Meet The Tipsy Unicorn, A Boozy Hot Chocolate That’s Grabbed Vancouver By The Horn

The city's Hot Chocolate Festival has yielded some wacky creations — this may be the most playful.

The Tipsy Unicorn. Photo, Amy Ho (@constellationinspiration).

We might have hit peak unicorn last year, but the trend is alive and well on the West Coast. For the eighth annual Vancouver Hot Chocolate Festival, local pastry shop Soirette debuted the Tipsy Unicorn hot chocolate, and it has taken the city by storm.

Shobna Kannusamy, Soirette’s owner and pastry chef, says her eight-year-old son’s love of the mythical creature sparked the idea for the beverage. “He inspired me to think outside the box and do something as whimsical and free as he is,” she explained in an email.

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What is a unicorn hot chocolate, anyway?

It’s essentially a warm strawberry-white chocolate drink, but Kannusamy got extra creative with both presentation and flavour. She uses a special kind of white chocolate called Zephyr from Cacao Barry and mixes it with a fresh strawberry purée. Each drink is topped with peach schnapps–infused whipped cream, house-spun cotton candy, a bright-pink chocolate horn and 23-carat gold sprinkles. Though the whipped cream contains alcohol, Kannusamy says it’s about as boozy as a liqueur-filled chocolate truffle.

The unicorn hot chocolate in its natural habitat. Photo, Soirette.

Soirette started selling the Tipsy Unicorn on Jan. 20 and they’re all over Instagram, along with the bakery’s other Hot Chocolate Festival creation: a luxurious chestnut and caramelized sunflower hot chocolate, sprinkled with edible gold powder that becomes molten when it hits the hot chocolate. This drink is appropriately called Liquid Gold.

There are dozens of flavours available during Vancouver’s Hot Chocolate Festival

These are just two of the 75 hot chocolate flavours available from 35 different chocolate shops, bakeries and restaurants in Vancouver right now. And Soirette’s Tipsy Unicorn isn’tt even as outrageous as they get (there’s a tomato one from Koko Monk), but it might be the most delightful.

You can grab one for $7.95 (the price includes a magic pretzel cookie) at Soirette in the Coal Harbour area of Vancouver until Feb. 14, when the Hot Chocolate Festival ends.

Watch: If you prefer tea, here’s how to make a hot buttered chai latte