Miranda Babbitt
Assistant LifeStyle Editor

All of them, obviously. But LifeStyle takes a more critical look at who’s staying on the naughty list.

For many, the holiday season begins only as soon as the first house drapes their house in Christmas lights. For others, it begins once Michael Bublé’s velvety voice croons through every sound system in the city. And for a handful of us, perhaps those most dependent on a nearly religious caffeine fix at the start of every morning, the holidays begin when those little red cups (excuse me, tall, grandé or venti) start parading through the hands of students through University.

But, my jolly Starbucks customer, are these drinks being kind to us, in the spirit of Christmas? Will they wait up on Christmas day to receive a big ol’ bag of coal, or a robin’s egg blue box with white satin ribbon? Even though my tummy says otherwise, most of these fellas are most definitely not on Santa’s nice list when he’s thinking in terms of sugar and fat. Which clearly never happens if you’ve ever left some cookies out to see them all gone by morning, obviously indicating the presence of Santa. But how else would they taste so delectable anyhow? A gal deserves some sugary goodness from time to time, so even though we’re being hard on our little red cups today, don’t think you can’t treat yo’ self in the holidays. (I do at least three times a week, if that somehow helps.)

Caramel Brulé Latté

When you hear Caramel Brulé Latté, think caramel macchiato with a dash of gingerbread undertones. If you’re not well read (or should I say well fed) in Starbucks beverages, this is a drink of unabashed creaminess, infused with caramel joy. The whipped cream, sprinkled with caramel rocks, perfects this drink into a thing of perfection.

At 430 calories, we would consider this one troublesome, but once that red cup is heartily consumed, you’ve just taken in 35 per cent of your daily saturated fat intake. Or if you so desire to visualize this, first fill your cup with four tablespoons of sugar.

Peppermint Mocha

The Peppermint Mocha holds true to the colour scheme of the holidays. I imagine red and white swirlings of peppermint dancing around in a blend of espresso and chocolate. With a dollop of sweetened whipped cream and dark chocolate curls sitting on top, it can be hard to resist this little elf of a drink.

But this drink is quite the sneaky devil. Twenty calories less than the caramel brulé latte (sitting at 410 calories), but a whopping 45 per cent of your daily intake of saturated fat says goodbye after you’ve finished this one off. I’m prepping a bag of coal for Santa.

Eggnog Latté

Although not a unanimous holiday favourite, the Eggnog Latté has a distinct power over a number of friends. Eggnog is one of those flavours you either hate or love, it seems. I’ve never dabbled in an eggnog latté, mostly because it’s generally served cold in my family, but a sprinkling of nutmeg over top of steamed milk, and that touch of eggnog, sounds like something I should treat myself with.

Too bad this drink is going to jail for tricking us into thinking it’s nothing more than an innocent indulgence. I’d even venture out to say criminal, but then I’d be a partner in crime as soon as I try it. It’s charged with 60 per cent saturated fat intake, nearly half of the recommended carbohydrate intake, and sits jollily at 460 calories.

These rebellious drinks can certainly be made nice in no time. Just ask for the rather pretentiously coined “skinny” option, which includes non-fat milk and sugarless syrups, or make a compromise and order whatever drinks you like without the whipped cream. Of course, that sounds nearly criminal to forgo the whipped cream, doesn’t it? As a self-prescribed Starbucks addict, I tend to ask for a drink with non-fat milk, but please leave the whipped cream on. It’s called treating yo’ self for a reason.


Nicer options!

  1. Tall, skinny caramel macchiato
  2. Tall, non-fat peppermint mocha
  3. Tall, non-fat gingerbread latte, hold the whip


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