Starbucks really knows how to create a cozy vibe, especially during the holiday season. And on Dec. 3, the coffee bean giant unveils a new addition to their already delicious holiday beverage list: the Irish Cream Cold Brew. Sounds festive and delicious. The flavor was conceived by product developer Erin Marinan, who drew from memories of making homemade Irish cream with her family, which they would gift to loved ones each Christmas. A cherished family tradition sparked the idea for a beverage with classic Irish cream flavors, just perfect for a time of celebration and giving. (And also happy tastebuds.)
I don't know about you, but it's really not the holiday season for me until I have been to Starbucks for my first Peppermint Mocha (sometimes with whipped cream if I'm feeling decadent). We all have our little traditions, and that's definitely one that I enjoy when I am out and about Christmas shopping. Just walking into a bustling Starbucks, joyful tunes playing overhead and coffee-related gifts lining the walls, and I'm instantly in the mood for whatever holiday festivity is happening that day. Yes, even wrapping gifts becomes tolerable, and that is by far my least favorite activity during the month of December. It's also precisely why I've never given any credence to the Starbucks holiday cup controversies that seem to pop up each year. (So ridiculous.)
But back to Irish beverages for a moment. Starbucks' newest holiday treat is made with cold brew coffee and Irish cream syrup over ice, topped with a frothy cap of vanilla sweet cream cold foam, "like a layer of fresh snow and a dusting of cocoa powder." And while cold beverages during the winter season may surprise you, it continues to be a "hot" trend for Starbucks (their cold beverage lineup actually made up more than half of U.S. beverage sales last year). Marinan, who came up with the concept for this deliciousness, writes, "Cold foam has been key for us from the innovation side of product development. It highlights our coffee craft with a great creamy texture and those beautiful layers, and in the case of our newest beverage, pairs so well with cold brew because of the chocolate flavor in the Irish cream and the cocoa notes from the coffee. It's adding a little bit of flavor in a way that's unique to Starbucks." Um, can we also talk about how dreamy it would be to work as a product developer for coffee?
But I digress. The price for a grande Irish Cream Cold Brew will range from $4.45 to $4.75 depending on store location, and customers will be able to customize the cold foam with alternative milks, including almond, coconut, or soy. The Irish Cream syrup is also available as a topping in any of its other beverages for an additional charge. And this month, Starbucks is celebrating the season of giving with weekly Happy Hours in participating stores in the United States and Canada. Customers who buy one grande or larger handcrafted beverage (including holiday beverages) can get one free on Thursdays in December between 2 and 7 p.m.To participate, get started by downloading the Starbucks App. I predict this offer will come in handy, as I often need an afternoon energy pick-me-up. (Also, here's a quick reminder that Starbucks gift cards make great teacher gifts.) Whether it's an Irish Cream Cold Brew or Peppermint Latte that strikes your fancy this season, here's to staying well-caffeinated during the holidays.