Starbucks Juniper Latte Schooled Me About Gin

You may have heard all the fuss about Starbucks new holiday drink — the Juniper Latte.

Our signature espresso and steamed milk mingle beautifully with juniper syrup. This beverage has a light, pine-like flavor with delightful citrus undertones. We cap this latte with velvety foam and accentuate the remarkable flavor with a dusting of pine-citrus sugar.

As soon as I read the description, I wanted to try it. Then I started looking for reviews on Twitter to get an idea of how people liked it.

Opinions were all over the place and frankly I was confused. So many of  comments were about it tasting like gin. Gin?! What?! What did juniper flavor have to do with gin?

Let me tell you. I was today years old when I learned that juniper berries are used to make gin. Learn something new everyday! Researching this post is how I found out! I’ve never been a fan of gin. I’ve had it in a few cocktails, but never go out of my way to drink it. I’ve never bought it and probably never will.

From what I could differentiate of the flavor in mixed drinks, gin seems to bring the flavor of what it’s mixed with down a notch and make it more dry. Why would I want to do that? I prefer the opposite. More flavor and sweeter!

Luckily, I didn’t learn about the gin connection until after I had already tried the drink. Otherwise I might have opted out.

So what did I think? I liked it! It was sweeter than I thought it would be. The flavor was understated. Think about the smell of a pine tree and the sap that you see dripping down the tree. Imagine what that would taste like. Then take it down a notch. That’s the flavor. Just the right amount of Christmas tree. I’ll definitely buy it again.

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*Updated 12/12/2019* Sadly, Starbucks didn’t bring back the Juniper Latte this year.