We’ve been looking forward to the Candied Pistachio and the Christmas Raspberry Mocha Frappucinos.

Nothing brings Christmas cheer quite like a sugary, seasonal drink decked out in red, white, and green. That’s why we love Starbucks Japan’s special holiday menu, which always seems to feature the best holiday flavors.

This year, Starbucks Japan is offering an advent calendar of holiday flavors, releasing a pair of limited edition holiday-inspired drinks every couple of weeks, in addition to their usual Christmas blend coffee. The first round was released on November 1 with the Raspberry White Mocha, which comes in a hot and cold form in addition to a Frappucino, and the classic Gingerbread Latte. These flavors are still available, and won’t be taken off of the menu until December 17.

The second round, newly available since November 22, are the Candied Pistachio and the Christmas Raspberry Mocha, both of which, like their predecessor, come hot or iced, or as a Frappucino. We volunteered to try out the Frappucinos, just to make sure they were safe and approved for public consumption. Because we’re nice like that.

  • The Candied Pistachio Frappucino

With its green color, and topped with bright white whipped cream and red and green crumbles, this drink reminds us of the Grinch in a Christmas hat. The green and red crumbles are actually bits of pistachio and raspberry cookies. The colors are so festive and Christmas-y that you can just hear Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” (if you’re not already humming the Mr. Grinch song).

Those crumbles also add a nice texture to the drink. While a lot of Starbucks Frappucinos are smooth and creamy, this one is like eating a bowl of cookies and ice cream through a straw. When you take that first swig, a pleasant pistachio flavor fills your mouth, and then the crunch of the raspberry cookies will hit and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

And that’s to say nothing of the flavor. This drink has a full pistachio flavor perfectly balanced with a light sweetness. Unlike other kinds of sweet drinks which may be too much to drink all at once, this one is easy to finish in its entirety. The hot version, by the way, has a much sweeter taste and a stronger pistachio flavor, so those with a sweet tooth might prefer that one.

  • The Christmas Raspberry Mocha Frappucino

Now I know what you’re thinking. Where’s the Christmas cheer on this one? Sure it’s got a little bit of red powder on top, but it’s otherwise brown and boring. We thought the same thing and almost didn’t want to try it, but we have a mission to inform the public, so we went ahead and ordered it.

▼ Our brave Japanese-language reporter Meg with drink in question.

You know what they say: never judge a book by its cover! This Frappucino is well worth trying. It’s a chocolate base with a sweet-and-sour raspberry jelly mixed in (with plenty waiting for you at the bottom of the cup), topped with chocolate whipped cream and sprinkled with a raspberry powder.

Combine the richness of the chocolate with the tartness of the raspberries, and then the bitterness of a coffee Frappucino, and you have a heavenly holiday flavor concoction.

By the way, that raspberry powder on top is combined with a gold powder to give it a tiny bit of extra sparkle. Though it’s a little hard to see, we can still appreciate the effort.

All in all, drinking it was like indulging in an expensive bar of imported chocolate. Picture layers of dark chocolate drizzled with raspberry sauce. We’re telling you, don’t skip this one just because it’s plain.

Both flavors are available at stores across Japan until Christmas Day. The Candied Pistachio ranges from 430 to 550 yen (US$3.86 to $4.93) depending on the size, and the Frappucino comes only in tall size and is 570 yen ($5.11). The White Chocolate Mocha ranges from 440 to 460 yen ($3.95 to $5), while the tall Frappucino is 580 yen ($5.20).

We’re wondering if Starbucks Japan will have any more new holiday-themed drinks before the end of the year. Will they re-release the Baked Apple Frappuccino or Banana Cocoa from last year? We can only hope!

Images: ©SoraNews24
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