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Review: Starbucks Juniper Latte Is Not A Gin Substitute, But That's Okay

By Jodi Smith | Food Porn | November 29, 2018 |

By Jodi Smith | Food Porn | November 29, 2018 |


starbucks_juniper_latte.jpg

In my masochistic buffalo wing and ranch dressing soda review, commenter Melani R asked if I would be reviewing Starbucks’ newest flavor: the Juniper Latte. Since I love to give to the people — and pander for views — I said, “Absolutely!” Though yesterday I proclaimed I wouldn’t leave the house again until 2019, I decided a Target run was in order. Lucky for me, and you, my Target has a Starbucks inside where I ordered the Juniper Latte.

Prior to making it out to the store, a few people told me that the new flavor was supposed to approximate gin in your coffee. Although I drink gin in a few different mixes, I do not put it in coffee. I bravely ordered a grande and braced myself for a taste.

I was pleasantly surprised that there was no overpowering juniper taste in the coffee. It also wasn’t super sweet as most of the limited-time concoctions tend to be. According to Starbucks’ website:

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.

I got the barest essence of any sort of pine-like flavor and no citrus — I don’t think? In order to properly review the drink, however, I knew what had to be done. I finished the Juniper Latte at Target, drove home, and made myself a Hendricks and tonic. For science.

After drinking my lovely cocktail, I realized that the Juniper Latte is what happens when someone takes the barest hint of juniper flavoring, blows on it, and then imprisons that in a bottle of sugar syrup. And you know what? I am here for it. It isn’t overpowering or akin to drinking air freshener. The citrus doesn’t dominate the coffee with a strange imbalance of tartness and the sweetness level was just right. So if you’re thinking about trying something at Starbucks that doesn’t include the words “white chocolate,” “toasted,” or “mocha,” give the Juniper Latte a taste test of your own. Then maybe go home and slam a gin and tonic. For science.



Jodi Smith is the Associate Trade News Editor at Pajiba. You can email her or follow her on Twitter.



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