Starbucks New Holiday Drink Is Basically A Gin Latte

Starbucks red cups and whip cream-topped drinks are here, marking the official start of the holiday season.

With each sugary sip of Gingerbread Latte or Peppermint Mocha, Starbucks promises to conjure up sweet memories of sleigh rides, the sound of footsteps crunching on snow, chestnuts roasting by an open fire, Jack Frost nipping on your nose, Yuletide carols et cetera, et cetera. You know how it goes.

Starbucks newest holiday offering, however, targets a very specific scent memory: the Christmas tree. The Juniper Latte features an “evergreen aroma combined with tingly sage,” and uses flavours of sweet mandarin and mulled spices to bring you back to a time of walking through the woods and trimming down a pine tree. Which means it smells a lot like gin. Or, as one coworker eloquently put,“it kind of tastes like someone soaked an air freshener in this.”

That sounds like a damning reaction, but the woody-flavoured-hot-milk-coffee is actually pretty good. Unlike most of Starbucks’ special edition drinks, the Juniper Latte doesn’t taste like it’s filling your recommended daily serving of sugar. It’s subtle, savoury and it does have a distinctive sharp taste of pine. What could be more festive that sipping on a Christmas tree? Plus, it comes served in one of Starbucks’ signature holiday cups. And this year, carrying that cup around won’t cause any unwelcome disagreements.

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