Put away the pumpkin spice. It’s time to savor the flavors of winter and the holidays.
That means candy canes, eggnog and other tastes have moved front and center — although cinnamon, cloves and other fall spices aren’t fully retired. Good Housekeeping recently ranked chocolate and peppermint as its top Christmas flavor, while peppermint alone (in the form of candy canes) was at the bottom.
Christmas flavors aren’t just for cookies, though. Here are eight local places where the December menu includes some once-a-year treats.
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
At its shops for scoops and for online pint-ordering, Jeni’s has introduced five holiday flavors this year. Three of them — including one that’s dairy-free — are new:
- Merry Berry: The British cookbook author and TV host has her own recipe for a brambleberry mousse (blackberry to you and me), but Jeni’s goes one merrier than Mary Berry. Her brambleberry buttermilk ice cream (blackberry to you and me) includes amaretti cookies and raspberry coulis.
- Rum Ball: This non-dairy dark-chocolate ice cream is flavored with rum, tangerine and crumbled cake.
- Buckeye Frenzy: Perhaps only in Ohio are chocolate and peanut butter considered holiday flavors. Jeni’s version of Buckeye candies includes peanut butter ice cream, flecks of chocolate and crispy rice.
- White Chocolate Peppermint: The company’s first holiday flavor has white chocolate bits throughout pink-and-white peppermint ice cream.
- Boozy Eggnog: The booze is real. Uncle Nearest whiskey is used in this other Jeni’s perennial. It’s in an egg custard with nutmeg.
Jeni’s has scoop shops in North Market, Grandview Heights, the Short North, Dublin, Clintonville and Easton Town Center.
Dirty Frank’s Hot Dog Palace
Dirty Frank’s holiday hot dog goes for the colors of Christmas, if not the traditional flavors of the holiday. Its Feliz Navidog is topped with red and green grilled peppers, Takis rolled tortilla chips and sour cream.
Its restaurants are Downtown at 248 S. 4th St. and inside the Hollywood Casino at 200 Georgesville Road on the Far West Side.
Tasty Dawg, at 107 S. High St., Downtown, offers a Holiday Dawg that uses holiday foods as toppings on an all-beef hot dog. It comes with a layer of sweet-potato mash, stuffing, fried onions and cranberry mayo.
The Clintonville diner known for its burgers and fries offers an eggnog ice cream that’s been on the holiday menu since its 2018 rebirth.
Ritzy’s, 4615 N. High St., has the flavor available in pints, but also serves it up in scoops and milkshakes at the restaurant.
The 35-year-old local roaster with coffee shops in Grandview Heights, German Village, Victorian Village, North Market and the Discovery District has three special blends for the holidays:
- Fireside Bliss includes flavors of French caramel, coconut and butter rum.
- Holiday Grog includes flavors of butterscotch, caramel and butternut cream.
- The Holiday Blend uses Central American and African beans that have red-wine notes.
Roosevelt Coffeehouse, 300 E. Long St., Downtown, offers a Winter Blend of Guatemalan and Ethiopian beans “that scream winter and baked goods.” Their flavor has hints of chocolate chip, nutmeg and raspberry.
Al’s Delicious Popcorn
Nothing says the holidays like Al’s Delicious Popcorn’s dill pickle and Cincinnati chili flavors, right? Wait. There must be some holiday flavors in here somewhere.
Yes. Among Al’s 65-plus popcorn flavors are more than the butter, cheddar and caramel flavors that fill those stacked-up grocery-store holiday tins. Try Candy Cane, Cinnamon, Egg Nog and Snickerdoodle, which are available in tins where you pick the flavors.
Stores are located at 1500 Bethel Road on the Northwest Side and 1211 Hill Road N., in Pickerington.
Pfeffernüsse are traditional German cookies made with all the aromatic spices: cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, anise, cardamom and more.
Schmidt’s Restaurant und Sausage Haus, the traditional German restaurant at 240 E. Kossuth St., in German Village, is bringing back its annual holiday-edition cream puffs that include a Pfeffernüsse-flavored filling.