The Results Are In: Pumpkin Spice Vs. Peppermint

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The Results Are In: Pumpkin Spice Vs. Peppermint

I got an email on Friday afternoon that surprised me. I normally pretty simple questions like “Brunch Or Farmer’s Market?” and “Would You Rather Have Mondays or Fridays Off?” But not on Friday. That day I was hit with a hard-hitting question that hit me like a ton of bricks.

See for yourself.


What’s up, man. As the self-proclaimed “King of The Basics” I figured you’d be able to weigh in on a debate we had at dinner last night. A couple girls I was with were talking about how tired they were of hearing about “pumpkin spice” and all the fall bullshit that gets skewered on the internet. I chimed in and said that I like peppermint more than pumpkin spice thinking that they’d hop on board but the reaction was like I had just said something blatantly racist in a “safe space.” They jumped down my throat screaming blasphemy and couldn’t comprehend how I could like peppermint more than pumpkin spice, but I really didn’t think my take was all that hot when I said it.

Need your help. What wins?

Thanks, John

First of all, I’ve never declared myself as “King of The Basics” so this guy’s credibility went straight out the window from the start. Second of all, I hate it when people call me by my last name. My parents gave me a strong first name for a reason, so I truly prefer it to be used in favor of my last.

Now that all of that’s out of the way, let’s solve the world’s problems.

Let me say this: “basic” fall jokes have all been exhausted at this point. I don’t care about Starbucks, riding boots, and infinity scarves anymore. Fall started on September 23rd and we’ve ridden the wave to completion. Frankly, Thanksgiving can’t come soon enough. I want to sit on the couch, pound camo beers, watch the Lions beat the piss out of the Eagles, and fall asleep after going hard in the paint on some turkey and mashed potatoes. I might not even entertain a slice of pumpkin pie because I’ve felt so exhausted between the overexposure of pumpkin-spiced everythings lately.

But, with that being said, there’s a reason we’ve reached this point. Pumpkin shit is universally loved which is why it’s been so overdone. Deep down, I thought peppermint wouldn’t stand a chance against the heavyweight that is pumpkin spice. I decided to put out a poll and the results actually confused the hell out of me.

Hold up, hold up. So you’re telling me that for every three people that like peppermint, only two people like pumpkin spice? That’s… that’s bananas. Red cup controversy aside, I know Starbucks puts out a Peppermint Mocha but it gets about a quarter of the hype and notoriety of the PSL. And that Starbucks. They run the flavored coffee game.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. No, I did not go to Starbucks because I will never step foot in a Starbucks. Instead, I came up with an option of testing fall’s flavor against the stereotypically holiday flavor of peppermint — ice cream.

You see, I considered testing beers but for every 100 pumpkin beers, there’s like one peppermint beer. It would be weird. I considered tasting the root product themselves, but eating raw pumpkin and peppermint leaves sounds awful so it’s a terrible comparison either way. Ice cream was the great equalizer. It incorporated both flavors while also being consistent enough to have a defined opinion one way or the other.

When it came time to taste the pumpkin, it was pretty standard. It tasted like my coffee tastes when I used pumpkin spice creamer in it, but just cold. Sure, the orange flavor freaked me out a little bit, but I got beyond that. When it came time to test the peppermint, the world stopped. It was like I was on 34th Street with Kevin McCallister while Justin Bieber sang “Mistletoe” while Santa crowdsurfed me into FAO Schwartz. It was an explosion of Christmas in my mouth that, for being something freezing cold, filled me with the warmth of the holidays. I wasn’t imagining dead, wet leaves on the ground. I was imagining sleigh rides, snow-covered trees, and the smile of 4th grade Will deFries opening his Tickle Me Elmo doll knowing he was about to be the coolest kid in class.

The results were in and it wasn’t even close — peppermint reigns supreme.

Or maybe pumpkin spice is just overexposed because of the length of fall versus the length of the holiday season. Either way, I’m 100% going to pay someone to go into Starbucks and grab a Peppermint Mocha for me. ‘Tis (almost) the season.

Got a question? Email and I’ll attempt to either solve all of life’s problems or lead you to a life where you spend every Sunday questioning your existence.

Image via Shutterstock

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