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New Drinks: McDonald's McCafé Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate

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[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

McDonald's recently introduced two seasonal treats in branches nationwide: McCafé Peppermint Mocha and Peppermint Hot Chocolate. They're available now through January 2, 2012, just in time to wash down your pies and tins full of Christmas cookies.

Though the McCafé is calling these drinks 'decadent' they're pretty much standard-issue super sweet hot cocoa (with a little McDonald's coffee in the mocha version.) If you like your Swiss Miss with an added teaspoon of sugar, and you drown your coffee in cream, these will go down easy, but this isn't fancy dark cocoa or complex, bitter espresso. ("This is coffee a kid could drink," commented one taster at SEHQ, while another found the mint flavor a bit reminiscent of toothpaste.) If you're sensitive to a powdered milk flavor or you like your hot drinks less sweet, these aren't the cocoas for you.

Still, the Peppermint Mocha (which is a little less tooth-achingly sugary) awakened a little nostalgia for some of us—particularly those of us who used to spike a thermos full of powdered hot cocoa with dining hall coffee and a shot of peppermint schnapps for freezing winter evenings in college. Bring on the Christmas carols and the snowball fights.

About the Author: Maggie Hoffman is the editor of Serious Eats: Drinks and coeditor of Serious Eats: Sweets. You can follow her on Twitter @maggiejane.

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