12 Of The Best Fast Food Holiday Drinks Of 2022

The holiday season brings with it a number of beloved traditions, including time spent with family, dazzling light displays, and savory food items. For those of us who need a morning cup of coffee before we can start our day, the holiday season has an entirely different significance, due to the return of the ever-growing list of festive beverages across multiple chains and fast food restaurants.

Holiday coffee drinks have become a bit of a cultural phenomenon in recent years, with the industry-leading chain Starbucks launching their fan-favorite Red Cups each November. Whether Starbucks is leading the frenzy or not, multiple chains have come out with their own unique holiday beverages to celebrate the arrival of the season, which can leave the most casual consumer overwhelmed with choices.

Whether you are looking for a new beverage to try or you simply want to know what is out there, we have rounded up some of the best holiday coffee drinks from this year, including new additions as well as tried-and-true classics.

1. Cookie Butter Cold Brew (Dunkin')

Dunkin' Donuts has made a big comeback in the world of craft beverages, debuting new holiday drinks in recent years like the Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte in 2021. In 2022, Dunkin' turned to its selection of cold brew coffees to add a new menu item: the Cookie Butter Cold Brew. If you ever wanted to drink your favorite holiday cookie, Dunkin' has got you covered. The new cold brew was launched alongside a pairing cookie butter donut (via People).

As you might imagine, this cold brew sits on the sweeter side of the flavor scale, but one Redditor added that the Cookie Butter Cold Brew is officially their top choice when visiting Dunkin' this holiday season. Another commenter suggested that it should be a regular menu item 365 days a year. Another Redditor specifically pointed out that they were a big fan of the cookie butter cold foam that comes on top of the drink (a great way to try out the new flavor without committing to the full cold brew). Dunkin' certainly wants to be a formidable contender when it comes to the holiday coffee market, and for many, the Cookie Butter Cold Brew is a solid win.

2. Sugar N Spice Oat Milk Latte (Dutch Bros)

While Dunkin' Donuts has thousands of locations and is much easier to find nationwide compared to competing donut and coffee chains, it is not the only place to try a seasonal holiday coffee drink. If you happen to live near a Dutch Bros, you may be familiar with their new Sugar N Spice Oat Milk Latte. According to Brand Eating, the dairy-free beverage debuted in 2022 along with an energy drink called the Holly Jolly Rebel as well as the Sweater Weather Chai, which rolled out in September.

The Sugar N Spice Oat Milk Latte comes served with cinnamon sprinkles (per Dutch Bros' website), adding an extra dash of flavor with every sip. Brand Eating also points out that the drink, which can come hot or iced, also includes cardamom and brown sugar flavors. Definitely expect it to be a sweet treat this holiday season.

3. Peppermint Mocha (Starbucks)

Coffee shops around the world bring the heat each fall and winter with new limited-time menu items to compete with what is arguably the reigning champion of seasonal drinks, Starbucks. While there are many new drinks to consider ordering, you cannot go wrong with tried-and-true classics like the Peppermint Mocha. It was ranked as the top holiday drink at Starbucks by Mashed, and many fans seem to be in agreement. The drink has been a holiday menu staple for two decades, per Starbucks' website. They certainly do not fix what is not broken, and you can expect to find this drink year after year.

In fact, the drink is so popular that the Peppermint Mocha was also one of two holiday beverages to get a special twist at the Starbucks Reserve locations. If you are as obsessed with the Peppermint Mocha as its countless adoring fans are, do not forget you can order the drink year-round. As one Redditor points out, you won't get the seasonal chocolate shavings on top, but you can at least close your eyes and pretend you are right in the middle of the holiday season no matter what month of the year it actually is. You can simply order a Peppermint Mocha by name, as it appears on the regular menu.

4. Iced Crafted Press with Egg Nog Cold Foam (Caribou Coffee)

You are most likely to come across Caribou Coffee if you live in the Midwestern United States (via Caribou Coffee's website), but its fewer locations does not mean that it cannot pack a punch when it comes to holiday drinks. It launched its 2022 holiday menu around the same time as Starbucks (via QSR Magazine), and the lineup includes a mix of returning and new offerings. Making its debut on the 2022 menu was Egg Nog Cold Foam, which customers could order alongside any drink, including the Iced Crafted Press.

