Starbucks’ whiskey-flavored coffee has arrived

Starbucks’ whiskey-flavored drink is now available in New York — but the only buzz you’ll get will be from the caffeine.

It’s not exacly an Irish coffee, so don’t get too excited. There’s no booze in this java. Instead, the chain’s Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew is made by steeping green, unroasted Sulawesi coffee beans from Indonesia in empty oak barrels that once held aged whiskey, so the beans soak up the flavor.


The batch is then roasted a few weeks later, which kills off any alcohol, but keeps the “distinctive whiskey notes,” Starbucks said in a statement.

Coffee enthusiasts will be able to indulge in the drink “straight up” or with whiskey barrel-aged vanilla syrup. The cold drink is shaken with ice, strained and served chilled alongside a glass of sparkling water at only select Starbucks Reserve coffee bars for a limited time; and at the Roastery in Seattle starting Sept. 12.

Starbucks Reserve bars are high-end coffee bars and the Roastery is a large Starbucks location in the company’s hometown where patrons can see how coffee is roasted, made and brewed. There are several Reserve stores in New York City, but only the locations at 10 Waverly Place in Greenwich Village and at 85th and Madison on the Upper East Side will be selling the whiskey-infused drink.


Starbucks first tested the whiskey-infused drink at the Seattle Roastery back in March, where it sold out “in a flash.”

Also new at Starbucks is a Nitro Freddo, a Greek drink made with Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew infused with dark caramel and topped with dark caramel infused foam. It will be sold at more than 1,000 locations.

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