Caruba: Peppermint mocha key to holiday spirit

Lauren Caruba, Assistant Campus Editor

Last month, as the weather turned brisker and the first of November approached, I anxiously awaited for the Starbucks cups to turn red in anticipation of my favorite seasonal drink.

Everyone has a preference when it comes to holiday coffee beverages. Some like a little eggnog with their coffee, while a hint of gingerbread or caramel brulee does the trick for others.

But for me, it’s the peppermint mocha that really gets me in the holiday spirit.

As an admitted caffeine addict, obviously I’m already overly attached to espresso. However, when it is united with the flavor of a York Peppermint Pattie, this holiday beverage is taken to an entirely new level.

To put my love of this drink in perspective, on my birthday, I had peppermint mocha three — yes, three — times. One was free from Starbucks, one a friend bought for me and one I just bought myself because, hey, it was my birthday. No shame and no regrets, especially where this particular drink is concerned.

An excellent combination of chocolate, coffee and peppermint, the drink makes for the perfect holiday treat. The rich chocolate, already a natural complement to the bold flavor of espresso, is only enhanced by the cool addition of peppermint.

Peppermint mocha is delicious, and not only as a hot beverage. This versatile flavoring is also delicious when served over ice, or even blended into a Frappuccino for a thicker and creamier peppermint mocha experience.

To my delight, peppermint mocha is moving beyond the coffee shop just as pumpkin spice did earlier this holiday season. Everywhere I turn, I encounter some variation of my favorite holiday drink — Starbucks VIA Peppermint Mocha, peppermint mocha coffee creamers and even peppermint mocha Keurig K-cups.

And Starbucks isn’t the only coffee chain serving up this magnificent variation of mocha. Dunkin’ Donuts also has its own version of peppermint mocha, as do Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Panera Bread and McDonald’s. With so many establishments offering this drink, it’s clear I’m not the only one who can’t get enough of it. Nothing says the holidays like the taste of candy cane in your coffee.