Nothing says the holidays are here like Starbucks’ delectable holiday drinks in their red, white, and green Christmas-themed cups.
Every year when winter is about to arrive, Starbucks releases a series of holiday drinks—many are old favorites, while sometimes there are new releases.
So, what do they have in store for 2023, and which ones are the best?
The 2023 Starbucks holiday drink menu has fan-favorite drinks, like the Peppermint Mocha and the Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte. There are even some holiday-themed secret menu drinks you can order!
Through this article, I’ll take you over the eight best drinks you could expect to see in your local Starbucks in 2023.
I hope you gave them a try to see which ones added a delicious flavor to compliment your holiday season.
The best Starbucks holiday drinks (the old favorites)
For years, Starbucks has established itself as a master of seasonal coffee blends. In the past decades, Starbucks has continued introducing new holiday drinks that add flair to the festivities of the last months of the year.
In doing so, they have realized which drinks are fan favorites and brought them back year after year.
In 2022, fans were met with a combination of the coffee concoctions they have loved. So, let’s see what customers could look forward to for the holiday season.
1. Peppermint mocha
Let’s start this list with an old favorite. Starbucks first introduced the Peppermint Mocha in 2002, and there’s no wonder why they keep bringing it back season after season.
Currently, it’s the number one drink that fans of this coffee brand look forward to each year.
Complemented by peppermint syrup, this perfect blend of steamed milk, espresso, and a unique mocha sauce creates a sweet and delicious holiday drink.
The Peppermint Mocha is a lovely comfort drink with whipped cream and small bits of dark chocolate.
Now, whether you should have it as a hot drink, an iced one, or a Frappuccino is entirely up to your taste preferences.
However, the original is served hot, and what’s a better way of warming yourself up during the cold winter months than with a hot drink?
If you’re wondering what a Frappuccino is, check out my article “What Is a Frappuccino at Starbucks?“
Now, if you’re not in the mood for a hot drink, that’s alright too. Some people like their coffee iced, and thus, this one might be the perfect one for you.
This drink is also an excellent option for those who are lactose-intolerant because Starbucks exclusively makes this drink with almond milk.
This cookie-flavored latte is the first-holiday drink without dairy introduced by the coffee chain.
Blonde espresso and almond milk, mixed with a sugar cookie-flavored syrup to add the cookie touch, blend to make this holiday delicacy.
However, while the name may suggest a burst of sweetness, this specific drink is not that sweet.
It tastes buttery, and the almond milk’s nuttiness blends well with the rest of the ingredients to create a lovely beverage.
The red and green sprinkles on top are the perfect addition to the holiday festivities.
3. Irish cream cold brew
Starbucks’ product developer, Erin Marinan, came up with this drink’s concept after being inspired by memories of her and her family making homemade Irish cream.
The Starbucks cold brew coffee mixes with two pumps of Irish Cream syrup to create this holiday special. With a cap of vanilla and Irish cream cold foam, this drink is subtly sweet at first with balanced bitter undertones.
This concoction may not be for everyone, as many people prefer their coffee sweet. Of course, this isn’t a hot drink, so if you’re looking for a warm beverage to keep you warm and cozy, this is not the one.
However, there are multiple other hot drinks on the menu to appeal to your taste, and we can leave this delectable choice for those who prefer their coffee iced.
4. Caramel brulee latte
This one’s another old favorite. First introduced in 2009, the Caramel Brulee Latte quickly became loved by Starbucks customers.
This hot and sweet beverage mixes Starbucks’ signature espresso blend with three to four pumps of caramel brûlée sauce.
The rich foam on top creates an additional touch of sweetness. This drink is sprinkled with caramel brûlée crumble, which adds an element of crunchiness.
True to its name of “brûlée,” the drink has a burnt taste, but how can it reflect a creme brulee without it?
Whether served iced or hot, this drink can be the perfect touch to your holiday season.
Earning its spot as the second-best Starbucks holiday drink for most, customers often look forward to this drink every year.
