A little something seasonal for the coffee-addicts, tea-enthusiasts and everyone in between.
Oct. 31 has come and gone, and we all know what that means. You no longer have to live in fear of an evil glare for decking the halls in red and green, blaring Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and sipping on peppermint mochas all season long.
Speaking of which, now that all the big coffee shops have officially released their line-up of festive drinks (a fun combination of new creations and classic favorites), it’s time to burn some 16 oz. sized holes in our pockets. So, before you go out and get your first Starbucks red cup, here are my favorite drinks you have to try from three coffee shops likely located within a fifteen-minute drive from wherever you are.
Caramel Apple Spice
A holiday goodie that’s often overlooked, this drink’s foundation is a classic steamed apple juice taken to the next level with the perfect hint of cinnamon syrup and caramel sauce. This drink is perfect for those who want to participate in the Starbucks holiday hype without having to sip on coffee or caffeine in general.
Chestnut Brulee Latte
My personal favorite, this drink is ideal for those looking for a much-needed espresso boost or who are wanting to ease into coffee-drinking without something too strong. The drink’s delicious blend of caramel, chestnut and spices literally embodies the feeling of “chestnuts roasting on an open fire,” and the whipped cream and spiced praline crumbs that top the latte off make it one of the coziest, yummiest holiday drinks Starbucks has to offer.
White Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Don’t get me wrong, a regular hot chocolate is still a great choice. However, making the classic holiday favorite a bit more festive is only going to make you feel even more ready to ‘Tis the season.’ Using white hot chocolate sauce and steamed milk to make the drink look as wondrous as freshly fallen snow, you get the velvety chocolate flavors you love with a refreshing peppermint twist that’ll make your sipping experience special.
Though this drink won’t officially be released until Dec. 2, I’m giving you an exclusive first look into a festive new beverage that’s brand new at Dunkin. The frosted berry flavored syrup mixed with velvety espresso not only presents a flavor combo you’ve likely never experienced, but the syrup’s lavender color makes it one of the prettiest drinks you’ll sip this holiday season.
Mint Hot Chocolate
Mint chocolate chip ice cream? An iconic holiday favorite. A mint hot chocolate? A unique alternative that captures the same flavor profile with a smooth, velvety twist. If eating ice cream in thirty degrees (or fifty degrees, if celebrating the holidays here in California) sounds like something that’ll turn you to ice, this drink is the perfect thing to fill the craving while keeping you warm.
Iced Gingerbread Chai Latte
A classic drink made even sweeter, more cinnamony and seasonal? Sign me up. If you’re not a coffee or espresso junkie but don’t want to feel tethered to Dunkin’s overwhelmingly sweet coffee-free beverages, this could be your saving grace.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Cookie Butter Latte
Yeah, you read that right. Available hot, iced or blended, this drink takes the classic Speculoos Cookie Butter adored by millions and makes it a shining ingredient in this delectable holiday treat. The spicy, brown sugar cookie flavor blended with bold espresso work together to create a perfect balance that’s super sweet without being overpowering.
Red Velvet Hot Cocoa
I’m probably not the only one who’s gone through life thus far without sipping on a bright red hot chocolate. Well, thanks to this seasonal little guy, those days are over. The flavors of their classic hot chocolate are mixed with sweet cream that gives the drink the fun, festive color while making it even more velvety smooth than the classic.
Peppermint Mocha Cold Brew
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been waiting for a peppermint mocha to appear on the list. Well, I had to save the best for last. Though, this spin on the peppermint mocha makes me even more excited (and I didn’t know that was possible). The peppermint mocha cold brew takes the infamous peppermint-chocolate combination and mixes it with the boldest type of coffee you can buy, making the drink even more refreshing and bold. Especially if you’re needing a strong start to the day or mid-afternoon pick me up, this seasonal standout is one you should try.
So, if you’re only going to give one of these season sips a try, here’s my advice: for those on the hunt for a super sweet treat, The Coffee Bean’s cookie butter latte is an absolute must. For my fellow coffee-addicted confidants, the chestnut brulee latte is great if you’re needing that caffeine kick you crave, but may be a bit too sweet if you usually stick to just a packet of sugar or cream. Also, do I even have to officially recommend the peppermint cold brew after how much credit I just gave it? Lastly, for the tea-drinkers, if you’re already a chai fan, the gingerbread chai tea latte will literally rock your world. Though, if you want my best piece of advice, I say all of them deserve a shot.