The Starbucks Holiday Drinks that are Really Worth it


Photo courtesy of Kristen Caruso

The Chestnut Praline Latte, Caramel Brulee Latte, and the Peppermint Mocha show off their festive foam.

Jenna Caruso and Kristen Caruso

Each change of season calls for new additions to the coffee menu. Popular chains such as Starbucks release a variety of drinks during the Holiday season, but it can be difficult to choose a go-to beverage for the winter months. With almost each drink being about five dollars, it’s natural to hesitate on which drink to order, especially when trying new and unique flavors. So which drinks are really worth it? 

The Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte, topped with festive red and green sprinkles, lives up to its name. In a delicious blend of sweetness and holiday cheer, this latte is a perfect option for those who are dairy-free or opt for a healthier alternative. Like all of Starbucks’ speciality drinks, there is a lot of milk in the latte, and the coffee flavor is lost. For those rare few who actually enjoy tasting coffee while drinking coffee, add an extra shot of espresso.

Despite its name being in one of the most beloved holiday songs, chestnuts, even those roasting on an open fire, are an overlooked flavor for the season. However, Starbucks gave them justice in their Chestnut Praline Latte: a rich, creamy drink, full of festive nuttiness and the perfect holiday spice to create a fine delicacy and arguably the best holiday drink. Once again, however, there is only a hint of coffee taste—you can never go wrong with more espresso!

To put it simply, the Caramel Brulee Latte is not good. Horrible, even. Despite being topped with Starbucks’ famous foam, the drink is bland and could be described as being tasteless. Ironically, the Caramel Brulee Latte does not have a strong taste of caramel, which is odd considering the company’s other caramel coffee successes like the Salted Caramel Mocha and the classic Caramel Macchiato. This one might be best to skip.

The Peppermint Mocha is a classic. Topped with whipped cream, it has a great blend of flavor between the mint and chocolate tastes, and the peppermint does not overpower the mocha. It is also amazing brewed hot, served cold, and as a frappuccino for when a change of coffee medium is much needed. The drink never disappoints, and there’s no surprise as to why it makes such a highly anticipated appearance every year. 

Another great drink is the Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha. This mocha is perfect for those who love the mint but not the typical dark mocha flavor. It’s less intense with the tastes of chocolate, and it is a fairly lighter drink. It’s also great for those who love the classic Peppermint Mocha but need a slight change in the coffee order for a day or two. Overall, it is definitely a great and underrated drink. 

The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, on the other hand, was an extreme disappointment. The “toasted” portion of the name is slightly misleading, as it was difficult to find flavor in the mix of white chocolate and milk. That being said, it was a very bland drink, with no strong sweet aspect to provide a nice flavor. It also left a bitter aftertaste along with a bad impression. 

Find which drink is perfect for you this holiday season!