Starbucks Holiday Drinks Review

Starbucks Holiday Drinks Review

Katie Ellison, Staff Writer

Starbucks recently released its holiday drink lines in stores nationwide. Starbucks fans have been raving about the newly added Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte since it hit the stores on November 4th. Their 2021 menu features seven iced and hot coffee beverages ranging in holiday-themed flavors consisting of a Peppermint Mocha, Caramel Brulee Latte, Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, Iced and Hot Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte, Irish Cold Brew, Peppermint Hot Chocolate, and a Chestnut Praline Latte. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried out some of the new and returning drinks on this menu. Here is my review of the holiday Starbucks drinks. 

 Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Starting off with a coffee-free drink, the Peppermint Hot Chocolate has redeemed Starbucks’ hot chocolate reputation from the past few years, which may be good news for non-coffee drinkers. Starbucks’ hot chocolate used to have a slightly watered-down taste with hints of coffee taste throughout the drink. However, the Peppermint Hot Chocolate has a great peppermint taste that’s not too strong and definitely noticeable, which can be very hit-or-miss for peppermint hot chocolates. Starbucks’ take on the drink is even topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles. I would definitely recommend this drink to anyone looking for a non-coffee holiday drink.


Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte

Since the release of this drink on November 4th, Starbucks fans have been raving about it. I was not disappointed when I tried it. The drink is dairy-free and has a very sweet light flavor. I wouldn’t necessarily say the flavor of this drink is exactly like the sugar cookies you get from the store, but it’s very sweet and buttery with hints of vanilla and almond inspired by the cookie. I ordered the drink hot as most fans did, but they do offer an iced version, both topped with red and green sprinkles. For all those worried about the almond milk portion of the drink, as someone who doesn’t drink dairy-free milk frequently, it wasn’t noticeable at all and didn’t interfere with the flavor of the drink. I would definitely recommend this drink to anyone looking for a sweet holiday coffee this time of year. 

Caramel Brulee Latte

Recently introduced to the holiday drink line, the Caramel Brulee Latte is also a fan favorite this time of year. The latte is offered both hot and iced, which I ordered hot. The drink features notes of vanilla mixed with caramel syrup and Brulee crunch pieces atop whipped cream. When I ordered the drink, I noticed it wasn’t super caramel-tasting which seemed to be drowned out by the espresso flavor. The crunch pieces on top added a nice festive element to the drink but overall wasn’t very caramel flavored. I would recommend this drink to people who aren’t looking for a super festive drink or don’t branch out from their usual orders much. 

Peppermint Mocha

A timeless fan favorite, I had to try the Peppermint Mocha fans have been raving about for years. This drink is offered in many different versions such as a White Mocha and is even sold in K-Cups for your at-home coffee maker. This drink isn’t super strong in coffee flavor and has a decent amount of peppermint syrup mixed in, which creates a fun holiday spin on a classic drink. The Peppermint Mocha is similar to a grown-up version of the Peppermint Hot Chocolate and is even topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. I would recommend this drink to anyone looking for a way to spice up a classic drink during the holiday season.

Final Thoughts

As a takeaway from this article, I would definitely recommend trying the Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte. I would also recommend branching out from your regular coffee orders to try any of these holiday-themed drinks, or if you’re not an avid coffee drinker, try the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. I hope to continue to expand my holiday drink palate and try some of the drinks not listed in this review as Starbucks continues to expand its menu in future years. What’s your favorite holiday Starbucks drink this season?