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Review: Tim Hortons Candy Cane Hot Chocolate

A Tim Hortons Candy Cane Hot Chocolate, with a layer of candy-cane dusted whipped topping sinking into the liquid below.

From the end of November to the end of December, a wintery Christmas treat lands at Tim Hortons shops across Canada. The Candy Cane Hot Chocolate — a tiny calorie-packed monster wrapped in swaddling cardboard — is a perfect companion on strolls through the snow, a chocolaty way to warm up after an evening at the skating rink.

Taste-wise, it’s sweet, sweet, sweet. Heavy on the chocolate, with just enough mint essence to be refreshing without tasting like a stick of peppermint gum. It’s definitely a sipper, so go easy and enjoy it in small mouthfuls.

To top it all off, there are crushed candy cane pieces sprinkled on top of a two-inch-thick spiral dome of whipped topping (or a half-inch thick splort of topping, if you get a less detail-oriented T-Ho staffer). This last bit makes drinking it hard at first. The best plan of attack is to pick away at the topping with your tongue, clearing a path to the hot chocolate below. The whip floats all the way down to the bottom, where you’re left to swirl it around in the cup, dissolving it in the remaining hot chocolate.

No, it’s not a fancy-pants European drinking chocolate, and sure, the whipped topping is squeezed out of a plastic bag. But it’s a winter treat when you need a warm pick-me-up during the lead-up to Christmas. And what could be better than that?

RATINGS AND DETAILS

Cost: About $2 for a medium (10 oz.) size.

Value for cash money: Compared to specialty coffee shops, Tim Hortons is a bargain.

Availability: Until the end of December at Tim Hortons locations across the country.

Nutrition?: Dubious. 330 calories per medium (10 oz., roughly 300 ml) cup. In that, you’ll find 11 grams of fat and 51 grams of sugar. A teaspoon of sugar is around 4 grams, which works out to just shy of 13 teaspoons of sugar per tiny cup of Candy Cane Hot Chocolate. So don’t overdo it.

Pairs well with: A candy cane donut, naturally.

The verdict: Sweet and minty, cheap and delicious — but don’t overindulge, or you’ll be adding a new belt to your wish list.

That, for your reference, is what 51 grams of sugar looks like. The full-sized candy cane — which contains only 11 grams of sugar — is there for scale. Wow, eh?

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