Trying Starbucks Holiday Specials So You Don’t Have To


After having to wait three whole seasons, Starbucks holiday drinks have finally returned! Every year Starbucks releases a Holiday menu exclusive to the winter season. This year they released their menu on November 3rd, and since then I have tried and reviewed (almost) everything on their holiday menu so that you don’t have to! I have ranked every item in ascending order, starting with their Snowman Cookie. 


  • Snowman Cookie

At first glance, I immediately noticed how cute this cookie was. Shaped like a snowman with icing to match it looked very enticing. Its appearance ended up as its most charming quality though as it tasted just like any other shortbread cookie. Now that’s not to say that it didn’t taste good, by no means would I ever turn down a shortbread cookie, it just wasn’t anything special. For that reason, I gave it a 6/10.


Rating: 6/10


  • Chestnut Praline Latte (hot)

This one was just meh. I was really excited to try this drink because I was not familiar with the flavor and it turned out to be indistinguishable from regular coffee. I did not find it to be flavorful and overall it was really just a let-down. It wasn’t particularly bad, it just did not live up to my expectations. If you are looking for a seasonal drink that is worth your money, I probably would not recommend this one. 


Rating: 6.4/10


  • Reindeer Cake Pop

Another food item that was decorated in the cutest way possible was the Reindeer Cake Pop. Shaped like a reindeer, it was one of the most adorable things I have ever eaten. But just like the Snowman Cookie, it tasted exactly like a regular cake pop and wasn’t really anything special. Starbucks offers birthday cake pops, chocolate cake pops, and cookies & cream cake pops. This one tasted most similar to their birthday cake pops and was pretty plain. This one got a slightly higher rating than the previously ranked menu items though because it was still very delicious. This cake pop just didn’t WOW me. 


Rating: 7.2/10


  •  Peppermint Mocha (hot)

Moving on, the Peppermint Mocha Hot Chocolate has been a holiday staple at Starbucks for almost 20 years which made me feel kind of lame for having never tried it before. I love mocha but I am not too crazy about peppermint so I didn’t have high expectations for this drink. Surprisingly, I ended up really liking it! The best thing I can compare the taste to is a Girl Scout Thin Mint cookie. It was the perfect balance of mocha and peppermint and overall was just really good. It wasn’t too sweet but it wasn’t bitter at all which I really liked. I rate it a 7.9/10


Rating: 7.9/10


  •  Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte (iced)

The Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte was my favorite drink last holiday season and I am so happy that they brought it back this year! Normally I do not favor really sweet drinks, but this honestly made me make an exception. This drink is made with blonde espresso and almond milk which was a really nice change in their drink line-up which normally is just variations of regular espresso. It also contained round sprinkles which I didn’t think I would like but it ended up as a really nice touch. It was definitely a sweeter drink, but it didn’t taste “syrupy” like others. I would recommend and give this drink an 8.4/10


Rating: 8.4/10


  • Caramel Brulee Latte

This drink. All I can say is wow. I got this drink in both variations (hot and iced) and I can say that both were equally amazing. This drink was the perfect balance between coffee and dessert. It tasted a bit like regular caramel coffee but smokier if that makes sense. I almost always prefer my coffee iced, but this drink hot came very close. This was one of those drinks that I was shocked by how much I enjoyed and savored the entire cup. I did find that the iced version tasted sweeter, but that could have just been the difference in craft because I got the drinks on separate days. If I could recommend any holiday drink to you, or any holiday “thing” on the entire menu for that matter, it would be this drink. I rate this drink a 9.6/10


Rating: 9.6/10