My Favorite Low Carb Winter Starbucks Drinks – 2018 Edition

Although winter doesn’t officially kick off for another week and a half, it sure feels like it’s here when I step foot outside (50 is cold for Las Vegas, okay?). As you may know, my day isn’t complete without some coffee running through my bloodstream, but it becomes hard to avoid the carbohydrates in all of the holiday drinks this time of year when they are staring you down around ever corner.

I have some good news!

Through trials and tribulations, I have put together a list of low carb winter Starbucks drinks to try this holiday season! You can honestly order these drinks anywhere, but I have curated this list from the depths of my local Starbucks for your enjoyment.

Just a few notes – All options below are ordered as a Venti (but use your personal preference on stevias and pumps, etc. I am clearly a stevia lady, but if you prefer unsweetened, go without). All nutrition facts were pulled directly from the Starbucks website, however, in order to calculate it with the different options, I had to do some educated guesses. Please note that these calculations are estimated carbohydrates. (For a Venti, Starbucks says their almond milk is 8g of carbohydrates for 12oz, and their coconut milk is 13g. Some drinks add less milk, so I have included less than 8g for those drinks. Additionally, I calculated chai, gingerbread, and peppermint grams by working backward from the total number of carbohydrates, subtracting the milk grams, and dividing by the 6 pumps/shots for a Vente, and multiplying by how many pumps I ask for) (I also realize there’s an easier way to go about that calculation but gimme a break ok being diabetic is hard enough)

Peppermint Mocha Blonde Americano

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I’ve found an easy, low carb hack for the wildly popular peppermint mocha seen in everyone’s hand this season. It will taste like one small, happy candy cane dancing around you all day long telling you how awesome you are for not taking 8 million units of insulin this morning.

How to Order:

  • Venti Blonde Americano
  • Almond Milk
  • 2 pumps of Peppermint syrup (5g per pump)
  • 2 pumps of Sugar-Free Mocha
  • Total: Estimated 12g of carbohydrates


Cozy Cinnamon Dolce Vanilla Chai

The chai options will always be the most carb filled drinks (can anyone tell me where to buy a low carb chai?), but 30g is better than 60g, right? This drink is ideal for someone who wants to participate in holiday drink festivities without drinking coffee.

How to order:

  • Venti Chai Tea Latte
  • 2 Pumps of Chai (8g per pump)
  • Almond Milk
  • 1 pump of sugar-free cinnamon dolce
  • 1 pump of sugar-free vanilla
  • Cinnamon on top
  • Optional: 2 shots of espresso
  • Total: Estimated 24g of carbohydrates



The Newbie: Juniper Vanilla Latte

Now I was a little skeptical at first to try Juniper because tbh what the heck, but it was a lot different than expected. The flavor is more woodsy and less sugary than the other syrups Starbucks carries. The woman at the counter described it as ‘Christmas tree’ flavored. So if balsam fir candles are your favorite, and sometimes you feel the need to eat them, this drink is for you.

How to order:

  • Venti Juniper Latte
  • Almond Milk
  • 2 pumps of Juniper (5g per pump)
  • 1 pump of sugar-free vanilla
  • 2 Stevias (juniper isn’t as much of a sweet syrup like the other options, so the additional stevias make it a little sweeter)
  • Total: Estimated 18g of carbohydrates


Toasted White Chocolate Cinnamon Mocha:

Deep in my diabetic soul, I know very well that nothing that contains the words “white chocolate” is low carb, but hear me out. One pump of the white mocha chocolate syrup has 11g of carbohydrates and they normally dump 5 of them into a standard venti. (is that even allowed?) So now the trick is to cut out what you don’t need while keeping the overall theme of the drink. Doing so gives you a plethora of happy blood sugars with fewer possibilities of spiking. Also, I added cinnamon bc it’s fun and has blood sugar benefits (big if true).

How to order:

  • Venti Mocha
  • Almond Milk
  • 1 pump of toasted white chocolate mocha sauce (11g per pump)
  • 1 pump of sugar-free mocha (Instead of regular mocha pumps)
  • 1 pump of sugar-free cinnamon dolce
  • Optional: 1 pump of sugar-free vanilla
  • Whipped Cream (3g of carbs)
  • Cinnamon on top
  • Optional: Extra shot of espresso
  • Total: Estimated 22g of carbohydrates


Take these and run with them. Rub your lower carb holiday drinks in everyone’s faces (nicely) and let your dead pancreas know who’s boss (it’s you). Let me know what you like, what you don’t like, and if you have ever found a freakin low carb chai powder anywhere.


– Ariana

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