I feel like I need to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am not paid to shill for Starbucks. In fact, other than November & December, I rarely go there. I’m an indie coffee girl, with this one exception.
I don’t like eggnog. Mulled wine has never appealed to me. I’ll drink my cider plain & cold, not hot & spiced, thankyouverymuch. For a long time, festive holiday beverages didn’t have much to offer me. And then the gingerbread latte — a staple of the Starbucks holiday menu — entered my life, and finally my seasonal beverage options extended beyond hot chocolate.
I do understand that gingerbread latte sounds kind of nasty — I certainly thought so, before I tried one. Gingerbread and a latte, sure… but all in one cup? Ugh. A friend finally convinced me to try one (by buying one for me, if memory serves) and I found out how wrong I was. They are crazy delicious, somehow managing to blend two flavors that really don’t belong together, without either being overwhelming.
It’s a good thing, really, that they’re only available a couple of months a year, or I’d be both poorer and fatter. A $4-a-day coffee habit adds up fast, to be sure, and according to the Starbucks calorie-counter, a grande has 320 calories when served normally, with 2% milk and whipped cream. My preference, skim milk and no-whip, still comes in at 200 calories, which is better, but still more than I feel my daily coffee fix ought to have.
Mmm… Now I want one! I may have to stop for a decaf on the way home, though having to say, “I’d like a grande, decaf, skim, no-whip gingerbread latte” makes me feel like a bit of a tool. (Even without the “decaf” it’s still a fairly ludicrous order; another reason to be glad it’s not a year-round habit.)
What about you? Got a favorite holiday beverage? Share in the comments!