Yet Again, Starbucks Has Better Holiday Drinks Outside The U.S.

Starbucks' international holiday lattes are always better than the ones we get.

Man, American restaurant chains always seem to get way more creative once they expand beyond our borders. Take Domino's, for example, which has some pretty incredible topping combinations seemingly everywhere but here. Or how about Pizza Hut's snake-topped pizza (no, really) in Hong Kong? Or Burger King's "Cheese Burger" in Thailand? Or the McSpicy Paneer from McDonald's India? It's just not fair. And Starbucks continues the onslaught with a bunch of seasonal lattes overseas that sound better than the holiday drinks we get.

This year, international Starbucks locations are showcasing some pretty fun holiday drinks—just like last year. As if we needed any more reason to travel.

Starbucks holiday drinks around the world

In a recent blog entry, Starbucks detailed some of the drinks being served up around the world this holiday season. China's seasonal drink, the Apple Joy Latte, blends fruit pie flavors with caramel, and is topped with bits of real diced apple.


Then there's the Caramel Waffle Latte available in various markets in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It's inspired by Dutch stroopwafel, thin wafer cookies filled with caramel. I can attest to the fact that they're awesome—so why can't we drink them here yet?

Starbucks customers in Latin America and the Caribbean can sip on a Red Velvet Latte this season, which is exactly the deep red color you're imagining. The drink features red velvet syrup along with a cap of whipped cream and a sprinkling of red velvet topping. (These markets also get the Toffee Nut Latte, along with Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.)

Speaking of red, Japan's holiday drink is strawberry flavored (pictured up top). Dubbed the Strawberry Merry Cream Blended Cream Frappuccino (yes, two "creams" in there), this frozen beverage is made with sweet and sour strawberry pulp and a mascarpone-based whipped cream. Alternatively, customers can opt for the Strawberry Merry Cream Tea Latte, made with Earl Grey instead of coffee.


The Asia Pacific market will see the debut of the Chestnut Mont Blanc Oatmilk Latte this year, which is inspired by a French dessert called the Mont Blanc. The dessert itself is a sweetened chestnut puree topped with whipped cream, which the drink imitates with chestnut syrup, chestnut whipped cream, and a sweet chestnut drizzle—plus a chestnut-shaped chocolate resting on top.

Hazelnut seems to be making a comeback this year, too, with drinks such as a Hazelnut Crunch Hot Chocolate sold only in Europe and the Hazelnut Caramel Latte on the menu in Latin America and the Caribbean. Personally, I think I'd go for the Japanese Strawberry Merry Cream Blended Cream Frappuccino or the Chinese Apple Joy Latte. But since I live in the United States, I can really only decide whether I want the new Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai hot or iced.

How about you? Do any of these international Starbucks flavors ring your sleigh bells?