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5 “Secret” Holiday Starbucks Drinks You Can Order (+ Our Team’s Faves!)

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Starbucks Seasonal Drinks

Did you know that Starbucks can make a variety of “secret” holiday drinks that are not on the menu? They can – and will pretty much make anything you’d like as long as you know the recipe! Not to mention that they launch other seasonal drinks throughout the year, like the Crystal Ball Frappuccino, Witch’s Brew and Juniper Lattewe were not fans of it! 🤢).

Keep in mind that depending on what drink you’re ordering and what add-ins there are, you may be required to pay a little extra for these add-in items (such as bananas, syrups, etc). Also, it’s really important when requesting a “secret” drink that you make note of the recipe and not just the name – as not all Baristas are familiar with the drink names.

Here are five secret holiday beverages you won’t find listed on the Starbucks menu, and what you’ll need to say when ordering them (plus, scroll down for our team’s faves!)…

Starbucks latte

1. Holly Jolly Latte
  • Stat with an Eggnog Chai Latte – NO water
  • Add peppermint syrup – 1 pump tall, 2 pumps grande, 3 pumps venti
  • Top with nutmeg sprinkles and whipped cream

2. Christmas in a Cup Latte
  • Start with a Cinnamon Dolce Latte
  • Add white mocha syrup (1.5 pumps tall, 2 pumps grande, 2.5 pumps venti)
  • Add peppermint syrup (1/2 pump tall, 1 pump grande, 1.5 pumps venti)
  • Optional: Top with chocolate whipped cream instead of regular if you like it extra chocolatey!

Starbucks Cand Cane Frappuccino

3. Candy Cane Frappuccino
  • Start with a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino
  • Add peppermint syrup (1 pump tall, 1.5 pumps grande, 2 pumps venti)

4. Christmas Cookie Frappuccino
  • Start with a creme base Frappuccino
  • Add Peppermint Syrup (1 pump tall, 1.5 pumps grande, 2 pumps venti)
  • Add Toffee Nut Syrup (1 pump tall, 1.5 pumps grande, 2 pumps venti)
  • Top with whipped cream and a raw sugar packet sprinkled on top
  • Optional: Top with caramel drizzle

starbucks espresso drinks

5. Roasted Chestnut Macchiatto
  • Start with a Hazelnut Macchiato
  • Add toffee nut syrup (1 pump tall, 1.5 pumps grande, 2 pumps venti)
  • Add extra hazelnut syrup (1 pump tall, 1.5 pumps grande, 2 pumps venti)
  • Add white chocolate mocha Syrup (1/2 pump tall and grande, 1 pump venti)
  • Top with spiced whipped cream and hazelnut drizzle


Hip2Save fave holiday drinks

And, here are some of the team’s FAVE holiday Starbucks drinks:

“I love the ICED White Peppermint Mocha with Almond Milk. It gets me going and is sooo YUUMMMY!” – Amber

“My favorite drink is the Blonde Caramel Brulée Latte, with 3 shots of espresso, one pump of Caramel Brulée sauce, and one pump of Vanilla Syrup. UNREAL.” – Emily

“I just tried the hot Caramel Brulée Latte and it is SO good! I always ask for half the syrup so it’s not super sweet.” – Lina

“My Christmas go-to is a 1/2 Chestnut Praline Latte + 1/2 White Chocolate Mocha! I ask for the grande Chestnut Praline Latte with 2 pumps of Chestnut Praline syrup, 2 pumps of White Chocolate Mocha sauce, blonde espresso, soy milk, with extra Praline topping and whipped cream.” – Alana

“I love the Gingerbread Latte with nonfat milk and no whip. My boys don’t like coffee, but they love the Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with Peppermint.” – Mary

“Since I’m a Keto gal, my go-to Starbucks drink is an Americano with steamed heavy cream and my trusty liquid Stevia that I add in to sweeten things up. If I’m craving a seasonal flavor, I keep fun holiday varieties on hand like pumpkin spice.” – Collin


starbucks rewards

Wanna save at Starbucks? This will perk you up!

Did you know that if you’re a Starbucks Rewards Member, you’ll be able to choose one of the following rewards on your actual birthday – no purchase required! 😍

  • FREE handcrafted beverage (choose ANY size!)
  • FREE food Item (like a yummy pastry or danish) or
  • FREE ready-to-drink bottled beverage (such as an Evolution Fresh juice)

To qualify for the birthday reward, you must be a Starbucks Rewards member (or have joined Starbucks Rewards at least seven days before your birthday) and have made at least one Star-earning transaction using your registered Starbucks Card. Your birthday reward will be automatically added to your account on your birthday and is valid only on that date, so use it while it’s HOT! ☕️

Starbucks Frappuccino

And, if you’re ordering coffee on your birthday, be sure to size up to a Venti (or a Trenta for cold drinks), add shots of espresso, flavorings, and whipped cream, as all of the additions are on the house!

Remember, whenever you sign up to become a Starbucks Rewards member, you’ll instantly earn Green Level and will earn two Stars for every $1 you spend on coffee, food, drinks, and mugs. You’ll also get free in-store refills, member events & offers, a free birthday reward, and more perks!

If you earn at least 300 Stars within the 12-month period following your enrollment date, you will qualify for the Gold Level, which includes all Green Level rewards AND a free drink or food item after every 125 additional Stars earned.

Join The Discussion

Comments 33

  1. Marie

    I love a green tea frappucino (grande in a venti cup) with extra whip and swap out the milk for heavy cream. I order one like every three months. Such a yummy treat!

