Ingredient Focus: Candy Canes

What’s red, white and never fails to spread holiday cheer? Hint: it’s not Santa, but it might be the next best thing). We’re talking about candy canes, of course! And this month, we’re featuring these delicious peppermint sticks in a super-festive new tea: Candy Cane Crush. Read on to get the minty deets on what makes this blend the perfect holiday treat.

The first candy cane

So what did the first candy cane look like? For starters, it definitely wasn’t as cool as the ones being sold in today’s supermarkets. The very first candy cane was made over 350 years ago and was actually just a straight white sugar stick. It was only around 1900 that the first red and white striped cane made its appearance, flavoured with the refreshing aromas of peppermint and wintergreen.

That’s when people went candy cane crazy. Mass production began in 1919 Albany, Georgia when a man named Bob McCormack started making candy canes for his family, friends and local shopkeepers. It wasn’t long before he became one of the leading candy cane producers in the world.

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Christmas canes

Though the origins of the candy cane’s association with the holidays is uncertain, most people believe it all started with one man: August Imgard. A German immigrant residing in Ohio, Imgard is known for being the first to decorate his Christmas tree with the minty candies in 1847.

Today there are over 1.76 billion candy canes being produced ever year, most of which are sold in the month before the holiday season.

Why we love ‘em

We’re not the only ones obsessed with candy canes – they’re one of the most versatile holiday treats around. You can hang them on your Christmas tree as a sweet ornament or pair them with a holiday card to add a little extra love and joy. They make great stocking stuffers. And they add a minty kick crushed up brownies, cookies and cakes or sprinkled on top of ice cream.

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Holiday DIY done right

Now that you’re a candy cane connoisseur, it’s time to indulge in our December Tea of the Month: Candy Cane Crush. This sweet and icy-cool black tea is strewn with sugary snowflake sprinkles, white chocolate drops and tiny candy cane pieces. Whether you drink it straight up, as a latte or add a generous dash of eggnog, it’s a delicious way to upgrade your holiday sipping.

Ready to get down and jolly? Try lacing your Candy Cane Crush with a cream-based liqueur and vodka mix – it’s a delightfully festive cocktail even Santa can’t resist. Cheers!

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