Header photo taken by Louise Wagret (@louisewagret) at Forth

A warm beverage is a perfect pick-me-up on a cold winter day in Manitoba. And pairing that warm beverage with a unique Manitoban experience turns a seemingly lifeless day into an unforgettable adventure. Here are seven perfect pairings to inspire your next Manitoban winter adventure. 

1. Espresso and Icelandic heritage

The beverage: Rogue Wave Espresso from Flatland Coffee Roasters in Gimli

A strong shot of espresso is exactly what the vikings would have ordered! (right?) Maybe not, but it's certainly a great option if you're spending a day getting to know Gimli, the heart of New Iceland. Flatland Coffee Roasters roast all their coffee themselves, creating strong and unique flavour profiles for you to enjoy.

The experience: Discovering Icelandic heritage in the heart of New Iceland 

Just like the coffee, Gimli is a community with a strong flavour and a unique heritage that has lived on through generations. Gimli is home to the largest population of Icelandic descendants outside of Iceland. The culture is still very present in the iconic viking statue that offers visitors a great photo opportunity, in the New Iceland Heritage Museum, which documents the arrival of the first Icelanders, and in the activities at the annual winter Ice Festival - frozen fish toss anyone?

2. Hot chocolate and Francophone culture

The beverage: Hot Chocolate from Constance Popp Chocolates in Winnipeg

Constance Popp makes her chocolate from bean to bar, which means she selects the best cacao beans and makes the chocolate right in her shop in Saint Boniface. Then it goes bar to beverage when she uses some of her decadent milk chocolate to make creamy hot chocolate. Those first ingredients that go into the chocolate before it becomes a bar are so important to ensure the quality of the final delicious drink. The hot chocolate is rich, creamy and far beyond the powdered hot chocolate mix most of us have at home. 

The experience: Getting to know Saint Boniface

Francophone business owners and residents keep the French language and culture thriving in Winnipeg today. And Saint Boniface also has lots of opportunities to discover the history of French in Manitoba and learn about those first ingredients that were so important in creating such a strong community. Admire the old facade and the modern main church of the Saint Boniface Cathedral, learn about the origins of Franco-Manitoban culture at the Saint Boniface Museum and of course stop to sip hot chocolate or pick up other treats at shops along Provencher Blvd. 

3. Cider and a theatre show

The beverage: Maple Thyme Cider from Forth in Winnipeg

The Maple Thyme Cider from Forth is made in house with Granny Smith apples, fresh thyme, real maple syrup and a hint of cloves and cinnamon. It's sweet with a hint of spice and citrus. The flavours are unpredictable and burst in your mouth as you sip.

The experience: Attending a show in the theatre district

This cider pairs perfectly with a show at the theatre, you never know quite what's in store when you go to a show in the Exchange District's theatre area. A sweet comedy, a spicy drama, a fresh musical, or a classic symphony experience are always on the menu for an evening out. Which will you try?

4. Mocha and an outdoor adventure

The beverage: Mocha from Lakehouse in Riding Mountain National Park

A mocha's flavour is a delicious mix of coffee and chocolate. It's simple, sweet and so tasty. Grab your favourite travel mug and get it filled at Lakehouse to keep yourself warm in the frosty forest of Riding Mountain National Park.

The experience: Exploring the outdoor trails

Break out the skates and glide down the outdoor skating trails in the town of Wasagaming or put on your snowshoes for a hike near Ominik Trail. As you skate and walk through the trees you'll be taken aback with the beauty of Riding Mountain in the winter. Explore the outdoors to your heart's desire but don't forget to stop for a sip of mocha every once in a while!

5. A cup of joe and the good old hockey game

The beverage: Coffee from Fraser Sneath Coffee in Brandon

You can't go wrong with a classic cup of coffee. It's a clear choice for the start of any truly Canadian day. And when you get it from a locally owned business, it makes it more Manitoban. Fraser Sneath Coffee is set in a heritage space in the heart of Brandon with a minimalist interior that doesn’t take away from the building’s status. It's a must-stop coffee spot in Brandon. 

The experience: Watching a hockey game 

Coffee and hockey? This may be the most Canadian pairing yet! Coffee is the perfect fuel to get fired up at a game. Catch the Wheat Kings on their home ice at Westoba Place and be careful not to spill your drink in the excitement of the first goal. 

6. Blueberry Tea and tasty treats

The beverage: Blueberry Tea from Amsterdam Tea Room in Winnipeg

A boozy blueberry tea from Amsterdam Tea Room is packed full of fruity and bitter flavours. With a base of black tea and Grand Marnier, the drink has a strong yet soothing flavour. Blueberry, apple, elderberry and hibiscus round out the fruity drink.  

The experience: Eating through the menu

With so many lovely flavours in the drink, the next logical thing to do is order a wide variety of food to go with it! Amsterdam Tea Room has a diverse menu ranging from Dr. Pepper Pork Belly to beef tartare to stroopwafel for dessert. Sip your drink slowly as you sample and share dishes with friends. 

7. Lattes and northern lights 

The beverage: Latte from Lazy Bear Lodge Cafe in Churchill

A latte from Lazy Bear Lodge Cafe will have you feeling warm and cozy in the crisp Churchill air. Though not normally an evening beverage, you may want a late-day caffeine boost for the experience pairing.

The experience: Staying up to watch the northern lights

Stay up late and keep your eyes on the sky to try to catch a glimpse of the northern lights. If you want to try to see the light on your own you can check a northern lights tracker or leave it to the professionals and book a tour that will take you out to the best spots to see the dancing lights of Northern Manitoba.