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A Starbucks Barista Tells You Her Holiday Recommendations

We are all Starbucks lovers here, and as someone who has had nearly every drink on the menu, I can tell you what I think are some of the best. Our holiday drinks have been out since November 4th, and I could not love them more. 

    Peppermint mocha is a fan favorite – and for a good reason. It perfectly encapsulates the epitome of the Christmas flavor. It is technically a drink you can get year-round, but it shines during this season. I personally love it as a “hot venti peppermint mocha chai with oat milk,” but it is also absolutely delicious as a latte. 

    Chestnut praline is another popular item, but I think it tastes best when you mix it with another flavor. Toasted white mocha has been around for the holiday season since 2017, but in terms of the other holiday flavors, it’s lesser known. Chestnut praline and toasted white mocha blend sublimely in a “hot venti chestnut praline latte with two pumps of white mocha.” I am an oat milk aficionado so I will always suggest it, but in this case, any milk you prefer works great. It tastes like the holidays in a warm and cozy way that feels a little more grown up than classic peppermint. 

    The sugar cookie almond milk latte is brand new this year and has some discourse. Some people love it and some people hate it. I love it, but only if you half the amount of sugar cookie syrup that comes with it. It is sickly sweet when the full amount is in, but divine when there is less. I order mine as an “iced venti half sweet sugar cookie almond milk latte.” As I previously said, I always recommend oat milk but for this specific drink, almond milk is the way to go because it adds an undertone of nuttiness that most cookies have. It even has little red and green sprinkles that top it. It is a very cute drink on top of tasting great. 

    If the sweet drinks aren’t your style, we do have a Christmas blend of coffee beans if you just want a standard cup of joe. My location is fairly small so we don’t have it brewed ready to pour, but we can make it to order as a pour over. I would order it as a “Christmas blend venti hot coffee with four pumps of classic and a little cream” and if they look confused, because surprisingly, no one has ordered it yet, I would add “it would have to be a pour over.” It only takes a minute or two to have it ready! 

    Finally, although technically not a holiday drink, the brown sugar oat milk iced shaken espresso gives the warm fuzzies of the season. However, if you add the seasonal caramel brûlée to it, it gets even better and becomes a holiday beverage. I would order it as “venti iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso with four pumps of caramel brûlée with the brûlée topping instead of the cinnamon.” It is delicious and is really close to a simple caramel cookie. 

    I hope you get inspired for your next Starbucks trip and order something new! Enjoy some of my favorite drinks from this holiday season! 

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Ashley Brown

U Maine '23

Hi! I'm Ashley, I am a double major political science and economics here at UMaine! I enjoy reading and astrology, as well as spending time in the sun!
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