Holiday Cheer and Peppermint Mochas

Here we are, at the end of November.  Usually here in Toronto, it’s brisk, but still very much autumn, with some colourful leaves remaining, and scarf weather, but still pleasant enough for a brisk walk.  Not so much this year – this past weekend we had our first snowfall for the season.  A few flakes started falling late last week, and Saturday morning we woke up to find a picturesque dusting on our city, with rooftops and streets dusted in winter wonderland, icing sugar snow.

Happily, this is also the season of cozy sweaters and scarves, warm fireplaces and homes, and delicious hot drinks to keep us warm.  One of my favourite spots for this is the ubiquitous Starbucks.  I find their offerings delicious all year round, but something magical and special happens when the colder weather sets in.  First, the Pumpkin Spice Latte heralds the cooling temperatures.  But then, the holiday collection rolls out.  Red cups bring joy and celebration all around the city, and the seasonal flavours cause a bit of a frenzy in downtown – I saw long lines of people waiting 20 minutes or more when the holiday collection came out again.

For some people, the festive flavours of the Gingerbread Latte (gingerbread man in a cup!) and the Caramel Brule Latte entice and warm.  This is also the season of delicious baked goods.  My personal favourite drink is the Peppermint Mocha.  I remember the first time I had one, it was when I was in high school, here in Toronto with a school trip.  I felt so grown up dressed in my business clothes (I was in town for a business competition), and walking through the Path with all the people that worked in the area.  I stopped in at a Starbucks, ordered a Peppermint Mocha, and continued my stroll through the Path, looking at pretty items in the stores, and marveling at the Christmas decorations.  Every time I have one, it takes me back to that time, and I feel giddy all over again.

Another treat I love picking up at Starbucks when Nick and I have had long days is a Snowman cookie for each of us, since they’re so tasty and soft without being too sweet, or the Peppermint Brownie Cake Pop – what can I say, I love mint and chocolate together 🙂  I also recently tried their Peppermint Mocha Via, which is basically a fancy instant coffee that you mix with hot milk, and it becomes delicious!

Anyone else getting in on the seasonal Starbucks fun?  Or other holiday items that are only available at this time of year?

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