Have a holly jolly beverage: Seasonal beverages to ring in the chilly seasons

By Liv Barry
Elm Staff Writer

As the holiday season is ramping up, beverage companies are scrambling to restock their seasonal items on shelves and behind counters.

While it might be overwhelming to choose between so many variations of cinnamon, cranberry, and peppermint, fear not. Here is a guide to some of the best seasonal drinks sold in stores.

Sprite Cranberry

Over the past few years, Sprite Cranberry has come to be one of the most infamous seasonal items available during the winter season.

The mix of beloved soda, seasonal appeal, and catchy jingle sung by basketball star Lebron James helped launch Sprite Cranberry into holiday beverage stardom.

Despite what its cult following would lead you to believe, Sprite Cranberry is only the tip of the holiday beverage iceberg.

The soda is still enjoyable, but there are plenty of other sodas more worthy of the holiday beverage throne.

Cranberry Ginger Ale

If you’re not a fan of Sprite Cranberry, then Canada Dry’s cranberry ginger ale is a worthy contender in the holiday beverage contest.

The once-a-year drink is more well-suited to those with a sweet tooth, though.

 The cranberry ginger ale’s flavor is reminiscent of hard candies that are handed out by grandparents around the Christmas season, so the experience of drinking Canada Dry’s cranberry ginger ale is both enjoyable and nostalgic.

Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Chip Milkshake

Chick-Fil-A’s peppermint chip milkshake is a coveted seasonal food item for devoted fans of the fast food chain, but when you pull the curtain back on its ingredients, you’ll find that the drink is ultimately the same as every other fast food chain’s peppermint milkshake.

To achieve the same seasonal joy that the milkshake brings to its fans and to save yourself the almost $5 drink, you can simply make it yourself at home with a few easy ingredients.

 Just mix together peppermint ice cream, vanilla ice cream, whole milk, some chocolate chips, and a few candy canes and you have multiple servings of your own peppermint chip milkshake.

Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice

For those who despise the expedited holiday season and want to cling to the sweet spot between Halloween and Christmastime, Starbucks’ Caramel Apple Spice is the perfect option.

It’s also a great choice for anyone looking for a sweet, non-caffeinated holiday option at Starbucks.

The drink is essentially just apple juice that’s been steamed and sweetened by a mixture of cinnamon and caramel. While it’s not the most festive choice, the Caramel Apple Spice is sure to keep you warm from November and December’s chill.

IKEA’s Vintersaga

The best seasonal drink is one that is especially difficult to come by: Ikea’s Vintersaga, the store’s take on julmust, the traditional Swedish holiday beverage.

However, for those who are picky with their seasonal beverages, beware; Vintersaga is a bit of an acquired taste.

While the drink is non-alcoholic, some of its main ingredients are hops and barley, giving it a beer-like taste.

The drink also has some fruity undertones beneath its initial flavor.

Since there are only a handful of IKEA stores across the United States, the drink is unfortunately inaccessible to many seasonal food enthusiasts. The chase is part of what makes Vintersaga so good, though. Vintersaga’s obscure taste and inaccessibility make it the ultimate Christmastime treasure.

Photo Courtesy of Flickr
Featured Photo Caption: Holiday flavored drinks emerge every year in the post-Halloween weeks. Figuring out which ones are holiday classics and which ones are duds is a daunting task.

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