Sensational drink sensations: Grab a steaming cup of something

By Jeff Pitts

It’s time to say goodbye to summer spritzers, swimsuits and iced margaritas. Cooler weather is creeping in, so ensconce yourself in a wool sweater as the leaves drift down and the brisk autumn air falls over steaming cups of hot coffees, toddys or even a whisky. Will you drink from the cup I drink? You betcha!



What do you get when you mix Malibu Rum with Vanilla Vodka, Godiva Chocolate and shredded coconut? The spectacular seasonal concoction, the Macaroon Cookie, of course. And it’s making Santa’s cheeks a little rosier at The Stuffed Olive. The Stuffed Olive is located at 208 Third St. in downtown Des Moines. It’s open from 4 p.m. to midnight, Monday through Thursday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Friday through Saturday; and it is closed on Sundays. Call 515-243-4456 or visit








SMOKEY ROWCampfire Mocha


It might be sweater-wearing season, but it’s unseasonably warm at Smokey Row. Grab a cup of hot autumn goodness like the Campfire Mocha (pictured), made with espresso, steamed milk and mixed with a creamy marshmallow topping. Chocolate is drizzled over the top to finish this steaming treat. Other seasonal favorites include the Pumpkin Pie Latte, Pumpkin Chai and a Pumpkin Bar Shake. Smokey Row now has four locations in Iowa; its Des Moines location is near the Sherman Hills neighborhood at 1910 Cottage Grove Ave. Hours are Monday through Thursday, 6 10 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call 515-244-2611 or visit



DjangoFlannel Time


Stay warm. It’s Flannel Time at Django. This autumn spin on a Sazerac will help fend off the cold. It includes Sazerac Rye, simple syrup, cranberry bitters, cardamom bitters and Yellow Chartreuse rinse. The seasonality of the cranberries combines nicely with the warm cardamom spice. Then the Chartreuse presents an aroma reminiscent of a holiday candy. It’s not summer time, but it’s plenty warm at Django. Django is located at 210 10th St. in downtown Des Moines’s Western Gateway District. It’s open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday; 4-11 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday. Call 515-288-0268 or visit



Zombie BurgerRaising Candy Cane Shake and The Last Gingerbread House on the Left


Gulping down one of these sensations is a mind-numbing, foot-dragging, speech-slurring, tastebud-spooktacular time. Go get a taste of what makes the undead tick. This Christmas season, Zombie Burger will be offering The Raising Candy Cane Shake with vanilla ice cream, candy cane pieces, peppermint syrup and marshmallow (spiked with Rumple Minze at select locations). And don’t miss out on the Last Gingerbread House on the Left, which is flavored with vanilla ice cream, ginger snap cookie crumbs, gingerbread syrup, whipped cream and a Spice Drop garnish — Frangelico can be added at select locations. Zombie has multiplied. The undead is now serving its fare at three metro locations. Get your grub on in Des Moines’ Historic East Village at 300 E. Grand Ave., Jordan Creek Town Center in West Des Moines, or in Ankeny at 1550 N. Ankeny Blvd. near Northview Middle School. Visit for more information about hours of operation.



Zanzibar’s Coffee AdventureEggnog Latte


MUST. DRINK. EGGNOG! No holiday drink section is complete without the most wonderful nog of the year. And Zanzibar’s comes through with an unbelievable eggnog latte containing espresso and steamed, locally-sourced milk from Clover Leaf Dairy. It is topped off with freshly-ground nutmeg and served hot, beginning “around Thanksgiving.” The shop is located at 2723 Ingersoll Ave. in Des Moines, and its hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Call 515-244-7694 or visit for more information.



Iowa OrchardApple cider


This in-town apple orchard has it all, including some of the best apple cider you’ll find anywhere. The blend begins with strong-flavored, pure-Iowa Jonathan apples. Some of the sweeter apple varieties are then added in for flavor, and the delicious beverage is topped off with a bit of tart. No water is added to this apple cider — and no extra sugar, either. The cider is also available in flavored varieties such as cherry, peach and raspberry. Iowa Orchard is located at 9875 Meredith Drive in Urbandale. It’s open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 515-276-0852 or visit for more information.


Categories: The Drink

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