AHH YES, the most wonderful time of the year, THE HOLIDAY SEASON!!! I am quite possibly the biggest Winter-Wonderland fanatic you will ever meet. I’m the type of person who all the Thanksgiving lovers get angry with for starting the Christmas season “too soon”. Pfft, like that’s even possible! Why wouldn’t anyone want to start the holiday cheer early, so we can fit more of it into the year?! Those turkey worshipers confuse me.
Anyways, in a previous article, I spoke out about my controversial opinion on the “Pumpkin Spice Latte”, and came to the conclusion that it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be. To be honest, it was quite underwhelming, and with all the people who swear by that blandly mediocre drink, I became quite concerned for the taste buds of America. However, at the end of that article, I hinted towards the drink that I go all Pumpkin Spice Latte over -- the Peppermint Mocha.
It’s That Time of Year Again
It was a Thursday afternoon like any other. I woke up, went to school, did school, went home, and video called one of my best friends, Jackson. During our FaceTime, I was hit with one of the best kinds of happiness known to mankind. The oh-my-god-I-just-found-out-that- Starbucks-releases-their-holiday-menu-today type of happiness.
*Cue “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas”*
Needless to say, I freaked out. In the words of Jackson, “I thought you were like dying or something… you were literally screaming. Lily, you were not chill about it at all.” I was on a mission, regardless of the fact that I had about 10 sets of math problems and an essay to write, holiday spirit in a cup overrides both on my list of priorities. At around 8 o’clock that evening we set out on an enchanting expedition, and by 8:30 (the line was exceptionally long) my beloved Peppermint Mocha was in my hand. I had a slight mental breakdown after discovering that KOST 103.5 wouldn’t be playing their 24/7 holiday music until a week later, but that night was the perfect start to the holiday festivities and the spark for this article.
Sprinkled in festive cheer takes the form of red cranberry sanding sugar in the first drink, the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha. The toasted white chocolate emulates the flavors of a gooey marshmallow still bubbling with caramelized sugar, and the whipped cream and sugar topping brings a perfect lightness to the heavy cream of the rest of the drink. Therefore, I will be rating it a solid eight jingle bells out of ten. It’s exactly the type of drink Kevin McAllister would make while he’s home alone.
The newest addition to the winter drink collection menu is the Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte. While it doesn’t taste like a traditional sugar cookie in the slightest (I should know, I am a connoisseur of those as well) it does have a strong almond-milk-with-cereal flavor. The almond milk pretty much overpowers the drink in its entirety, and the only other identifiable flavors are a sort of creamer and a shortbread cookie that’s been soaked in coffee. It’s not sickly sweet and there isn’t anything inherently bad, but it doesn’t give the desired whimsical feeling that it should, and therefore I would rate this drink 7.5 jingle bells out of 10. Not Scrooge behavior, but not quite Frosty the Snowman either.
The Caramel (or is it Carmel?) Brulee Latte is so delightful and has just the right amount of smoky Brulee flavor. Although one could argue that it is equivalent to the year-long Caramel Latte or Caramel Macchiato, I would say that those with a properly refined palette can differentiate the more pure caramelization and smoky flavor of this festive beverage from the regular caramel of the others. Providing a wondrous balance of sweetness and true caramel Brulee flavor, this drink makes you want to cozy up on a couch by a fireplace with it in hand. Being the epitome of holiday coziness I can confidently rate this drink no less than 9 jingle bells out of 10, as it’s giving a Polar Express level of warmth.
Last but definitely not least, holding steady after 19 years on the nice list, the Peppermint Mocha is back at it again. With an arguably perfect blend of mint-like fog, chocolaty slush, and whipped cream snow topping it all off this drink is quite possibly my favorite on the menu. Sheer perfection iced, hot, and in Frappuccino form, this drink is a classic and I can’t go a single holiday season without it. It’s iconic and a legend in her own right to say the least. As I said in my previous article, I fan girl over my Peppermint Mocha like none other. The Peppermint Mocha is here, and as a society, we are better for it. There are few to no drinks that can conjure the holiday spirit as well as this mocha does, and therefore, it is an 11 jingle bells out of 10 from me. Buddy the Elf would be proud.
Whichever way you celebrate the holidays, do yourself a favor and go and try one of these drinks out.