13 Best Starbucks Winter Drinks For Comfort On Cold Mornings

The holiday season is the best time of year to indulge in a Starbucks beverage! Here are the top Starbucks winter drinks, including classics and secret items.

Starbucks winter drinks
Looking forward every holiday season to Starbucks winter drinks

For many, the holiday season is a time of gift-giving and family outings. However, since I’m a die-hard coffee addict, I look forward to one thing at this time of year – Starbucks winter drinks. Whether it’s adding festive sprinkles to my espresso or putting a dash of peppermint on my whipped cream, these drinks give me a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Fortunately, they can do the same for you, too! Once the weather starts to get cooler, you can ask your local barista for any one of these holiday coffees. Best of all, you don’t have to celebrate Christmas to enjoy these brews. 

Before heading to the closest coffee shop and asking for one (or more) of these beverages, I should mention that some of them are on the “secret menu.” This means you have to make some specific requests to get correct results rather than just ordering the drink by name. Don’t worry; I’ll give you the secret recipes for all of these drinks so you don’t have to make any educated guesses or start a career in alchemy to get them right.

1. Candy Cane Cold Brew

Nothing screams “Christmas” like candy canes, and they come in so many different flavors and varieties. However, peppermint candy canes are still the best, which is why this coffee drink is so near and dear to my heart.

Fortunately, Starbucks can give you some of their “holiday sprinkles” on top of the coffee if you don’t have any candy canes handy. However, I highly recommend crushing some candies beforehand if you want to dress up this sweet treat in a unique way.

  • First, you need to order a Venti Sweet Cream Cold Foam Cold Brew with no vanilla.
  • Next, you need four pumps of white mocha and two pumps of peppermint syrup.
  • Ask for two more pumps of peppermint in the cold foam, and then ask for the holiday sprinkles on top. 

As far as iced coffee options go, this is both refreshing and delicious. The peppermint dances across your tongue, and the caffeine will keep you buzzing all day long!

2. Candy Cane Frappuccino

While a regular cold brew coffee is delicious, it’s not quite the same as a full-blown Frappuccino. It’s pretty hard to top this iconic iced drink, but you can give it a candy cane twist to help you celebrate this time of year.

Plus, ordering this coffee off the secret menu is much simpler and easier to remember than the recipe above. In fact, it only has two steps!

  • First, order a vanilla bean Frappuccino (in any size you like).
  • Ask for one pump of peppermint syrup for a tall, one and a half pumps for a grande, or two full pumps for a venti.

Again, I highly recommend supplying your own candy cane sprinkles, although you can still ask the barista for the ones they have behind the counter.

3. Caramel Brulee Latte

Starbucks Coffee samples of Caramel Brulee Latte in classic holiday red Starbucks Cups
Starbucks Caramel Brulee Latte is a crowd favorite

If the thought of memorizing a secret menu item seems too stressful, you can go with a drink from the regular holiday menu. The Caramel Brulee Latte is a crowd favorite, and I love the warmth it brings to my soul.

Although you don’t have to order the ingredients individually, I still want to share what’s inside this decadent drink.

  • First, it starts with a shot of regular espresso or blonde espresso for a lighter and smoother flavor.
  • Then, they add steamed milk and caramel brulee sauce to the coffee.
  • After blending, the barista adds whipped cream and a caramel brulee topping for a sweet and delicious finish. The topping is crunchy and caramel-y in all the best ways.

4. Chestnut Praline Latte

Here we have another regular holiday menu item, so you’ll see this listed at your local Starbucks at this time of year. I’m not a huge fan of pralines, but I’ll order this coffee from time to time when I’m feeling a bit nutty (pun intended).

Starbucks uses its own proprietary blend of chestnut and praline flavors to make this coffee taste smooth and sweet. Again, you can choose regular or blonde espresso, depending on your preferences.

On top, this coffee gets a handful of specially-spiced praline crumbs for an incredible mouthfeel that will tickle your tastebuds before the warm, soothing coffee runs down your throat. You can also get this holiday beverage iced if you prefer.

5. Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte

These days, non-dairy milk alternatives are quite popular, to the extent that it almost feels weird to have regular cow’s milk in my coffee. So, if you prefer to be dairy-free during the winter season, I highly recommend ordering this menu item. The ingredients are as follows:

  • Blonde Espresso.
  • Sugar-cookie flavored syrup (one to two pumps, depending on the size).
  • Almond milk (although oat milk also works).
  • Ice.
  • Whipped cream.
  • Red and green sprinkles.

It’s the sprinkles that make this coffee treat extra special, and the coloration blends well with Starbucks’ signature red cups. Plus, the syrup is both buttery and sweet, making this a really smooth and delicious beverage overall.

6. Irish Cream Cold Brew

While a candy cane cold brew is very festive, it can be a bit too sweet for some tastes. If you’re one of those who like a little bit of sweetness, the Irish Cream Cold Brew is an excellent choice. I would also recommend the eggnog latte, but it hasn’t appeared on the festive menu for some time. 

