Ranking Starbucks’ holiday menu from worst to best

Photo credit: "Starbucks red mug Christmas ornament 2013" by m01229 is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Starbucks released their holiday menu on Nov. 3, and of course, I had to try each and every one. All of the drinks are holiday-inspired flavors that are only sold during the winter months.

Unfortunately, I was really broke this time, so I only tried drinks and a singular cookie. However, I did find out that Starbucks has a “short” size, which is an amazing money-saver. I ranked them from worst to best on a 10-star scale, based on their name compared to what they actually tasted like.

7. Caramel Brûlée Latte

I absolutely love caramel, so when I tried this and it didn’t taste like caramel or crème brulée, I was extremely disappointed. Starbucks managed to create a flavor that I don’t even have a name for. The flavor is weak and random, but if you have tried it and can find a way to describe the flavor, I’m all ears.

6. Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte

I have had the iced sugar cookie latte a few times, and it tastes like Play-Doh. Don’t get me wrong — it isn’t bad, it’s just not phenomenal. If you replace the almond milk with oat milk, it has the potential to be good. However, the sugar cookie syrup generally does not taste like an actual sugar cookies, which is why this ranks low.

5. Snowman Cookie

The cookie is exactly what you would expect — a sugar cookie, just wicked dry. The cookie would go well with hot chocolate and a Christmas movie: I recommend “Elf” since the movie matches the vibes.

The cookie decoration is a cute, festive little snowman. However, it is pricey considering it is a singular cookie — you could just buy the Pillsbury Christmas cookies and bake those to get multiple, warm sugar cookies for the same price as this dandruff-feeling cookie.

"Starbucks: Holiday Snowman Cookie" by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Photo credit: "Starbucks: Holiday Snowman Cookie" by wuestenigel is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

4. Peppermint Mocha Latte

The peppermint mocha latte is exactly what it sounds like — chocolate mint. The mint flavor overpowers the chocolate, so if you’re someone that enjoys the taste of minty toothpaste, you might like this. The drink reminds me of the Andes chocolate mints you eat at your grandma’s house at a family party, except you would drink this for fun and not to survive until dinnertime.

3. Hot Chocolate

The Swiss Miss hot chocolate is way better than this, but hot chocolate is hot chocolate. I don’t know how many of you watch Christmas movies, but drinking hot chocolate while watching “Elf” (or whatever your favorite movie is) is incredibly fun.

The powder they use sticks to your teeth a bit, but if you’re desperate for hot chocolate because you don’t have any, this isn’t the worst option. You really can’t go wrong with this nostalgic drink.

2. Irish Cream Cold Brew

I would not have thought to try this drink had I not written this article, but I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t usually drink cold brew because I prefer sweet drinks, but the flavor is good despite its lack of fancy syrups or sauces.

The Irish Creme has a strong coffee flavor, though, so if you don’t love coffee, steer clear. However, if you need a quick caffeine boost or you’re one of those people who builds a fire in the morning during winter, I would recommend this drink to sit by the fire and enjoy a nice iced coffee.

1. Chestnut Praline Latte

As I write this, I am currently drinking an iced version of the Chestnut Praline Latte. Again, I would not have tried this if it wasn’t for this article, and it caught me off-guard. I didn’t expect to like this, but it’s the perfect balance of a sweet and bitter coffee.

I originally got the hot version, which was fabulous. I would drink this hot if I was watching a Christmas movie marathon, like all of the “Home Alone” movies — or listening to “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole solely for the line “chestnut’s roasting on an open fire.” I recommend trying this drink because I don’t think it is very popular but it really should be

If you haven’t yet, make sure to try Starbucks’ holiday items before they leave in January!