Drinks like the Eggnog Latte and Peppermint Mocha are holiday favorites that Starbucks fans look forward to all year long. They’re not the only holiday drinks out there, however, and you can build even more perfect-for-the-holidays drinks by getting a little bit creative with your Starbucks order. These are 5 custom “secret menu” holiday drinks that are well worth ordering at Starbucks, all in grande size. Try to order them by the ingredients, as not every barista is going to know one of these concoctions by name.
Candy Cane Frappuccino – Who doesn’t love the occasional candy cane around the holidays. I stir them into my hot chocolate, but you can build a whole candy cane flavored drink, too. Order a grande vanilla bean frappuccino with one and a half pumps of peppermint syrup. It may not look like a candy cane, but you’ll get that same festive, minty flavor. The only thing missing is the red and white swirl, but you can always bring your own candy can in for garnish!
Apple Pie a La Mode – Everyone loves hot apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. To get this in drink form, order a grande steamed apple cider with 4 pumps of gingerbread syrup. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of ground cinnamon from the condiment bar. It’ll taste just like a hot slice of cinnamon-spiced pumpkin pie – and the cold vanilla whipped cream on top stands in for the ice cream that makes this “a la mode.”
You might get the urge to pour yourself a cup of tea while watching Downton Abbey. Earl grey or English breakfast might satisfy your craving for a cuppa – but you might just want something that fits in even better with the show. The Republic of Tea just released English Rose Tea, a special Downton Abbey edition for all the fans out there.
The herbal tea is made with a blend of hibiscus, rosehip peels, apples, raspberry, vanilla and rose petals, for a blend that is both sweet and flora. It’s also caffeine free, so you don’t have to worry about being kept up all night after watching the latest episode – and if you stay up late wondering what is going to happen next, you can’t blame it on the tea.
Green tea is a fantastic base for creating your own tea blends because it has a relatively mild flavor that can pair very well with all kinds of other roots, fruit, spices and flowers that are often used in tea blends. Usually, we experiment with teas by trying the variety available at the local coffee shop, since opportunities to blend your own teas are few and far between. I recently spotted an Green Herbal Tea Kit that will give you the change to do just that in your own home.
The kit includes three types of organic green tea from Japan, India, and Sri Lanka, and nine different herbs that you can blend with them. The herbs include lavender, calendula, tamarind and mint, just to name a few. You can mix based on flavor, but the health benefits of each herb are also listed, so you can also try mixing teas based on their positive health benefits. Mint, for instance, “improves digestion, reduces heartburn and eases nausea and stress.” Reusable corn silk tea bags are included for brewing, although any loose-leaf tea infuser will let you try your blends out.
Honest Tea is out to find the most honest city in America as part of a new ad campaign for their line of bottled teas. For the campaign, they will be setting up displays of bottled teas in 62 cities across all 50 states. The displays will feature shelves and shelves of tea and signs that read “$1 each” – but the catch is that there will be no person there to collect the money. Instead, the booths will have drop boxes for dollars and operate on the honor system, allowing people to drop their payment into a box without anyone prompting them to.
The little social experiment is meant for nothing other than promotional purposes, and Honest Tea will have people stationed inconspicuously near the displays to take notes on how consumers interact with the display, as well as noting how much tea is, or is not, paid for.
So far, the company reports that the vast majority of tea – around 90% – is paid for by consumers, many of whom are worried abut being watched by hidden camera or otherwise “getting caught” for taking the tea without paying. How the rest of the experiment plays out, we’ll just have to wait and see.