I love the idea of seasonal drinks. The fact that giant global corporations are still willing to only sell certain popular items for a limited time warms my heart. Having said that, I rarely like seasonal products. Anything Peppermint? No thanks. Pumpkin Spice? Garbage. The Shamrock Shake? Give me a fucking break. Love the concept, hate the execution. So I can’t help but be intrigued by Starbucks’ latest attempt at a seasonal drink — The Juniper Latte.
A previous iteration of the Juniper Latte appeared at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle last year, but Starbucks has overhauled that recipe and are now taking it nationwide. The juniper syrup is infused with sage to counterbalance the overwhelmingly piney taste of juniper, and topped with a velvety foam and dusting of pine-citrus sugar, making for a pine-like latte with citrus undertones. This says winter so much more than peppermint ever could.
That light dusting of sugar is surely used to make up for the lack of sugar in this botanical beverage right? Wrong. Check out the nutritional facts below.
With a whopping 35g of sugar, you might as well have a winter-themed can of Coke and call it a day. We don’t know why Starbucks won’t trust that its customers can handle subtle flavors and the complexity of a good latte. Or maybe they know they don’t have the quality on point and need to cover themselves? Oh well, sugar sells. And let’s face it, we’re probably going to find ourselves sipping on one of these to get into the holiday spirit.
The seasonal Juniper Latte is available at select Starbucks nationwide beginning today.