Christmas Drinks Guide

4th November 2019
Blog post

I was stood in Costa today, wanting to participate in the festive hot chocolate drinking…. black forest, gingerbread, irish velvet. Yum!! But to be completely honest, I couldn’t be bothered to ask for the allergen book so I just went for my usual.

THAT SHOULDN’T BE THE CASE!! Hopefully this guide will prevent that happening to you too!!

**Please note – to my knowledge, everything is gluten free & there are no may contains. I have also included dairy free options, and may contains where they have been provided. As always, please double check in store just incase something is different**


Festive Drinks

The following drinks are gluten free (you don’t have to make any adaptations unless stated otherwise here). They can also be made dairy free if ordered with no cream & dairy free milk.

  • Winter Blend Character Roast Espresso
  • Spiced Cappuccino
  • Black Forest Hot Choc – the “red sparkle choc curls” they sprinkle on top are gluten & dairy free (and amazing).
  • Irish Velvet Cappuccino, Hot Choc & Latte – just ask for no chocolate star if you need dairy free
  • Gingerbread Latte & Hot Choc – just ask for no gingerbread man to make it gluten & dairy free.
  • Hazelnut Praline Hot Choc & Latte – just ask for no toffee/wafer sprinkles ontop to make it gluten & dairy free. Also remove the choc sauce for dairy free.
  • Spiced Apple (a warm apple drink topped with a lemon slice)

Hot Chocolate Options

Costa’s regular hot chocolate is gluten free but states “may contain dairy”. The following drinks are gluten free but contains dairy, regardless of what milk you pick:

  • White Hot Choc
  • Luxury Hot Choc (and the caramel version)

Festive Extras

Thought it would be useful to also include a list of “extras” you can use to make your regular Costa order, your own 😉

Gluten & Dairy Free

  • All of their syrups are gluten, dairy free. Christmassy ones include: Gingerbread, Cinnamon Caramelised Orange, Bonfire
  • Sauces: Irish Coffee, Black Cherry
  • Extras: Red Shimmer Chocolate Curls, Gold Glitter Spray, Marshmellows, Strawberry Sprinkle, Orange Peel

Gluten Free but contains Dairy:

  • Gold white chocolate star
  • Chocolate flake
  • Sauces: Belgian Chocolate, White Chocolate, Salted Caramel

Also, please note the regular cappuccino chocolate dusting states “may contain dairy”. The spiced version is completely dairy free.


**Comes out on Tues 5th Nov**

Until then, the Hot Chocolates are safe. Just need to swap the milk if you’d like dairy free.

Caffe Nero

You haven’t got many festive choices at the mo but the hot chocolate is gluten free. It can be made dairy free by changing the milk & asking for no chocolate sprinkles.

The marshmellows and syrups are gluten & dairy free.

Hot Chocolate Milano (richer version of hot choc) is gluten free but can’t be made with alternative milk so cant be dairy free.



Their oat milk IS NOT gluten free. This means that unless they thoroughly clean the steamers etc between customers, you’re at risk of cross contamination. Some stores are helpful and will clean the machine thoroughly… but some don’t seem to even understand what gluten is so I avoid Starbucks. Here’s Coeliac UKs comments on the issue.

The following info is for gluten intolerant people.

Festive Drinks

To create the following festive flavours, Starbucks add a flavoured syrup, flavoured cream & sprinkles to any regular drink (hot choc, cappucino, latte, frapps etc):

  1. Toasted Marshmellow
  2. Toffee Nut
  3. Gingerbread
  4. Pumpkin Spiced

All of the syrups and creams are gluten free but NONE of the sprinkles are. So:

  • Gluten-freers can order any christmas drink by just asking them to leave off the sprinkles.
  • Gluten & Dairy-freers can order any christmas drink by changing the milk and taking away the cream & sprinkles.

Hot Chocolate Options

  • The “Classic” hot choc is gluten free and can be made dairy free by adding any kind of milk.
  • The “White” & “Signature” hot chocolates are gluten free but cannot be made dairy free, regardless of the milk used

All of the info has come from allergy guides on each stores website & by asking staff members in various stores. Please check for yourself too!

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