Is the Starbucks Holiday Menu Bringing the Cheer this Holiday Season?


By Anna Lusson, Staff Writer

As Thanksgiving comes to an end and Dec. begins, Starbucks releases their holiday drink menu as the unofficial kickoff to the winter season. It’s the time of year when people check to make sure their go-to drink made the menu for another year in a row. I decided to test out the 2022 holiday drinks Starbucks has to offer this year.


Drink #1: Peppermint Mocha 

The Peppermint Mocha is one of the most popular drinks on the holiday menu, and it’s been a staple of the holiday season since 2002. This used to be my go-to drink, but over time I got sick of it. After taking a break from this drink for many years, I was disappointed when I tasted it again and realized it was bland, and lacked peppermint. Although the peppermint taste was there, it was not as strong as I’d liked it to be. This drink is definitely not worth the hype, it tastes like peppermint flavored water. Its only saving grace is the chocolate curls on top, which are both very cute and complement the drink and the whipped cream really well. Overall, I would rate this drink a five and a half out of ten.


Drink #2: Caramel Brulée Latte

I have to admit, I was pretty skeptical about this drink to begin with. I’m not the biggest fan of caramel brulée, and I didn’t think they would be able to execute this drink properly. However, I thought this drink was delicious and had the perfect amount of flavor. It doesn’t really taste like caramel brulée, but it is very sweet and tastes like a very sugary coffee. But, if you have a big sweet tooth like me you’ll enjoy it. The caramel brulée toppings are a nice touch, and they taste like little caramel candies in the drink. I would rate this a nine out of ten.


Drink #3: Irish Cream Cold Brew

This drink was definitely the most unique of the five that I tried, and I particularly loved the texture. There is a creamy, sweet foam that is mixed in with the cold brew that gives you hints of chocolate and vanilla after each sip. This is the effect of the Irish cream syrup; however, the one flavor you couldn’t taste was the almond extracts that the syrup was supposed to contain. Cold brews are naturally sweeter than normal coffee, so the Irish cream syrup and foam added some extra sweetness. Overall, I would rate this drink an eight out of ten.


Drink #4: Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

What I liked about the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha is that it actually tasted like what was advertised! It had a toasted, or smokey, flavor to it that tasted like fried coconut. The white chocolate taste was pretty strong throughout the drink, so if you’re sensitive to sweet things, I wouldn’t recommend getting this. Although I usually love the cute toppings Starbucks puts on their drinks, the toppings on this drink were slightly disappointing. The sprinkles were cute, but the crispy white pearls on top felt like you were eating tiny marbles, and when they say “crispy” that is not false advertising. Overall, I would rate this drink a seven out of ten.


Drink #5: Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte 

The name of this drink is annoying, and a mouthful to order. While I wasn’t expecting this drink to taste like an actual sugar cookie, I was at least hoping for it to have some sweet flavor that might resemble a sugar cookie, but I was very disappointed. This drink was so flavorless I didn’t even realize I was taking a sip. It tasted like water, and I could barely taste any added flavor. This was my least favorite of the drinks, and I would definitely not recommend it. Overall, I would rate it a two out of ten.


After tasting five of these drinks in a row, the tastes started to blend together, but there are definitely some very unique and tasty options on the Starbucks holiday drink menu. If I had to recommend one drink to everyone, it would be the Caramel Brulée latte, and if I had to warn you to stay away from one drink it would be the Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. With many more options beyond this article, there is sure to be an option for everyone this winter season. Try out all Starbucks has to offer on this limited menu!