The way to America's heart is through molten chocolate, apparently.
Yesterday, coffee chain Starbucks announced the hotly anticipated* special annual Valentine's Day drinks available at participating stores in the U.S. and Canada through February 14.
The common theme in this trio of Venti-sized love potions? Molten chocolate: Molten Chocolate Latte, Molten Chocolate Frappucino, Molten Hot Chocolate.
All three sound totally delicious (especially if you're between the ages of four and nine), but a molten-chocolate-beverage alone does not make a full date.
So, we've taken the initiative and devised three totally excellent, third-base-guaranteed dates, each paired to a Starbucks V-Day drink. Order your chocolatey Franken-coffee, pick up a salted caramel cake pop and try a...
Molten Chocolate Latte...at your nearest amusement park
Looking for a sugar high? This baby is here to help: Chocolate chips melted into espresso, topped with steamed milk that's been combined with a "bittersweet mocha sauce." Then, "the beverage is finished with mocha and espresso-infused whipped cream and an espresso mocha drizzle." It's the kind of drink that says, "honey, you're no average plop of whipped cream—you're infused with something special." It's the drink that screams, "I love you so much I put chocolate chips into your coffee even though that's a terrible idea." And it's the kind of drink that will send you into the kind of dizzying, sweet-induced heights that only a day manically bouncing between roller coasters and ghost trains can satisfy. We can't guarantee the Molten Chocolate Latte will stay down, though.
Molten Chocolate Frappuccino...at the mall
Mocha sauce. Chocolate chips. Milk. Ice. And then: mocha and espresso-infused whip cream and some sort of drizzle, of course. The only acceptable place to be seen drinking a frappuccino is the beach or the mall (and even then the folks with big-boy coffees will judge you), and given the weather in most of the country, you're going to be spending this date in the company of JC Penney and Auntie Anne. Just be sure dry your dewy hands before romantically riffling through the turquoise sweater rack at Old Navy.
Molten Hot Chocolate...at an actual Starbucks store
You're a simple guy or girl, with simple tastes. You'll take your special edition molten chocolate drink the way it was meant to be served: as a simple hot chocolate (with mocha and espresso-infused whip, because it's a special occasion after all). And you'll make your date simple, too. Why get all fancy by going to the mall when there are plenty of good clean seats available at your local roadside Starbucks? They've got the free WiFi (and you've just been working on a killer V-Day playlist, so let's split these earbuds) and a rack of local papers—hours of fun with Sudoku, crosswords and planning what we're going to watch on the TV tonight. Plus, it's always fun to meet the folk in the toilet queue. Always.
*Okay, we confess, we didn't even know Starbucks V-Day drinks were a thing. When are the pumpkin spice lattes back again?