Certain flavors and smells remind me of Christmas: cinnamon, vanilla, and nutmeg are just a few. Here's where I go to taste the holidays in the Quad Cities.

1. Vanilla Bean Porter-Great River Brewery, Davenport. This brew is a full-bodied porter with hints of coffee, cocoa and caramel. Great River Brewery will tap this beer Sat., Dec. 9 at 1 pm. If you bake and bring your favorite cookies you could win a free growler of the Vanilla Porter.

2. Jingle Java-Bent River Brewery, Moline. This coffee stout is enhanced with vanilla, pecan, cinnamon, caramel and rum that gives it a special holiday taste. You can find this beer on tap at Bent River, local restaurants and in bottles at local grocery stores.

Coffee Revolution Gingerbread Latte
Coffee Revolution/Facebook Photo

3. Frosted Gingerbread Latte-Coffee Revolution, Davenport. This brew is served hot or cold. It's a little bit sweet and spicy; served with a gingerbread cookie and whipped cream. What I like about Coffee Revolution is when I buy a 1 lb bag of coffee beans 1 lb of coffee goes to a local QC homeless shelter.

4. Hot Spiced Wine or Gluhwein-Bier Stube, LeClaire. This is a  German-style mulled wine usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and sometimes raisins. It's served with a cinnamon stick.

5. Tom and Jerry's-Duey's, Port Byron. The main ingredients of the Tom and Jerry batter is made of beaten eggs, sugar, and vanilla.  A healthy scoop of the batter is added to the cup, then hot water, and the liquor of your choice (rum, brandy or whiskey) is stirred in.  The Tom and Jerry cocktail is finally topped with a dash of nutmeg.  The taste is best described as drinking a warm Christmas sugar cookie. Duey's serves this on New Year's Day.

I definitely know it's the holidays when I see drinks like these.


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