I was invited to Selfridges earlier today to try out the range of Starbucks Christmas drinks. I'll cover the whole lot over the space of a few reviews, but I figured I'd start off with the iconic red cups. I was already a massive fan of the eggnog latte, but there's certainly more than one way to get your festive fix this year. So let's run through the seasonal drinks you'll be able to pick up in a couple of week's time.
Ah, the eggnog latte. Eggnog really isn't a thing over here, but I'm hoping it will get bigger in years to come, just like peanut butter has of late. Although the concept of an egg based drink sounds horrifying, Americans went on about it enough to make me curious, and I this drink does a pretty good job of leaving me wanting more. It's a creamy, smooth, slightly eggy drink. Not so much eggy in the sense of your breakfast fare, but more of an egg custard tart without the custard. It really is delicious, and it's sprinkled liberally with nutmeg to give it a warming spice. Yum.
My rating: 5/5
The toffee nut latte is probably the blandest sounding of the drinks on offer, but bland it certainly is not. It's a nice full bodied drink, with a smooth toffee flavour running throughout, and a fantastic hint of nuttiness that really brings the whole thing together. It's sweet, but not too sweet, a bold, smooth, warming cup of coffee. The sprinkles on top are a great touch as well, adding more toffee nut flavour on top as well as a satisfying crunch.
My rating: 5/5
Here we have the gingerbread latte, a new recipe for an old favourite. I can't say I've had one of these before, gingerbread has never been one of my favourite things. But this is good as well, a strong gingerbread flavoured coffee that packs a lot of warming spice, and definitely gave me a festive feeling. The ginger is perhaps a little too much, it did overwhelm the smoothness of the coffee a bit, but being a lover of the sweet spices I certainly enjoyed it. Besides, you could probably ask for less squirts of the syrup when you order. Unfortunately the sample I tried didn't have the gingerbread flavoured cream that's going to be liberally sprayed on top this year, but I certainly enjoyed it enough to seek out another when these go on general sale.
My rating: 4/5
Last, but not least, is the honey almond hot chocolate. I'm sure I had one of these last year, although apparently I didn't review it. It's as good as I remember though, a creamy, chocolatey drink with a great sweet, nutty syrup that permeates through the whole cup. On top is a chocolate cream drizzled with honey, which at first sight looks far too sickly, but is actually very satisfying. The cream remains light and fluffy, with a less pronounced chocolate flavour than that in the hot chocolate itself, so it really blends in quite nicely with the drink rather than detracting from the flavour. Once the honey drizzle mixes in with the liquid stuff it adds another great layer of sweetness.Still, it is a lot of chocolate in one cup, and it's certainly very filling in that sense, and I remember towards the end of my full cup it was starting to get a little sickly, but I certainly can't say I didn't enjoy it.
My rating: 4/5
So there you have it, four very nice drinks that you'll be able to pick up from Starbucks during the festive period. I'll probably be heading in myself to pick up at least one of each (maybe a few eggnog). Hooray for red cups.