SEATTLE — Starbucks Corp. has revealed a new holiday beverage for 2019 — the Irish Cream Cold Brew. The drink is the coffee chain’s first new holiday offering since 2017.
The Irish Cream Cold Brew is made with Starbucks cold-brew coffee and Irish cream syrup over ice, topped with a cap of vanilla sweet cream cold foam and a dusting of cocoa powder.
“It pairs so well with cold brew because of the chocolate flavor in the Irish cream and the cocoa notes from the coffee,” said Erin Marinan, product developer for Starbucks R.&D. department and creator of the Irish Cream Cold Brew. “I think about that customer who’s in the middle of work or shopping, and this will help get them into the holiday spirit for the rest of the day.”
Cold foam, first introduced in Starbucks Roastery locations in 2014, has been a popular addition to cold-brew beverages in Starbucks stores since April 2018, the company said. The frothy topping falls in line with the trend of cold beverages, which now make up more than half of U.S. Starbucks beverage sales. The foam seemed a natural addition to the new Irish Cream Cold Brew, Ms. Marinan said.
“Cold foam has been key for us from the innovation side of product development,” Ms. Marinan said. “It highlights our coffee craft with a great creamy texture and those beautiful layers. It’s adding a little bit of flavor in a way that’s unique to Starbucks.”
When tasked with concepting a new beverage for Starbucks, Ms. Marinan said she drew from memories of making homemade Irish cream with her family. She would help blend batches to add to coffee or give to loved ones as gifts. The recollection sparked the idea for a beverage with “classic Irish cream flavors perfect for a time of celebration and giving,” Starbucks said.
The Irish Cream Cold Brew is the latest in a long history of holiday season beverages from Starbucks. In 2017, the coffee chain debuted the Toasted White Chocolate Mocha, in 2014, the Chestnut Praline Latte, in 2009, the Caramel Brulee Latte, in 2003, the Pumpkin Spice Latte, in 2002, the Peppermint Mocha, and in 1986, the Eggnog Latte.