By Abby Wargo
Incoming Student Life Editor
While on Thanksgiving break, I was able to visit a few different spots to scope out some holiday beverages, including hot chocolate.

Sheetz Caramel Hot Chocolate
At Sheetz gas station, there are plenty of options to choose for food or drink. They have touchscreen order stations where the customer can order and personalize their food or drink choice. Out of the many different options, I selected a caramel flavored hot chocolate. I was able to choose the type of milk and chocolate they put in it. I chose two percent milk and dark chocolate.
It took a little longer than I would have liked for my drink to be prepared, but it was well worth the wait. It was warm enough to be comforting, but not scalding hot. There was a light amount of whipped cream on top that melted in my mouth when I took the first few sips. The actual caramel part of the hot chocolate was a bit overpowering at first, but eventually, the flavors of the chocolate and caramel intermingled. On a five-point scale, I would give this hot chocolate a four. Although it is from a gas station, the quality is enough to rival coffee shops.

Royal Farms Hot Chocolate
Royal Farms, another gas station food stop,operates similarly to Sheetz, with touchscreen ordering devices and multiple options for food and drink. There is less drink variety than Sheetz. While at Sheetz, I was able to add different ingredients like caramel and whipped cream, but at Royal Farms I was not given those options.
After drinking the Sheetz hot chocolate, the Royal Farms variety was a poor substitute. It tasted very watered-down and was not very warm. There was barely any chocolate flavor and no milk. The instant hot chocolate packets that can be found at the grocery store are about the same quality.
There was faster service at Royal Farms in comparison to Sheetz, probably owing to the fact that I made my own beverage instead of having to wait for an employee to do it. Overall, this hot chocolate was a two out of five.

Starbucks Peppermint Hot Chocolate
Starbucks doesn’t have hot chocolate listed on their menu, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order it. Instead of ordering regular hot chocolate, I opted to add peppermint flavoring it. It was easily the best hot chocolate out of all three that I taste tested. The peppermint really jazzed it up; it tasted like a peppermint mocha without the coffee part. It was warm and milky, and the chocolate was rich. I could tell that it was higher-quality than the others I had tried. Definitely a five out of five.

Abby Wargo

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