5. Chestnut praline latte
Starbucks first introduced this sweet but spicy concoction in 2014. It came after five years of Starbucks not having a new holiday drink, so fans were excited to hear about it.
Since then, fans have continued to demand it yearly, and Starbucks has continued to deliver. And 2022 was no exception.
With two shots of espresso roast, chestnut-infused chocolate, and steamed milk, this drink is cozy with just the right kick.
Chestnut praline syrup is added for a burst of flavor. Of course, given its name, the added nuts create a nutty flavor complemented by the drink’s butteriness. True to its name, it’s topped off with spiced praline crumbs.
If you’re usually a latte fanatic, this drink might be perfect for you to get into the holiday mood.
6. Toasted white chocolate mocha
This seasonal drink is a fun twist on the regular White Chocolate Mocha available in Starbucks year-round.
A traditional white chocolate mocha blends steamed milk and espresso shots. As the name suggests, this concoction requires white chocolate sauce instead of regular chocolate sauce.
Even a regular White Chocolate Mocha is a rich and creamy coffee that can improve your day.
However, the holiday version of it is truly a delight. Infused with the taste of toasted marshmallows, the holiday version of this drink tastes sweeter. The candy pearls and sprinkles on top add to the drink’s festivity.
The white chocolate flavor used has a caramelized touch to it. The drink’s thickness makes it the perfect balance of being sweet without being over the top.
If you want to customize it even further, ask for Starbucks’ blonde espresso, which will make it creamier and smoother:
And if you’d like to make a regular white chocolate mocha at home, try my homemade recipe!
What was new at Starbucks in 2022?
Whereas the old favorites have earned their spots for a reason, fans of this coffee chain are always on the lookout for announcements of new drinks and goodies:
Starbucks fans were surely disappointed to hear that in 2022, no new drink appeared on Starbucks’ menu. For 2022, Starbucks decided that the old holiday picks would reappear.
This was probably disappointing news for those who are constantly looking for new coffee flavors, but don’t worry!
A few drinks were not officially listed on the Starbucks menu but were available to purchase if you knew what to ask for:
7. Salted caramel mocha latte
Fans were disappointed when Starbucks announced that this holiday drink was being discontinued.
This combination of mocha sauce and toffee nut syrup with coffee and steamed milk was on many people’s lists of their favorite coffees from this chain.
When news spread that this drink would be discontinued, fans were so saddened that some people even began a petition to bring it back.
While Starbucks still needs to address these complaints, there is still a way to order the sought-after drink. Almost all the ingredients required to create this drink are available year-round.
So, the first step is to order an ordinary Mocha and ask them to add Toffee Nut Syrup. Whether the drink is hot, cold, or in the form of a Frappuccino is entirely dependent on your preferences.
Then, all you need to do is ask them to add caramel drizzle. The only ingredient not available is the sea salt topping, but the toffee nut is strong enough to compensate for it.
Give it a shot the next time you go to your local Starbucks and see if this salted caramel goodness is just the right thing to bring some flavor to the holiday season.
If you don’t feel like hopping to your local Starbucks, you can also follow this easy recipe to make a salted caramel mocha at home!
8. The Santa Claus Frappuccino
This Frappuccino is not an official Starbucks drink but a secret menu item.
Your local barista won’t know how to make this drink, but don’t worry. I’ll tell you exactly how you can get your hands on this Christmas-themed Frappuccino.
Start by ordering a Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino (which doesn’t contain caffeine!). The next step is to ask them to add strawberry puree at the top and in the middle.
Whipped cream at the end, topped off with festive sprinkles that are only available during the holidays, is a lovely addition to that extra kick of sweetness.
This strawberry Frappuccino contains not only the Christmas colors but also the delectable flavors that made 2022’s Christmas memorable.
Cold and creamy, this holiday drink may be your favorite of the year!
As you can see, there are many delicious options to choose from this holiday season.
Along with the classics you can order year-round, the special Christmas-themed drinks are always a big hit with Starbucks lovers.
I’ve covered the best holiday drinks you can try this holiday season, so you’re sure to get into the festive mood!