Starbucks is always mixing up their menu, and that only becomes more true around the holidays. Even longtime Starbucks drinkers can look forward to trying a new flavor every year.
Whether it’s iced or piping hot, holding a festive drink in your hands is a surefire way to get into the spirit of the season. From rich, creamy eggnog to refreshing peppermint, Starbucks incorporates all of the winter flavors into their seasonal menu. And when you pair these Starbucks winter drinks with one of their freshly baked cookies, it can feel just like Christmas morning. Some holiday drinks are better than others, though, and there’s nothing more disappointing than spending money on a drink only to realize it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. So, to save yourself the trial and error, we’ve narrowed their menu down to the top 10.
If you’re someone who loves to crunch on candy canes, a Peppermint Mocha is the drink for you. Espresso roast, steamed milk, mocha sauce, and peppermint syrup mingle perfectly in this tasty seasonal beverage. It’s a perfect mix of sweetness and bitterness that coffee drinkers often crave. The dash of peppermint syrup ties it all up in a refreshing bow and gives it that much-craved holiday flavor. To make it pretty for the Instagram photo (and add a little more sweetness), you can top this drink with some whipped cream and dark chocolate shavings.
Salted Caramel Mocha Latte
This festive drink pairs well with all of your favorite autumn desserts. Another holiday classic is the Salted Caramel Mocha Latte! A drizzle of melted caramel and a sprinkle of sea salt adds a sweet and savory twist to this latte. The two different flavors mingle to perfection on your tongue; with a beverage this sweet, you may not need to go trick or treating. Enjoy this drink on a breezy, late October walk. It’ll keep your hands nice and toasty, and warm you from the inside out with every sip.
Toasted White Chocolate Mocha
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll enjoy this incredibly rich drink – the toasted white chocolate mocha! However, expect a bit of a sugar rush afterward, and avoid drinking the day of a dentist appointment. The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha has Starbucks signature espresso, creamy white chocolate sauce, and a dash of peppermint syrup. While white chocolate can be rather rich and heavy, the freshness of the peppermint helps balance it out. For a treat that looks as Christmas-y as it tastes, you can top it with a dash of whipped cream and some of their special Cinnamon Dolce Sprinkles.
Irish Cream Cold Brew
Even on the chilliest December mornings, sometimes you just want a chill and refreshing drink. If that’s the case, the Irish Cream Cold Brew is the way to go. As with any cold brew, you can expect a strong coffee flavor with this drink. Those who are new to coffee or prefer sweeter drinks may want to opt for something different. That being said, the Irish cream cold brew still has some sweetness. A little bit of Irish Cream flavored syrup gives this drink its unique and creamy flavor. If you’d like, you can also top it with some creamy vanilla foam and a dash of cocoa powder.
Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte
New this year is the Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. I got to try this and it tastes like you’re biting into a sugar cookie! This latte comes warm, or you can get it iced. The drink has two shots of espresso with hot steamed milk. Also topped off with almond milk, sugar cookie syrup, and red and green sprinkles on top.
Santa Claus Frappuccino
Just like old Saint Nick himself, this frappuccino likes to stay undercover. You can’t find this drink on their regular menu — you’ll need to make a special request. This frappuccino tastes just as festive as it looks. The mix of strawberry and vanilla tastes just like a strawberry shortcake but in drink form. The red and white colors look just like Santa’s suit, too! Because this isn’t an official Starbucks item, your barista may not recognize it by name. Even then, you can still order it — simply ask for a vanilla frappuccino with strawberry puree, similar to the strawberries and creme frappuccino. Then, ask for it topped with whipped cream and Christmas sprinkles, and you’ve got yourself a Santa Claus Frappuccino!
Caramel Brulee Latte
Want a drink you can enjoy all season long? Try the Caramel Brulee Latte. This caramel-flavored latte is available from autumn to springtime, and it has a deliciously festive flavor. Espresso, hot steamed milk, and Starbucks’ special caramel brulee sauce make this drink incredibly decadent. Top it off with some whipped cream and even more caramel to make it look pretty and add a little extra flavor. It’s super sweet, super creamy, and will keep you nice and warm on a chilly day. What else could you ask for in a drink?
Chestnut Praline Latte
Starbucks’ chestnut praline latte is a warm and cozy drink will make you feel like you’re chilling by an open fire. You won’t need to roast any chestnuts, though, because this drink is full of them. Piping hot espresso and steamed milk, caramelized chestnuts, and a handful of spices like cinnamon and cloves mingle to create a delicious and flavorful latte. You’re in for a whole spice rack of flavors with every sip. A dash of whipped cream and some praline crumbs are the best way to top off this wintertime treat. The praline crumbs mingle well with the chestnut and spices, and give the Chestnut Praline Latte a beautiful earthy look, too.
No drink screams “Christmas” more than a piping hot mug of eggnog. To save yourself the hassle of making it from scratch, many Starbuck locations will offer the Eggnog Latte around November/December, near the end of the year. The sweetness of eggnog can be a bit overwhelming for some. But when you mix it in with the bitterness of Starbucks espresso, you create the perfect balance of flavor. Top it off with some cream and nutmeg, and you’ve got the perfect holiday beverage! And don’t worry, it is 100% alcohol-free.
From the charming gingerbread men to the quaint gingerbread houses, these cookies embody the holiday spirit. Preparing gingerbread takes a lot of time and work, so give yourself a break and take a sip of this Gingerbread Latte instead. With their gingerbread-flavored syrup, piping hot espresso, and ground nutmeg drizzled on top, this latte tastes like a gingerbread man swimming in a cup of coffee. If you’d like something solid with this Christmas Starbucks drink, consider pairing it with one of their ginger molasses cookies.
Toasted Caramel Brulee Cold Brew
Like the Santa Claus Frappuccino, this drink likes to keep a low profile. It’s not on the menu, so if your barista doesn’t recognize the name, you will need to order it manually. To get this delicious holiday drink, order a venti Sweet Cream Cold Brew — but without the vanilla. Then, ask for two pumps of toasted white mocha and two pumps of caramel brulee. After that, ask for them to mix some of the caramel brulee into the cream foam. Top it off with just a little more of the brulee topping, and you’re ready to enjoy this delicious secret menu item! For the best experience, hang out by the fireplace while you sip on this ice-cold drink.
As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, you’ll find yourself craving coffee and sweets more than ever. So when you take a sip of these autumn and winter Starbucks drinks, you’ll be satisfying two cravings at once. Ask for red and green sprinkles on top of your whipped cream if you want that extra festive look!
No matter how you like your coffee, Starbucks has something that can get you in the holiday spirit. Enjoy these drinks on their own or pair with something from their bakery — it’ll be delicious either way.