Toffee Nut Latte and Mocha Praline are enough to steal your heart, whether they’re served hot or cold. Don’t forget to Instagram your appropriately decorated coffee cup, you know you want to.
- The Tea Center – Churchgate:
While they may not have a dedicated menu for Christmas drinks, this old café doesn’t need any gimmicks to build loyal customers. For those of you that prefer a good cup of chai over coffee, I’m sure I had you at just the name Tea Center. The ginger tea and masala tea are the best I’ve had in the city. The kulhad masala tea is an absolute must if you like it spicy, and the apple butter tea is great if masala isn’t your thing. You can enjoy all of this with some decadent scones, because it’s December and you’re allowed to be a glutton.
Along with their repertoire of Christmas drinks, desserts and cakes, Theobroma has one of the finest spicy hot chocolates you will ever taste in this city. Bear in mind that this is in acquired taste – it is a strong hot chocolate with red chili essence. Not just the flavour, but actual chili flakes in it too. Sounds awkward for some, but those of you that like your drinks intense (and don’t like to share because odds are, most people in your company will not be able to stomach more than one sip), this is worth a try. They do have other choices under their hot chocolate selection, but since we’re being a little off beat here, this one is my recommendation.
- Chocolateria San Churro
While we’re still spinning tales of decadent chocolatey-ness, a must-try is San Churro for their wide array of hot chocolate themed drinks. From the El Grande and Classic varieties to the Azteca and Madrid Mocha, there’s a taste of drinkable sinfulness for everyone.
If you’re in the mood for something feistier, we’ve compiled a list of impressive (alcoholic) Christmas Drinks for you.
A pan of this to greet your guests will get the party started. Recipe here.
Move over, chilli chocolate. It’s time to make way for chilli vodka! Recipe here.
Pimm’s Winter Punch:
Who said Pimm’s is only for the summer? Recipe here.
We’ve come to the end of our personal list, but since Christmas means something different to everyone and since we’re sure you have tried a whole different set of places, please feel free to write to us or comment with your suggestions!
–Exploraters: Sonia Menezes & Chantelle Menezes