Bear Bites: Starbucks Holiday Drinks

2 mins read

As the winter solstice rolls around the corner, Starbucks has packed its autumn bags, introducing its famous winter menu. From hot chocolate to mochas to chais, everyone can indulge in the wonderful flavors of the holidays with one of Starbucks’ many new drinks. We tried some of the most popular holiday drinks Starbucks has to offer to see which ones were worth your money.

Returning for its 22nd year, the Peppermint Mocha did not disappoint. The sweet combination of coffee, chocolate, and peppermint complimented each other perfectly. While the drink is available year-round, the new addition of chocolate shavings on the whipped cream gave it an extra holiday flair.

While the original Iced Chai Latte is typically a very strong contender for the best drink on the menu, Starbucks’ holiday version of the drink did not live up to expectations. While the spice was definitely there, the gingerbread flavor was weak and hardly noticeable. The drink was also quite watery, likely due to the oat milk. We recommend replacing the oat milk with your favorite kind of milk when trying this drink.

The Chestnut Praline latte is another staple of the holiday menu. The nutty flavor from the chestnuts pairs nicely with the sweet praline, making this latte a must-have. Unfortunately, there was a burnt aftertaste, though this may be due to the espresso, not the chestnut flavoring.

If you are craving a quick sugar fix, the Caramel Brulée Latte is the drink for you. It is flavored with a rich, creamy caramel that perfectly compliments the roasted tinge of the brulée. It is topped with whipped cream and crunchy caramel bits, bringing it to the next level. Despite the strong flavor of the Caramel Brulée, it did not overwhelm the distinct coffee taste.

The Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte is definitely a worthwhile order. The drink is not too sweet, a nice surprise considering the name of the drink. The sugar cookie flavor is also  well-balanced with the coffee and almond milk. The only less-than-enjoyable aspect of the Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte was the little sprinkles added to the drink because despite being tiny, they are a noticeably unpleasant texture. However, this is easily fixed by asking a barista to not include them.

The Iced Gingerbread Latte is the perfect drink to jumpstart the holiday season. It has the cinnamon and nutmeg flavor of a pumpkin pie, just without the pumpkin. Unlike most Starbucks drinks, this latte is not overwhelmingly sweet and is topped with whipped cream and cinnamon. This coffee is the embodiment of the holidays.

Though we may not experience snow, we can still cozy up to the comforting winter flavors of Starbucks’ holiday drinks. Next time you find yourself in a Starbucks craving to sip on that holiday feeling, order one of their new drinks. We hope you enjoy them as much as us.

Tiffany is a senior at M-A. She enjoys writing about local events and culture on campus. She is also a member of M-A’s Dance Team and dances competitively.

Riona is a senior and in her first year of journalism. She enjoys drawing and photography, and hopes to take on a more artistic role in journalism this year.

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