Perhaps something as scintillating as Egg Nog Cold Foam is exactly what Caribou Coffee needs to put itself in the forefront of everyone's minds, as several Redditors shared in reaction to the 2022 menu announcement. Those who live nowhere near Caribou Coffee suddenly wished they had one in their neighborhood. All of a sudden, your regular cup of coffee can be elevated to holiday bliss by simply adding the foam on top, removing the need to order an entirely different drink on your morning trip to the coffee shop.

5. Toasted White Chocolate Mocha (Starbucks)

Starbucks knows how to make a statement each holiday season, with its highly anticipated Red Cups causing a social media frenzy each November. Along with the Red Cups, Starbucks rolls out its famous holiday menu every year, with fan favorites experiencing a bit of a homecoming moment and new drinks bursting onto the scene. With so many options, it can be hard to choose which holiday drink to try next, but according to Tasting Table, the top choice is the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha.

The Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, reports Tasting Table, is a great option if you are not a big coffee drinker but want to enjoy the holiday beverages Starbucks has to offer, as the espresso flavor itself is minimal. The toasted element of the drink is an instant flavor booster, according to one Redditor, who claims that the holiday version is superior to the regular White Chocolate Mocha.

6. Macadamia White Chocolate Latte (The Coffee Bean)

Like its competitors, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf also gets in on the holiday drink action each year, and 2022 was no different. The coffee chain debuted a new drink called the Macadamia White Chocolate Latte, which can be ordered hot, iced, or blended (via The Coffee Beans' website). This drink debuted in 2022 alongside the Peppermint Mocha Cream Cold Brew (via PR Newswire). Other holiday menu items returned to The Coffee Bean as well, including its Peppermint Hot Cocoa and the Cookie Butter Latte, along with a new food item, the Homestyle Grilled Cheese (via PR Newswire).

How does the drink measure up? One TikTok user tried the drink on a recent trip to their local Coffee Bean and, as a fan of white chocolate, enjoyed it. In fact, she went as far as to say that the drink tasted "like Christmas," which is high praise for a holiday-themed beverage. So, there is definitely an audience for this drink if you are a fan of macadamia and white chocolate flavors.

7. Caramel Waffle Latte (McDonald's)

For this next top-notch holiday beverage for 2022, we have to hop across the pond and head to the United Kingdom, where the fast food mega-chain McDonald's launched a new holiday beverage for a (very) limited market. Perhaps as an experiment to see if it would be a success worldwide, the Caramel Waffle Latte is only available to a select number of customers. According to Yahoo News UK, the drink appears to have debuted to go head-to-head against Starbucks' Caramel Waffle Latte, another United Kingdom-based menu item missing from the United States.

Onlookers from other countries can only watch in envy as United Kingdom-based customers enjoy their Caramel Waffle Lattes at McDonald's, with one Redditor wishing that they could get their hands on one to try it for themselves. Perhaps one day this festive coffee beverage will make its way to the States; until then, we will have to come up with copycat recipes. Over in the United States, those looking for holiday cheer can order the McDonald's Holiday Pie, and in Canada you can try its Candy Cane Fudge McFlurry.

8. Strawberry & Velvet Brownie Let's Be A Santa Frappuccino (Starbucks)

The United Kingdom is not the only country with holiday coffee drinks unavailable in the U.S. Over in Japan, Starbucks released a small assortment of seasonal beverages you will not be able to find on any American street corner. The coffee giant combined strawberry with brownie flavors to create its Strawberry & Velvet Brownie beverages this holiday season, exclusive to Japan (via Starbucks' website). The flavor combo is available in two drinks: the Strawberry & Velvet Brownie Mocha, and the Strawberry & Velvet Brownie Frappuccino, dubbed the "Let's Be a Santa" Frappuccino (via Entabe). The frappuccino is a bright red concoction that includes an entire brownie, making for a truly sweet treat this season.

