Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Starbucks Seasonal Drink Revue

We'll start with the most popular of the fall seasonal drinks, the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
The pumpkin syrup is extra sweet, and made the drink taste a bit much.  I would recommend getting one or two less pumps of syrup, or try the Pumpkin Spice Frappacino, which is delicious.  I prefer the cold, blended version, topped with the same whipped cream and cinnamon powder as the latte, but not as overwhelmingly pumpkin.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate
If you're looking for something hot, but without the jolt of espresso, any of the hot chocolate variations are a good choice.  Those variations include the classic Hot Chocolate, the White Chocolate Hot Chocolate, the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, and the Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate, which is my favorite.  It has a really rich taste, with a bit of bite from the salt.

The Salted Caramel Mocha
This drink, like the PSL, is a bit sweet for me as a latte, but just right as a frappacino.  The sea salt topping does counter the sugary-ness of the actual drink, but I found that the little rocks of salt made for a texture violation while drinking, although they do add a nice bit of rough saltiness.

Chestnut Praline Latte
This is a comfortable choice; cozy, with a hazy softness.  It's more creamy than spicy, and has an elegant feel, although it leaves a bit of a graham cracker after taste.

Peppermint Mocha
I am in general very anti-peppermint, so I have not, and will not, try the Peppermint Mocha holiday drink, but I do quite enjoy the regular mocha lattes, which is chocolatey delightfulness in a cup, and the peppermint mocha just has several pumps of peppermint syrup added to the mix.  So if you like peppermint, try it.

Caramel Brulee Latte
Out of all of the winter holiday special drink options, this one is my favorite.  It has a rich taste, but not overwhelmingly caramel.  And unlike the creme brulee dessert it is named after, it doesn't have that burnt taste.  I get mine without the crystalized caramel salt topping because I crunched down on the sticky salt piece and it got stuck in my teeth.  Also, I've heard from customers that the frappacino version is quite delicious as well, but I haven't tried it yet.

Eggnog Latte
This drink is for true eggnog enthusiasts.  We steam real eggnog to take the place of milk in a regular latte, and add a dusting of nutmeg to the top.  This is one of those drinks that you either really like or you really don't, depending on your stance of eggnog.

Gingerbread Latte
Like the Pumpkin Spice, this is a very sweet drink.  The gingerbread taste took a little getting used to, but was fine as you kept drinking.  The spiced whipped cream and molasses drizzle made for an exciting topping rather than the regular old whipped cream standard.

(photos collected from starbucks, deanneleblanc, blisstree, and starbucksmelody)

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