Have yourself a very pepperminty mocha

Since watching the riveting film, The Polar Express (Robert Zemeckis, 2004), I’ve wondered over the power holiday drinks have over raising our spirits at this time of year. Tom Hanks’ “Hot Chocolate” intrigued me as a child. I watched the scene where the workers poured hot chocolate into massive mugs and wished I could enter their world. Holiday drinks are magical, and every store does them differently. I firmly believe that with the right holiday drink menu, the winter season will go forth soundly. However, the Starbucks holiday menu always manages to hit home. If you saw me marching to three different Starbucks’ during their free reusable cup day in downtown Kingston with the rain pouring down my hoodless head, no, you didn’t. The Starbucks drink menu is interesting, to say the least. You never know which one is good and which one is too sweet. Does this one have nuts, or is it fake flavouring? To make it easy for you, I drank every single drink on the holiday menu, so you don’t have to! (please don’t ask us how much money I  spent on Starbucks this month).

PS: Once you’ve chosen your very own holiday drink, make sure to get in the zone with one of our drink-curated playlists.

FYI: I had to drink all of these with oat milk because I’m lactose intolerant and didn’t want to wreck my stomach.



If you are a fan of the York Patty, the Peppermint bark at William Sonoma, or anything pepperminty, well then the peppermint mocha is your best friend. The perfect mix of hot chocolate, toothpaste, and coffee, the peppermint mocha will add a little bit of zing to your day. I highly recommend you ask for it half sweet at the cashier!



I feel like you might hear me say this a lot, but this drink is extremely sweet, even with the half-sweet trick. If you are a lover of caramel and want something that reminds you of it, I’d still give this a try. Caramel drinks are found almost anywhere on the regular Starbucks menu, and I guarantee any of them taste better than this one. It leaves a burnt caramel aftertaste on the tongue …  and mixed with the coffee? It’s just weird. The salted caramel mocha is by far the most superior caramel drink on their menu.



The Irish cold brew tastes  exactly like, well… what you’d expect from a drink with this name. It’s cold, it’s cold and…  honestly, that’s all I can say. The cream tastes ever so vaguely of fruit loops and cinnamon. Overall would I recommend this drink? No. Did I chug the whole thing as if a leprechaun said he’d give me a pot of gold AND his lucky charms if I could do it in 10 seconds flat? Yes.



While not a huge chestnut fan, I do understand why people gravitate towards this drink. It’s sweet and a little nutty while not having an extremely overwhelming chestnut taste. If you love eating roasted chestnuts from that small stand on the street, you’ll love this drink.



The sugar cookie oat latte. This was interesting to say the least; one moment, I was like, “wow, this is great”, and the next, I thought it tasted like burnt water. While I do appreciate that Starbucks is making drinks with non-dairy options, the oat flavour in this was incredibly weird. It didn’t taste much like an oat cookie but more like crispy burnt oats dipped in milk. I ordered it again and still somewhat enjoyed it but it’s far from my favourite holiday drink.



I would like to make it known to everyone that I hate white chocolate. Despise it.. So I wasn’t shocked when I didn’t like this. However, it simply tasted like toasted sugar milk. There wasn’t a hint of white chocolate that is in this? Sugar, pure sugar.

Holiday drinks! Even though they can be a hit or miss, it’s all about the journey, and finding  out which drink will help keep your holiday spirits intact. I’ll be sipping away at my Peppermint Mocha half sweet with oat milk and trekking through the snow and wind here in Kingston, what are you doing with your cup of warmth?



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