From cheesy tea to mulled wine, our team's recommended drinks for December

While team Confidentials eat a lot (like, seriously, a lot), we also chug our way through a fair few beverages every month so we got to thinking: why don't we do a "best things to drink" roundup? We could come up with many reasons to champion the liquid wonders of Manchester, but we couldn't think of a good reason not to. So here it is, our new monthly feature, the best things to drink in Manchester: December edition. 

We've slurped our way through hot drinks, cold drinks, boozy drinks and alcohol free AF drinks to bring you some suggestions to throw down your gullet this December. Festive attitude optional. Oh, and none of them is from the Xmas markets so you can guarantee reasonable prices, great quality and nobody budging past you every five minutes. 

Read on for our best things to drink in Manchester in December.

Mocha Choco Latta Ya Ya From California Coffee Wine Co In Alrincham
Voulez-vous coucher avec moi, ce soir? Image: Confidentials

Mocha Choco-latta Ya Ya, California Coffee & Wine (£5.50)

I’m having a bit of a break from booze at the moment and aside from really enjoying waking up every morning with a joyful skip in my step, it’s also affording me a great opportunity to pursue my real calling in life - to find the best hot chocolate in Manchester. My search has taken me far and wide - from the southern-most tip of Altrincham to the baltic north of Oldham with my time in Altrincham proving extremely fruitful. 

The delightfully named Mocha Choco-latta Ya Ya at California Coffee & Wine is a structural marvel with whipped cream piled high, giant marshmallows and a Cadbury flake slowly sinking and melting in to the thick chocolate beneath. The chocolate itself is spiked with their signature coffee blend for a quick boost - and there is even opportunity to lace it with Baileys if you’re that way inclined. I stayed clear of the Christmassy liqueur, but still recommend a bucket of this to see you through til dinnertime. Sophie Rahnema @sophieshahla

California Coffee & Wine Co. 3 Oxford Rd, Altrincham WA14 2DY

A Can Of Burton Road Brewing Co Session Ipa Ahtanum Summit At West Didsbury And Chorlton Afc In Front Of Their Pitch In Chorlton
Back of the net Image: Confidentials

Session IPA Ahtanum & Summit, 4% ABV (£4), Burton Road Brewing Co 

Love football, hate the modern game. Love beer, hate the expensive farty pints of Carlsberg that people queue for, ten minutes before the end of the first half, downing them as quickly as possible, crammed like sardines away from the view of the pitch before returning to their seats. A can of Burton Road Brewing Co Session IPA at a West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC home game at Brookburn Road is the antithesis of that.

Light and refreshing for a session IPA with a bit of citrus and tropical fruit running through it. Hands down the best beer I’ve ever consumed at a football match. To drink it in view of the pitch on a brisk, sunny winter’s afternoon in November as West beat Wythenshawe Amateurs 2-0 made it taste even better. Davey Brett @dbretteats

West Didsbury & Chorlton AFC, Brookburn Rd, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Manchester M21 8FE

Vermouth With Ice And Orange From Wood Company
Ice, a slice, and all things nice Image: Confidentials

Cocchi Torino Vermouth with Ice and Orange, (£6), Wood & Company

When it comes to alcoholic drinks, I’m usually a more is more kinda gal. I fall hook, line, and sinker for anything with an umbrella, leaves, or a tacky piece of fruit on fire, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. However, during a recent trip to Wood & Company, I decided to turn down a concoction of Vimto and vodka and allowed my close friend to take the lead when it came to my tipple of choice.

Having spent six months living in Barcelona, said friend has discovered the art of a simple sipper: Vermouth on ice. As a drink maximalist, a single measure served with ice and a slice seemed too sophisticated and throat-burn worthy, how wrong I was. Served almost everywhere due to its vital role in a Negroni, Vermouth was the perfect bitter-sweet scoop to sip away at whilst putting the world to rights. Teaching me one shot at a time that simplicity is key, my humble drink of choice for December doesn’t require a blow torch or edible glitter (sadly) and was instead the perfect balance between spice, sweetness, and zesty citrus in one small, fluted glass. Ellie-Jo Johnstone @elliejoj

Wood & Company, 39 South King St, Manchester M2 6DE

Mochi Cheese Tea From Tsujiri Japanese Matcha Dessert Tea House
Tea? Yes cheese. Image: Confidentials

Matcha Cheese Tea (£5.80), TSUJIRI: Japanese Matcha Dessert Tea House

Cheese is something I like to shoehorn into as many meals as possible - as those who have followed my best dishes over the years may have noticed. I can’t help it. I’m a cheesy lover. I’m cheesy come, cheesy go. I’m, you guessed it, cheesy like Sunday morning. So how delighted was I then, when Chinatown’s excellent (and tricky to find) Tsujiri Tea House presented me with the option of adding cheese to drinks too? Very. This matcha cheese tea is a classic, earthy, green matcha tea topped with a thick, cheesecake-style creamy float and crowned with a cocktail stick of three chewy mochi dusted in ground nuts that you can dip into the sweet cheese and nibble on in-between slurps. I mean come on, what’s not to love here? Even though I drank my body weight in wine this month (just this month, Kel?), this was a cheesy win for my best drink. Kelly Bishop @keliseating

TSUJIRI Ground Floor, Upper, 50 Faulkner St, Manchester M1 4FH

A Heatproof Glass Of Mulled Wine At Sale Foodhall Manchester
No need to mull this one over, get to Sale Foodhall Image: Confidentials

Mulled Wine, Sale Foodhall 

It had to be done. The snow is falling, the Christmas tunes are never-ending and the alcohol consumption is steadily rising. Enter Sale Foodhalls' Mulled Wine. With all the subtlety of the Xmas present hints I've been dropping for the past few weeks and the festive appeal of a puppy chasing tinsel, a (heatproof) glass of this stuff provides those big spice flavours of cinnamon, cloves, citrus and star anise all dunked in table wine. Plus it's red, warm and boozy, which in this weather is a must. Yes, we'll probably be sick of them by the 24th of December but, like mince pies, novelty jumpers and renditions of All I Want For Christmas, those first few are a welcome reminder that the festive season has really begun. Lucy Tomlinson @hotcupoftea 

Sale Foodhall, Stanley Square, LS2BU, Sale M33 7ZZ

Read next: Santa pours: a Christmas cocktail crawl in Manchester

Read again: Bar Rumbug, The Salford Rum Company launches Christmas pop-up

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