A festive cook your book: Polar Express and Harry Potter


Ah, ‘Christmas’, the most wonderful and magical time of the year. Well, I’d argue that’s mostly true. I’d just maybe leave out Christmas, because the magic of winter extends beyond that particular holiday. After all, December 21 is the official first day of the season. So, I’d argue that the literal season is where the magic lies. Though no matter what you or I celebrate, this season always tends to fill one with warming nostalgia. And, like many others who have grown up in this generation, I’ve spent this season surrounded by ‘The Polar Express’ (definitely one of my favourites) and the Harry Potter series. So, for your consideration here are the infamous drinks to bring some magic to your 2020 holiday season. 

Polar Express Extra-creamy, Extra-pepperminty Hot Chocolate!

Now I know there is no real in-depth description of this drink, however, this is always how I imagined the piping warm drink to taste from the looks on the kids’ faces as the hot magical hot chocolate cart rolls out on the magical train. And thus, this is how I have created my hot chocolate every Christmas season since I was seven. So, enjoy my seven year old self’s own winter time hot chocolate creation.

What will you need?

  • a mug
  • a spoon of chocolate powder (don’t use the full sachet)
  • vanilla extract
  • the creamiest milk you can drink (double or single cream, whole milk, soya, oat, cashew)
  • a small candy cane (or crushed pieces or peppermint extract)
  • mini marshmallows (they’re cuter)
  • whipped cream (optional)


1. Heat up the milk or cream on the stove and get it just the right level of warm for you.

2. In the mug, put the chocolate powder, vanilla extract and a few mini marshmallows C- 4- 5)

3. Pour in the hot milk and mix with candy cane until combined.

4. Top with whipped cream and more mini marshmallows.

5. Enjoy! 

Warm and toasty Butterbeer 

If, like me, you liked Harry Potter as a child, you probably wanted to try this. While I do not condone she-who-musn’t-be-named (the author), enjoy a copycat Wizarding World of Harry Potter treat. I’ve tried the ‘real’ one that they make come this time of year in Florida and it was a rich and creamy heaven (though, even though it was winter there, the cold version was more suitable for their 27C winters; however I did indulge in a warm butterbeer, just once). This recipe is by A Feast of Starlight (link below). 

What will you need?

  • 1 heaping tbsp of butterscotch (you may need to make this from scratch)
  • ½ cup (120ml) of cream soda
  • ½ cup (120ml) of whole milk or milk substitute
  • ¼ cup (60ml) double cream or substitute
  • 4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


1. In a saucepan, put all ingredients together and place to simmer over medium heat until completely combined.

2. Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream.

3. Enjoy!

Recipe: http://www.feastofstarlight.com/wizarding-world-harry-potter-hot-butterbeer/

Image: Theo Crazzolara via Flickr

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