As the temperatures drop, the bartenders, baristas and chefs are cooking up hot drinks to warm you in their bars, bistros and cafes. Whether a hot toddy, hot chocolate, cider, mulled wine or latte is desired, you are sure to get those engines warmed and ready for the season with an order at any of these spots.

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Aster Cafe

125 SE Main St.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 379-3138

A cool, breezy weekend day or weekday night is best spent curled up at the Aster Cafe across the river from downtown Minneapolis. Its coffees, teas and espressos take the cake. But for the 21-plus crowd, one could argue that Aster has the most delicious hot toddies to heat up your belly. Grab a mug and settle in as the steam from your yummy brandy hot toddy rises up and warms your soul.

Gert and Erma’s
1110 Hennepin Ave. N
Glencoe, MN 55336
(320) 864-4543

This sleepy little town 45 miles west of the Twin Cities has a Hennepin Avenue just like in Minneapolis. But Gert and Erma’s coffee shop has a “down-home” feel you can’t find in downtown or uptown. Gert and Erma’s has a wide menu of creative seasonal drinks that include the likes of spiced brown sugar lattes, hot apple pie cider and double chocolate black raspberry hot cocoa. Earlier this year, the owner opened up Emmett’s Pub next door, so you can expect Emmett’s hot drink selection to include hot hard ciders and mulled wine.

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The Steepery
1692 Grand Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 690-3495

The Steepery offers many different hot and cold teas, as well as specialty lattes including the hot chai tea latte and the hot tea latte. The menu boasts different flavor profiles that can be added to any order, so this spot is sure to cure your craving for whatever you’re in the mood for. With various locations around the area (Mall of America, Minneapolis and Woodbury), you can find a hot treat close by at any time. If you need tea to go, don’t fear. The Steepery sells tea in individual sizes as well as in bulk, so you can enjoy all delicious brews at home.

Cafe Maude
5411 Penn Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55419
(612) 822-5411

Focusing on seasonal drinks and menu choices, the bartender extraordinaire, Patrick, is sure to cook up (and shake up) something that will strike your fancy and warm your insides. He mixes and serves some of the best mulled wine in Minneapolis. Using fall and winter spices such as cloves, ginger, cinnamon and orange peel, warm brandy and red wine never tasted so good. Cafe Maude’s mulled wines make an excellent dessert to finish off any meal.

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2903 Lyndale Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 354-3512

The team behind Heidi’s really knows how to do things right. Just ask any of the patrons on a typically packed-house night. You might go for the food, which is carefully crafted and seasoned, but you’ll stay for the coffee, cappuccino and dessert. Heidi’s dessert menu is perfectly paired with its hot drinks. One cup of caramel cappuccino and you’ll be wanting more, and maybe another slice of cake to go along with it.

In Hot Water
25 E Cedar St.
Annandale, MN 55302
(320) 274-6828

In the little lake town of Annandale at 25 Cedar Street, there is a quaint coffee shop that is a must try. In Hot Water is the place to go whether you’re in town for the weekend, just passing through or if you’re one of the locals. It serves up hot-and-ready coffees, teas, espressos, lattes and more. Stop by and grab a cup to go or settle in with a newspaper or your laptop for a few hours while you enjoy the cute, small-town scene.

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Amber Ranzau lives on the edge of Uptown in Minneapolis and is a gal about town. She frequents the local restaurant scene, loves to support new and local businesses, follows the latest and greatest fashion and design trends, and she does all of this while working as an interior designer, spending time with her man, The Specialist, and taking care of her two goldfish Felix and Petunia and their tankmate Huey the Snail. Her work can be found at