For this beverage, you get regular cold brew coffee mixed with Irish cream syrup, sweet vanilla cream cold foam, and a dash of cocoa powder to give it that little extra oomph. I’ve never been to Ireland, but every time I drink this coffee, I get visions of the Emerald Isle, and I tear up just a little bit.

Also, because of how the cream blends with the coffee, I don’t recommend getting this in one of Starbucks’ holiday cups. Instead, you want something see-through so you can experience the visual magic happening in front of your eyes.

7. Peppermint Bark Frappuccino

And we’re back! To the secret menu, that is. While I would love for Starbucks to add this holiday coffee to their regular menu, I’ll have to remember this recipe for the time being.

Peppermint bark is also one of my favorite holiday treats, as I love the combination of chocolate and peppermint pieces – it’s like a party in my mouth! Ordering this coffee is super easy; just ask for a peppermint mocha Frappuccino, but ask the barista to make it with half mocha sauce and half white chocolate sauce. This way, you get all the same flavors combined in liquid form.

You can also order this coffee as a hot mocha or hot chocolate if you’re interested. There are no wrong answers here. As a bonus, you can ask for some dark chocolate curls on top of the whipped cream so you get an extra layer of chocolatey goodness.

8. Peppermint Mocha

Homemade Peppermint Mocha
Peppermint Mocha is a regular Starbucks holiday menu item

On second thought, putting this coffee after the Peppermint Bark recipe seems to make it lose some of its lusters. However, I’m committed to making this list alphabetically, so I’ll live with my mistake.

If you’re wondering what a Peppermint Mocha is (it’s a regular Starbucks holiday menu item, by the way), here’s how they make it:

  • Start with a shot or two of blonde espresso.
  • Add steamed milk.
  • Add sweet mocha sauce.
  • Add peppermint syrup.
  • Add whipped cream with dark chocolate curls.

Basically, it’s the same thing as the peppermint bark, only without the white chocolate sauce. It’s still super good, although not quite as sweet.

9. Peppermint Mocha Frappuccino

If you loved the recipe above but wished that there was an iced coffee version, don’t worry! Starbucks also offers the Peppermint Mocha as a good old-fashioned Frap, so you can get the same decadent flavors but in a more refreshing and thirst-quenching beverage.

The ingredients are basically the same, but you get iced coffee instead of hot espresso.

10. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate

If you’re going to go through the trouble of ordering a sweet coffee, why not just go all in and order hot chocolate instead? Sure, you don’t get the same amounts of caffeine, but you also get more sugar and chocolate flavoring, so it all evens out.

As another regular holiday menu item, you can order this beverage by name. The mixture is remarkably similar to the Peppermint Mocha, but there’s a slight twist.

  • First, you get the hot chocolate.
  • Next, they mix in white chocolate mocha sauce and peppermint syrup.
  • Finally, they top it with whipped cream and dark chocolate curls.

11. Santa Claus Frappuccino

Who doesn’t love Santa Claus? This secret menu item is like the jolly man giving you a gift of delicious coffee for the holiday season. Best of all, you don’t even have to be on his nice list to get a taste of this treat.

  • First, start with a vanilla bean creme Frappuccino.
  • Then, ask for strawberry puree on the bottom and in the middle of the beverage.
  • On top, just ask for whipped cream and holiday sprinkles.

The strawberry puree adds an extra layer of creaminess and sweetness to the beverage, and it’s super addictive. Check out our guide on Starbucks cup sizes

12. Sugar Cookie Chai Iced Latte

This secret menu recipe comes from TikTok, so you know it’s good because it’s been peer-reviewed and approved by the masses. It’s also pretty simple to order, although you might have to screenshot the original recipe if you don’t want to mess it up.

  • The base of this drink is a chai iced latte.
  • Then, you ask for two pumps of sugar cookie syrup.
  • Next, you get some vanilla sweet cream foam.
  • Finally, ask for some sugar cookie topping on the whipped cream.

If you’re a fan of chai iced lattes, you’ll love the added bonus of making it taste like a sugar cookie. Then, if you pair this with a reindeer cake pop, your holiday dreams will come true! 

13. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha

Starbucks White Chocolate Chip Mocha and Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie on wooden table
This delicious mocha coffee is on Starbucks’ regular holiday menu

Last (but certainly not least) is this delicious mocha coffee on Starbucks’ regular holiday menu. The secret to this beverage’s success is the topping, but we’ll get to that.

  • First, it comes with a shot or two of espresso.
  • Next, they add caramelized white chocolate, along with steamed milk.
  • On top, you get whipped cream, holiday sugar sparkles, and crispy white pearls.

This coffee not only tastes good, but it looks good enough for Instagram, too, so be sure to snap a pic before gulping it down as quickly as possible. If you love Starbucks, you might be interested in learning about Starbucks Reserve


  • Jonathan

    Jonathan is an avid coffee drinker, although he's known to knock back a few energy drinks too. He's been a writer for over seven years, which is why caffeine runs through his veins. Find Jonathan on WriterAccess.