Candy cane hot chocolate, marshmallow hot chocolate, and mulled cider
When I covered Mission Hills’ Mr. Trustee ice cream counter on its sweltering opening day this summer, I did not anticipate revisiting the spot on a cool winter afternoon. Nor did I expect to be walking away with a shot of bourbon.
4033 Goldfinch St, San Diego
Then here I was again, standing on the corner of Goldfinch, back at the simple window counter awaiting something sweet. Not a frozen treat, but something steamy: hot chocolate.
The Trust Restaurant Group’s soft serve ice cream business introduced a cold-weather offering just in time for the holidays, that should continue on through the San Diego winter. And as should be expected from a family of restaurants that prizes high-end ingredients, scratch cooking, and presentation, these hot chocolates have a little more going for them than a couple of floated marshmallows.
Ice cream counter at the corner of Goldfinch
For starters, Mr. Trustee uses single-origin Colombian chocolate heated melted into milk and heavy cream, with salt and vanilla for added complexity. The drinks launched with candy cane and marshmallow options: the former topped with peppermint Chantilly (whipped cream) and candy cane garnish, the latter with marshmallow fluff and a graham cracker gingerbread man.
If dairy’s not your thing, go for the hot cider, pressed fresh with Julian-grown apples, and mulled with nutmeg, star anise, fresh ginger, brown sugar, and a hit of black pepper, dressed with sliced apples and cinnamon stick.
These six-dollar options would be plenty to create tough choices for kids. Presenting a tough choice for adults are the options to booze up the chocolates for an additional six bucks. That’s a shot of Bailey’s Irish cream in the candy cane hot chocolate, Maker’s Mark bourbon in the marshmallow, and Basil Hayden’s dark rye in the cider.
That’s a literal shot, packaged separately to be added at home, as I learned when picking up my marshmallow hot chocolate. I also belatedly realized that despite the name, marshmallow fluff is pretty impenetrable, so bourbon will roll right off a thick layer of it. But once I stirred a hole into the fluff and actually got the whiskey inside my drinking chocolate, it proved an excellent start to the holiday season, and at the same time a uncharacteristically warming finish to a very long year.