Cold?…Here’s 5 Hot Drinks for Winter Weather!

Hot Cocoa - Photo by Angelica King
Photo by Angelica King

After hitting the slopes, riding the trails or attending an outdoor festival in Minnesota this winter, sipping something warm will taste twice as delicious. Minnesotans are no strangers to creative hot beverages, and there are generally some tempting options to wrap your hands around no matter what part of the state you’re in. Here are five hot drinks to keep you warm this winter:


There’s nothing quite like a mug of hot cocoa when the mercury dips below freezing. And while the old-fashioned standard is a comforting favorite, there are shops around Minnesota playing with the beverage, updating it and tricking it out with some new features. Take, for example, St. Paul’s Golden Fig local foods store, where one of the house blends includes cinnamon, ginger, cardamom,and a host of other spices; it’s known as “Bombay Cocoa,” and it evokes chai tea with a chocolatey kick. A percentage of every bag sold goes to organizations that support women coffee growers in their country of origin, and the company sources its beans from female growers whenever possible.


Coffee is not merely coffee. Good coffees are often the product of great stories, like the one behind City Girl Coffee from Alakef. After taking over her family’s 25-year-old Duluth-based roasting company, Alakef owner Alyza Bohbot created City Girl as a sustainable coffee company dedicated to empowering women in the coffee industry. A percentage of every bag sold goes to organizations that support women coffee growers in their country of origin, and the company sources its beans from female growers whenever possible.


If you grew up drinking the hot cocktail known as a Tom and Jerry, you have some sense of why it’s a such a good friend to those of us living in northern states. And if you didn’t, it’s time to get acquainted with this slice of Upper Midwestern beverage culture. According to the Dictionary of International Food and Cooking Terms (Myra Waldo, 1967), a Tom and Jerry is “a hot frothy alcoholic drink made with beaten egg yolks, stiffly beaten egg whites, rum, sugar, boiling water, bourbon and spices, served in mugs with a sprinkling of nutmeg.” As per an authoritative story about the cocktail, “most modern aficionados replace the water with milk and the bourbon with brandy.”

You can buy Tom and Jerry mix at stores, but if you can’t find it, there’s a great recipe for the cocktail online.


Anelace Latte_Becca Dilley
Photo by Becca Dilley

There’s nothing like a finely crafted coffee drink, particularly when the weather goes polar on you. Anelace Coffee, on Central Avenue in Minneapolis, makes some of the most beautifully balanced and smooth coffee drinks in the state. The use of a bit of cardamom syrup gives this latte a Nordic-inspired wintry flavor that is incomparable when the snow starts to fly.


Minnesota is a great state for apples: The climate and soil are friendly to the fruit, and the University of Minnesota has done a great deal to ensure new and delicious varietals keep popping up in markets around the country. Most cafes will offer hot cider of some sort, particularly in the autumn through early winter months. And if you’re interested in something a bit stronger that still packs an apple punch, you can find ambitious artisan hard ciders from makers all over the state, including Milk and Honey Ciders (Cold Spring), Keepsake Cidery (Dundas) and Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery (Spring Valley).

Find Minnesota coffee shops and other places to sip in our Drink & Eat directory.

Minnesota fishing report

Minnesota ice fishing is here in the northern part of the state. Check out the winter luxury homes with private hot tubs located on Blackduck Lake near Bemidji MN. For lodging deals go to


Explore Minnesota Weekly Fishing Update – Nov. 10, 2017
Open water fishing on the Rainy River; photo courtesy of


While small ponds and bays are beginning to freeze over, the ice is not solid or thick enough to support foot travel. Anglers are encouraged to brush up on their knowledge of ice safety through the DNR’s Ice Safety Guidelines web page.Few updates are available at this time as anglers put away their boats and begin to prepare for the ice fishing season.

If you’re dreaming of ice fishing, attend the Hard Water Fishing Expo at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Nov. 17-19, and discover the latest ice fishing gear including rods, reels, tackle, shelters, wheelhouses, sleds and more.