The "Let's Be a Santa" moniker comes from Starbucks' partnership with the local Japanese nonprofit Musubie, where proceeds from the sale of the holiday drinks will directly benefit cafeterias that serve marginalized families (via Starbucks' website). If you want to recreate this drink in the United States (or at least order something similar), you can try the Strawberry Crème Frappuccino, or you can try ordering the OMG! Brownie Frappuccino off the secret menu (via Starbucks Secret Menu), or the secret menu Santa Claus Frappuccino that combines its Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with strawberry puree (via Bustle).

9. Gingerbread Oat Latte (Tim Hortons)

Canadian coffee lovers are likely well familiar with Tim Hortons, and some of the locations have even made their way to the United States over the years (via Tim Hortons' website). Like the other coffee shops we have discussed so far, Tim Hortons is no stranger to pulling out all of the stops when it comes to the holiday season. A quick peek at the TIm Hortons website will show holiday favorites like its Holiday Tree Donut and Peppermint Hot Chocolate. But in order to stay competitive, new menu items have to make an appearance too from time to time, and Tim Hortons' addition in 2022 included the Gingerbread Oat Latte. But how does this dairy-free beverage compare with all of the other festive drink options out there?

Narcity even put the Gingerbread Oat Latte head-to-head with the fan-favorite holiday menu from Starbucks, and the beverage impressed its writer, who noted that the flavors blended well together and was one of the better new releases from Tim Hortons. One TikTok user also worked their way through the Tim Hortons holiday menu and noted that the Gingerbread Oat Latte seemed to be as good as anything they would order from Starbucks.

10. Chestnut Praline Latte (Starbucks)

Starbucks has dominated the holiday drink market for many years, thanks in large part to its fan-favorite Red Cups. But what keeps customers coming back year after year are the tried-and-true favorites that stick around, leaving devotees counting down the days until the holiday menu returns. Of all of the holiday drinks Starbucks has released over the years, the old guard includes classics like the Peppermint Mocha and the Chestnut Praline Latte.

While there are fans of other classics like the Caramel Brulee Latte, what fans love about the Chestnut Praline Latte is that it does not tread too far on the sweet side of the scale. Mashed pointed out that the Chestnut Praline beverage offers a more pronounced holiday flavor other than just "sugar," making it a standout option on Starbucks' menu. If you yourself have yet to try the Chestnut Praline Latte, one Redditor suggests ordering it hot instead of iced, with many commenters chiming in and echoing the sentiment that the Chestnut Praline Latte is not too sweet and oh-so tasty.

11. Gingersnap Milkshake (IHOP)

If you have a few extra minutes to spare this holiday season, skip the drive-thru coffee chains and head to your local IHOP for this next festive beverage. The International House of Pancakes fittingly pairs their signature flapjacks with delicious milkshakes, offering both classic flavors and seasonal varieties. For the holiday season in 2022, IHOP introduced its Gingersnap Milkshake. According to IHOP's website, this shake doubles down on the gingersnap and finishes everything off with a caramel drizzle. In fact, IHOP truly committed to the gingersnap theme this holiday season, with new menu items including the milkshake as well as Gingersnap Apple Thick N'Fluffy French Toast and Gingersnap Hot Chocolate.

If you are a fan of gingersnap and are intrigued by the new seasonal milkshake, fear not. The frozen beverage is sure to please and not overload you with sweetness, as one may think (via Fansided). The reviewer also noted that the gingersnap cookies that are blended in the milkshake provide a nice balance in texture. While coffee lovers may miss the jolt of espresso when ordering a milkshake, you can always ask for a shot on the side.

12. Peppermint Frosty (Wendy's)

Depending on how committed you are, a Frosty from Wendy's may or may not be considered a beverage. After all, the consistency is awfully close to soft-serve ice cream, making drinking out of a straw a considerable task. But you might be up to the challenge in 2022, as Wendy's launched its first new Frosty flavor since strawberry launched in the summer (via USA Today): peppermint.

This is the first time Wendy's has given its signature frozen treat a holiday twist, according to CNN. Wendy's began serving the peppermint flavor in place of its classic vanilla flavor, which has been unavailable since strawberry rolled out earlier in the year. The decision to step into holiday season territory seems to be paying off, as one Redditor noted that the minty flavor is just the right amount, and it is not overly sweet. One commenter pointed out that their local Wendy's seems to run out of the flavor quickly, making this a popular menu addition that could potentially return next holiday season.