With all the buzz the Pumpkin Spice Latte is getting these days, it’s easy to forget that it’s not the only seasonal drink on the menu this fall. If you take a look you’ll see there’s two other drinks being quietly advertised right now — the Salted Caramel Mocha and the Chocolate Chai. A review of the Chocolate Chai will have to wait until some morning when I can allow myself that caffeine (it can’t be ordered decaf), but here’s the rundown on the Salted Caramel Mocha.
The SCM is espresso, milk, chocolate, and toffee nut syrup, topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and a mix of sugar and salt. It’s a sugary comfort drink with a nice mix of flavors. Unlike most Starbucks mochas, it’s pretty sweet thanks to all the other stuff that’s added. You can, of course, order it with less sweet stuff, but why? I order most drinks with half sweetener, but the only change I usually make to SCMs is to leave off the whipped cream. If you like chocolate and caramel, this drink is for you.
It’s also pretty versatile. Since it’s an espresso drink, it can be ordered decaf, made with nonfat or soy milk, etc. You can leave out the espresso, making it a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. You can get it on the rocks (iced), you can get it in Frappuccino form, you can even add other flavors to it if you want (try a pump or two of gingerbread once that’s back in stock).
Like any drink with caramel sauce, I recommend you stir it thoroughly before drinking. The caramel doesn’t dissolve well in milk, so if you want to get that delicious flavor well-integrated into your drink you’ll need to give it a little help.
It’s worth noting that you can get a caramel mocha any time of the year — the chocolate syrup and caramel sauce are always available. I don’t recall if the toffee nut syrup is, but the most seasonal part of this drink is the salt/sugar mix that goes on the top. That is only shipped during the early fall, and once your local Starbucks is out of that they won’t get any more till next year.