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After spending several years in social services, Nicole has finally followed her lifelong dream of being a full-time writer. In addition to her work for The Hudsucker, Nicole is also a staff writer for Womanista. An avid comic book fan, BBQ aficionado, professional makeup artist and first-time mom, Nicole can be found exploring Kansas City rich history when she's not blogging about suburban life at Suburban Flamingo.

The Very Best Starbucks Holiday Menu Drinks Ranked

Image Credit: Starbucks

If you’re a coffee fiend and fan of Starbucks, you would know that the Seattle-based company is always adding new drinks to their holiday menu. Renowned for concocting the most festive and Instagram-worthy drinks, year in and year out, there is a lot to love.

But with the weather getting chillier and winter just days away, it’s time to start warming up with some of Starbucks’ finest.

While Starbucks released brand new cups and its Christmas menu full of various drinks on Nov. 1, including new hot chocolate flavors and a limited edition Frappuccino, we are all about the coffee.

And we’re not talking about another variation of Pumpkin Spice Latte — we are turning our taste buds to the Christmas-themed drinks that make us think more about stockings hung by chimneys with care than pumpkins.

This year’s holiday menu at Starbucks is no exception, but how do you know what to choose from that espresso party of favorites and new friends? That’s where we come in. Yours truly has tried each of the eight drinks on this year’s official Starbucks holiday menu and am ranking them for you. Consider it an early holiday gift…

8. Gingerbread Latte

The Gingerbread Latte has been on the Starbucks holiday menu for so long I can’t remember exactly when it debuted, but I do remember the recipe getting an overhaul in 2013 that added a real molasses drizzle to spice flavored whipped cream on the top. Yum! It was a change that was very well received and the drink remains a staple. It definitely tastes like drinking a gingerbread cookie, but when it comes to things that taste like cookies, always go for the real cookie. Because cookies.

7. Caramel Brulee Latte

If you’re a fan of creme brulee for dessert this latte is for you because of the caramel brulee topping they use to garnish the drink. However, as holiday drinks go it tastes more like a fancy caramel macchiato and while that’s totally delicious, it’s not particularly festive. Now if they’d add some of that spiced whipped cream from the Gingerbread Latte, that would be the detail that would elevate this seasonal favorite from good to amazing.

6. Peppermint Mocha

Yes, you can get a Peppermint Mocha year round if you order a mocha with a few pumps of peppermint. So why does this beat Gingerbread Latte on the list? It’s all about the holiday details and while I can’t prove it, the peppermint syrup just tastes special. As crazy as it might sound, the official holiday version of the Peppermint Mocha tastes just a little different from the specially ordered version and tastes exactly like chocolate and candy canes. The dark chocolate curls used for a garnish is a nice touch, too.

5. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

Brand new to the holiday menu this year, the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha has the best topping of any holiday drink Starbucks has ever offered. That candied cranberry sugar is so good I wish it were available year round, but the rest of the drink doesn’t have a taste more distinct than a regular white chocolate mocha other than being a lot more sweet. Honestly, the candied cranberry sugar is everything. Order this drink just for that.

4. Chestnut Praline Latte

Introduced in 2009, this particular holiday latte reminds me a lot of the Toffee Nut Latte that is on the Starbucks holiday menu in in the UK and Australia and, truth be told, I’m not completely convinced they aren’t the same drink. The Chestnut Praline Latte has the subtle flavor of caramelized chestnuts and spices and while it is sweeter than your average flavored latte, it’s not as cloyingly sweet as the Caramel Brulee Latte is. It’s a good balance between the bitter acidity of a plan latte and the too-sweet of a flavored variety. And the best part? This pairs really well with cookies. Might want to get Santa one.

3. Chestnut Praline Chai Tea Latte

Brand new this year, this tea-based latte is a total game changer. The cinnamon notes in the chai tea is perfect when mixed with the chestnut praline syrup. It has a bit of a lighter feel and taste than its espresso-made sibling, making it the absolute perfect drink for slow sipping on a snowy day or during a break from marathon Christmas shopping. It’s holiday relaxation in a cup.

2. Holiday Spice Flat White

To do this one correctly, you absolutely need to get the tall size as a traditional flat white is not meant to be a large drink. This goes doubly true when you start adding spices to the mix, but if you get it in the tall size (or even the grande if you really feel daring) those floral, fruity, nutty holiday spices espresso is a wonderful post-dinner treat or a great morning pick me up. If I could put Christmas morning in a cup, this would be it.

1. Eggnog Latte

A staple of the Starbucks holiday menu since 1986, the Eggnog Latte is the orignal holiday latte. Specially created for Christmas by Dave Olsen and first offered in Seattle’s Columbia Tower Starbucks location, the drink is very simple. It’s just a normal latte made with a milk and latte blend instead of just milk, then topped with a sprinkle of nutmeg. It’s rich, it’s creamy, and it is everything you’d want in a holiday drink. It is the absolutely taste of the season and, while Starbucks tried to pull it from the holiday menu a few years ago, fans freaked out and it’s been back every since. A word of caution though: because egg nog is a very rich beverage on its own, the Eggnog Latte is a very heavy drink so sip slowly and savor it. You’ll be glad you did.

What is your favorite Starbucks holiday menu drink? Let us know in the comments!

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