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Run Don’t Walk: Starbucks Holiday Drinks Are Back

Every year, we’re faced with an age old dilemma: when is the appropriate time to begin celebrating the holidays? Do you trade in pumpkins for icicle lights promptly on Nov. 1 or do the festivities begin after we stuff our faces on turkey day? To this, I propose that we follow Starbucks’ lead: the holiday season begins every year when Starbucks’ holiday drink collection drops. 

This year on Nov. 4, I sprung out of bed extra early to grab a holiday drink before class. There’s something so heartwarming about walking into a Starbucks on release day: festive decor and bright red cups line the coffee shops, bringing cheer to an otherwise mundane coffee run. An iced coffee girl at heart, I can’t help but order the warm Holiday drinks as soon as they’re released. They make my heart happy, so I’ll take any opportunity I can get to hype up the Starbucks Holiday drink roster. 

If you’re considering a Starbucks run soon, here’s my breakdown of what they have to offer this Holiday season: 

Chestnut Praline Latte

Starting off with my go-to holiday drink, I cannot recommend the chestnut praline latte enough. This one is definitely for my coffee fiends who love the occasional sweet drink. I’m not exactly sure how to describe the flavor, but it reminds me of a festive hazelnut latte. I usually opt for no whipped cream on mine, as the drink is super sweet on its own, making for the perfect “treat yourself” latte. 

Caramel Bruleé Latte

The caramel bruleé latte reminds me a lot of the chestnut praline latte. Year-round, you can’t go wrong with a caramel latte. The caramel bruleé latte, however, hits a little different. With hints of vanilla and an overall creamier feel, this one’s a winner. 

Irish Cream Cold Brew

Initially, I was shocked to learn that the Irish cream cold brew was a Holiday drink. Upon trying it, I realized why. The blend of cold brew and Irish cream syrup makes for a festive spin on a traditional cold brew. Topped with sweet cream cold brew and cocoa powder, the Irish cream cold brew is the perfect drink for those who prefer less sweet drinks. A cold brew drinker year round, this may be one of my favorites. 

Peppermint Mocha 

I’m just gonna say it: I never got the hype around the peppermint mocha. That being said, I’m not a fan of mochas anytime of the year, so adding peppermint doesn’t sway my opinion much. I know this is a controversial opinion. Every year, the peppermint mocha is a fan favorite. Personally, I’m not a fan, but I promise I won’t judge you if you are. 

Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte

A new addition to the Starbucks Holiday family, the iced sugar cookie almond milk latte is perfect for latte lovers who don’t love hot drinks. It’s nice to have an iced drink option for those in warmer climates or for iced coffee lovers like me who will drink iced coffee in a snowstorm. While I enjoyed the drink, it didn’t feel quite as holiday-esque as my other favorites. This drink is worth a try, but it probably doesn’t make my list of favorites. 

Toasted White Hot Chocolate

It may be the caffeine addict in me that’s wanting to say no to non-caffeinated drinks, but I’m not a fan of the toasted white hot chocolate either. It’s a very sweet drink that’s a little too reminiscent of warm milk for my taste. 

If you haven’t gone out and tried one of these drinks yet, there’s no time like the present. Happy Holidays!

Preeta Kamat

Northwestern '24

Preeta is a freshman from Rochester, Michigan studying Neuroscience and Global Health Studies in the seven year med program. When she's not working on school, you can find her on coffee runs, exploring campus with friends, baking, or watching reality TV.
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