(Festive) Friday Favorites

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!

11 thoughts on “(Festive) Friday Favorites

  1. Mom December 11, 2009 / 5:45 pm

    Ohhhh. YOU hooked me on these last year — only I’m not quite as good as you. I go for milk & whipped cream, but quietly ask for half-cafe. When I need something to urge me to the office I now stop — it is right where the old Burger King used to be in the Vestal Plaza. So, with work only 2 mins away I get to my desk with my steaming gingerbread latte! It does improve the start of one’s day! YUMMY!!!

  2. sprite December 11, 2009 / 6:12 pm

    Seriously? Cold cider? Not even a cinnamon stick to boost its self esteem up from being the equivalent of a toddler’s juice of choice?

    I do have some holiday teas that I break out this time of year, but generally I like the same warm beverages I like all the time — black tea, cocoa, chai, steamed milk, and cider. Hot.

  3. Mom December 11, 2009 / 7:21 pm

    Sorry, Sprite. We NYS people get fresh pressed cider every fall before it ever hits the fridge or a warmer. There is nothing better. :). Warm & with a cinnamon stick — ehhh. And, oh, toddlers drink pasturized apple juice — big dif !!

  4. sionna December 11, 2009 / 11:06 pm

    Nog. Love it.

  5. common loon December 11, 2009 / 11:16 pm

    I think you have inspired me to try one. But I live for whip! I will just make it my meal.


    BEAT ARMY!!!!!
    Sarah, this means that tomorrow is THE GAME – the classic of classics and traditions. In this instance, my favorite Christmas beverage has become the one that I can drink in warmth and comfort to toast a Navy victory. Sure as heck beats those years of freezing my butt off with 8000 of my closest amigos!

  6. Auntie Fran December 12, 2009 / 8:54 am

    I am going to try this again! Love your blog, but dont have geek genes.
    I love to go to Target, ‘cuz Starbucks is just inside, for a loaded Pumpkin Spice Latte. But the best part of the Season is the gourmet qt of Nog that is in my fridge, for the mid-morn coffee treat:)

  7. Mom December 12, 2009 / 9:11 am

    Ok @ Fran. Share the “gourmet” nog recipe, please.

  8. sionna December 12, 2009 / 10:42 am

    Did someone say gourmet nog? If there is a recipe to be shared, I’m all ears!

  9. Susan December 12, 2009 / 11:49 am

    I’m such a dork…I can get a ‘decaf’ version at Starbucks? I like an iced mocha frap…if I can get this decaf that is HORRIBLE. Becasue mine is there ALL YEAR. I will balloon…but I’ll be happy…

    My cheaper favorite treat is Land O Lakes hot cocoa…chocolate supreme, artic white, or dark chocolate. With whip. My classroom is stocked. Great mug, all three favorites, whip in the fridge. I even have chocolate sprinkles in my cupboard. You never know what you might need to get through Deember with 25 of your favorite short people!

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