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      YUM! That sounds delicious!

    • Lexy

      I’ve tried the green tea 🍵 but wasn’t a fan. I do have the vanilla bean with and change the milk 🥛 for heavy créame ..sounds strange but taste so good 😊 😋 😋 😋

      • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

        Everything is better with heavy cream! 🙌

  2. ashley

    Thank you! I love how descriptive this is because I am a huge wimp when it comes to ordering “off” the menu. It helps that I know exactly what to tell them and I’m sure the barista appreciates it! ☕😄

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      You’re welcome, Ashley! I like to know exactly what to say when ordering too! Glad this has been helpful!

  3. Monique

    Ditto Ashley 🙂

  4. Tracey

    I didn’t realize that the birthday reward was only available on the actual day. I went there the day before my birthday as we were expecting hurricane Florence to touch down in our area the next day so I definitely did not want to go out in that just for a free drink! The girl was very nice & let me choose my treat early. 🙂

    • Stefanie

      I think it’s a new-ish policy because the past couple of years it was good the day before, the day of, and the day after the birthday and in the years before that it was good for a whole week.

  5. Cassie

    Thanks, Lina for the idea of asking for half the syrup. I like the flavors, but they’re always too sweet for me.

    • Lina D (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Awesome! Yes I agree, and like to taste the coffee part too! Ha

  6. Harlow

    The iced white peppermint mocha suggestion sounds awesome tysm I love almond milk happy holidays everyone cheers

  7. Cheri

    I get a hazelnut double shot latte through out the year and find it to be festive too! 😊

    • Desiree

      That sounds like a great idea! Loooove hazelnut (fun fact, I never knew what hazelnut flavor was until the orchestra I was touring with spent a few weeks in Italy and they had it in several pastries and in gelato. I came back to the US craving Nocciola thinking that was the English name. Oops! Took me 2 years to figure out why Nutella tasted similar and I couldn’t for the life of me find “nocciola” ice cream/gelato LOL!)

  8. Raea

    I miss Chile mocha. That was my favorite everrrrrr!

  9. Heather

    Hey everyone!!! 🙂 just a friendly reminder to have the recipes available and don’t make the barista seem stupid for not knowing about these. 😉 I used to work at Starbucks for almost 5 years and there were always “secret menu drinks” we never knew about. Haha some of these sound delicious though!!!

    • Jennifer (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Thanks for the tip, Heather!

  10. Mcouzens

    My favorite drink is a double tall mocha with no fat and no whip. Basically it is a tall mocha latte with an extra shot of espresso, skim milk and no whip cream. Perfection!

  11. Ann

    I liked the Juniper Latte. I thought it was a nice refreshing change up from the syrupy sweet drinks.

  12. Devon

    I order the candy cane frap but add java chips 😏 yummy!!

    • Amber (Hip2Save Sidekick)

      Ooh! That does sound yummy. Thanks for sharing your favorite drink with us!

  13. Alli S

    I love coffee. Not a fan of the lattes, too much milk (or coconut milk in my lactose-free world). So my seasonal hack is to get my Americano with light water, splash of coconut milk and add in a couple of pumps of seasonal syrup. More coffee, less calories and almost half the cost!

    • krystal

      I’m with you, lattes are too much milk and too sweet. But I love the flavors so I order a drip coffee with steamed milk and add on the flavor of my choice (caramel brulee is my favorite this time of year). In the fall I get iced coffees with pumpkin spice and splash of milk, often times they dont even charge me for the added flavor but even when they do it’s like half the cost of lattes. I call it my poor man’s latte, because it was my way of cutting back from a quad latte but now I struggle to even drink lattes with all the milk and sweetness.

  14. Sara

    These sound so good! I’m going to try the candy cane Frappuccino when i pick up my target order tomorrow!

  15. Vanessa

    I used to work at Starbucks and would start my day with a peppermint “cup of love.” Now the order is important or else you’ll burn yourself. It’s a short cup with heavy cream to fill the bottom, one pump peppermint, one pump mocha, and two shots poured straight in. Then you shot it. For a sipping drink I would get a double shot of espresso with a dollop of foamy milk.

  16. Dana

    Not sure if visible on menu but Caramel Apple Spice is great any time of the year. I have introduced it to many and now this drink has a following!😁

    • MaaMaaBear

      Is that a coffee drink or tea? I can’t have caffeine anymore and it’s the worst….! I drink some decaf but alot of these companies, dunkin as well, still have a high caffeeine content in their “decaf”.

      • Amanda

        Caramel apple spice is just steamed apple juice with cinnamon dole syrup topped with whipped cream and caramel drizzle! No caffeine 😄

        • Sandi

          My favorite drink!
          I always ask for extra caramel.

  17. Dana

    With as many people cutting carbs/ sugar , I do not understand why Starbucks has cut so many of the sugar free flavors from their menu. I really think they are making a mistake by. It adding even more. I remember when they had the SF peppermint mocha. It was amazing and I ordered it until they ran out in January and February. I usually just stick to the skinny cinnamon dolce latte and add soy instead of skim. It really enhances the flavor. But it’s frustrating to not have other choices.

  18. Sarah


  19. Kait

    The Juniper Latte is my all time fave – I’m sad that it’s seasonal!

  20. Nicole

    Anyone know when they will start selling the cups that are good for free coffee and tea the whole month of January? I’ve been waiting by for target to have a deal and nothing yet!

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