We Tried Dutch Bros' New Holiday Drinks

What's that sound you hear in the distance — is it Santa's reindeer working on a warm-up run? No, it's the massive traffic jam in the drive-thru of your nearest Dutch Bros because the chain just dropped its holiday drink lineup (and special holiday cup designs) for 2022 (via QSR).

Dutch Bros can get a little wild (and a lot sweet) with its special drinks, and the holiday lineup is no exception. And while your insulin levels might not appreciate these drinks, the chain's holiday beverages will definitely put you in the winter spirit with ingredients like sprinkles, holiday spices, and hazelnut syrup. But are these festive creations worth the sugar crash? We'll delve into all the details of the new Holly Jolly Rebel, Hazelnut Truffle Mocha, and Sugar N Spice Oat Milk Latte. We also sampled two of the beverages ourselves so we can give you the inside scoop on how they actually taste.

What's in the new Dutch Bros holiday drinks?

The non-coffee entry in the Dutch Bros 2022 holiday menu is the Holly Jolly Rebel, a bright-red mixture of pomegranate and vanilla energy drinks capped with a creamy layer of Soft Top and a festive dash of green sprinkles. Although the website mentions only a blended variety of this drink, we confirmed in person that you can also order it over ice.

If you're in the mood for something a little chocolaty, Dutch Bros brings the hot-cocoa vibes with its Hazelnut Truffle Mocha. This candy-like confection is made with hazelnut syrup and gets a swirl of caramel on top. According to QSR, the base of the drink is chocolate milk. There's also apparently espresso in it, though the coffee flavor has to compete with a lot of sugar. You can get this hot, iced, or as a blended Freeze (which is somewhat similar to a Starbucks Frappuccino). The Hazelnut Truffle Mocha comes with Soft Top as well.

Finally, there's the Sugar N Spice Oat Milk Latte. This drink combines espresso, oat milk, and a winter spice blend that includes cardamom, cinnamon, and brown sugar. There's no Soft Top on this one, but it does get dusted with cinnamon-flavored sprinkles.

How much do they cost, and how long will they be available?

Dutch Bros does not post prices on its website. We paid $11.23, including tax, for a small Hazelnut Truffle Mocha and Holly Jolly Rebel, which works out to a little over $5.50 per drink. That feels about par for the course for fancy specialty drinks from a cafe these days, but it's more than we usually like to spend on coffee. Prices may vary depending on where you live.

Per QSR, the holiday drink lineup debuted at the beginning of November and will be available until the end of the year. Dutch Bros released its 2022 holiday cup designs at the same time as its holiday drinks, and you'll be able to get those until the end of December, too. That is unless you live on the East Coast: Though Dutch Bros has hundreds of locations in the U.S., the chain has yet to expand to the Northeast, Southeast, or Upper Midwest.

How do these drinks compare to other items from Dutch Bros?

The three new holiday drinks join another wintery beverage that the chain began selling in September: the Sweater Weather Chai (via Chew Boom). This drink includes white chocolate, Soft Top, and spiced sprinkles. With its spicy flavor profile and chocolaty kick, it combines aspects of the Sugar N Spice Oat Milk Latte and the Hazelnut Truffle Mocha. However, the Sweater Weather Chai has a more special ingredient than either of those other drinks: white coffee. This little-seen coffee variety is roasted much lighter than conventional coffee. The unique roasting process lends the drink a nutty flavor and leaves more caffeine in the beans.

The Holly Jolly Rebel joins Dutch Bros' formidable lineup of Rebel energy drinks that come in a rainbow of wild flavor combinations. The new holiday drink sets itself apart with its creamy topping and crunchy sprinkles, though we bet you could add those to the Rebel flavor of your choice if you asked.

None of the holiday drinks strays too far from what you could typically order at Dutch Bros. Rather, the drinks combine standard ingredients in novel ways that aren't on the year-round menu while adding a few touches, like sprinkles or seasonal spice mixes, to make them feel special for the holidays.

Dutch Bros holiday drink nutrition facts

This might be stating the obvious, but the nutrition facts for the Dutch Bros holiday drinks vary widely depending on what size you order. One thing remains true no matter what: These things are sugar bombs.

A small Holly Jolly Rebel comes in at 360 calories, 8 grams of fat (there's not usually fat in energy drinks, so we'd guess that's from the Soft Top), and 70 grams of sugar. A large bumps those figures up to 670 calories, 8 grams of fat, and 147 grams of sugar. Given that the FDA-recommended daily value for added sugar on a 2,000-calorie diet is 50 grams a day, the amount of sugar in this drink is a little bit concerning.

The nutrition facts for the Hazelnut Truffle Mocha are pretty similar, except there's slightly less sugar and significantly more fat. The small size of this drink delivers 440 calories, 17 grams of fat, and 58 grams of sugar. If you get it as a Freeze, those numbers increase to 560 calories, 19 grams of fat, and 77 grams of sugar for the small size.

The nutritional profiles of these drinks mean they probably shouldn't be consumed every day, but what are the holidays about if not indulgence? Sometimes all you want is a liquid candy bar masquerading as coffee.

Holly Jolly Rebel review

When we tried the Blended Orangesicle Rebel from Dutch Bros earlier this year, we weren't overly impressed with the combination of energy drink and creamy Soft Top. We felt the holiday Rebel made the combo work a little bit better. The thick Soft Top tasted like cream and vanilla, and its flavor paired well with the vanilla that was in the energy drink itself.

The blend of vanilla and fruit flavors in the energy drink also tasted good together. It reminded us of a fruity cream soda. We didn't pick up much actual pomegranate taste. Instead, it just tasted like generic red fruit, but we didn't mind that. Too much assertive pomegranate might have come across as weird with everything else going on in the drink.

Our favorite aspect of the Holly Jolly Rebel was actually the sprinkles on top. The Soft Top protected them from dissolving, so they stayed crunchy as we sipped the drink. Something about the sprinkles reminded us of Christmas cookies in a way that just screamed holiday cheer. If you want something from Dutch Bros but aren't feeling in a coffee mood, this is a solid option.

Hazelnut Truffle Mocha review

This drink is thick. It might even warrant being called thicc. It is comparable to the fancy European hot chocolate that's so rich you can stand a spoon up in it. If you know what you're getting into and aren't bothered by the thought of drinking a liquified dessert, we'd recommend this.

Hazelnut-flavored coffee can sometimes taste overly artificial, but that isn't a problem here. The hazelnut-chocolate combo gives this drink a real Nutella vibe that we enjoyed immensely. We also picked up some vanilla notes and some toastiness from the caramel syrup. It was more hot cocoa than coffee — we had to check online to ascertain that this actually had espresso in it because we couldn't taste it at all.

If we had one gripe about this drink, it was that the hot milk melted the Soft Top before we could even take our first sip. That wouldn't be a problem if you ordered it iced or frozen — in cold drinks, we've found that Soft Top stays intact for an impressively long time. Either way, the Hazelnut Truffle Mocha is a delicious way to get a sugar rush on a cold day.