For rules, regulations and other helpful information on fishing in Minnesota, consult the DNR’s Fish Minnesotaweb page.

Northeast Minnesota


Snow and wind over the weekend kept anglers off the water. With more lakes becoming inaccessible due to forming ice and cold temperatures, angler activity is virtually non-existent.

Duluth – Lake Superior, St. Louis River and inland waters

Anglers are eager to begin ice fishing but they encouraged to hold off until the ice becomes more stable. Please remember that ice is never 100 percent safe and no fish is worth risking your life for. There are some good open water options still available. Island Lake north of Duluth is getting some action, and this is the best time to get a trophy muskie since they are at their largest weight. The best bet is to slowly drift a large sucker minnow with quick strike rigs. Some anglers are having mixed success chucking large baits to the shorelines. A few anglers continue to venture out on the St. Louis River with some having success with the walleye and crappies. A jig and minnow combination has been best, and there are lots of shore fishing opportunities for those who have put away their boats.  The inland lakes are giving up some nice walleye off the deeper transitional waters. Again, a jig and minnow has been the most effective. Use your electronics when searching out fish – the best depths have been roughly 15 feet of water. A few crappies are still showing up with the majority pulled from the structure and common wintering holes. Stream fishing has been on the quiet side but there have been reports of anglers catching a few steel head, coho and browns. The best tactics have been swinging flies with “X” patterns, tossing hardware into the fast current, and using float indicators over yarn in the deeper holes.

Northwest Minnesota

Baudette – Lake of the Woods & the Rainy River

Some nice walleye continue to be pulled from Lake of the Woods. Ice has formed in the back bays but not on the main lake. Anglers are finding walleye staged in 7 to 30 feet of water across the south shore of the lake. Most are having success when anchored with a pink, pink/white or gold jig and shiner. The Rainy River is giving up walleye of all sizes with some large fish measuring over 28 inches being taken. Evening hours have been best. On the morning of Nov. 6, the water temperature at Wheeler’s Point public access at the mouth of the Rainy River was 36.8 degrees so it won’t be long until ice forms. Up at the Northwest Angle, some of the harbors are inaccessible due to ice. 800-382-FISH;

Park Rapids

The small shallow lakes are freezing over so anglers are concentrating on the larger lakes. Anglers fishing from boats will want to concentrate on early ice locations and presentations. Fish the weedlines for walleye and suspended panfish. Panfish anglers are having success using slip bobbers with wax worms or crappie minnows. Walleye anglers are taking fish when trolling shallow-running crank baits at night. For northern pike, hit the weed flats using live bait rigs with chubs. Anglers looking with trophy pike and muskie will want to troll tullibee-colored baits.

Central Region

Otter Tail Area Lakes

Ice is forming on some of the lakes, but some anglers continue to head out in boats. Anglers waiting until ice is stable and thick enough for foot travel will want to consider winterizing their boats. Everyone is enjoying the impressive and unmistakable presence of the trumpeter swans that are passing through Otter Tail Lake Country in vast numbers. If you’re heading outdoors, please remember to wear blaze orange.

Isle/Onamia – Lake Mille Lacs

On Nov. 3, the DNR announced that walleye fishing on Lake Mille Lacs will open on Friday, Dec. 1, with no bait restrictions. Anglers may keep 1 walleye measuring 20 to 22 inches, or one longer than 28 inches. For more information on Lake Mille Lacs regulations, check out the DNR web page at

Southern Minnesota

Lanesboro – Southeast Bluff Country trout streams

As of Thursday, Nov. 2, fisheries staff reported that most area streams and rivers were clear with a normal water flow. The streams were in great condition and the trout were colorful and spawning. On Oct. 31, midges were hatching. Maps of all the designated trout streams that are open from Oct. 16 to Dec. 31 can be found under “Area Highlights” on the Lanesboro area fisheries


Anglers may obtain fishing licenses 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, by dialing 1-888-665-4236, or accessing DNR License Sales.