Cream of the crop in coffee, spirits team up for these
Rick Mcginnis/Metro Toronto
The biggest name in pricey coffee has gone into the booze business. Starbucks, in partnership with Beam Global Spirits, launched two new coffee liquor drinks last month, with Starbucks Coffee Liquor and Starbucks Cream Liquor. In terms of brand recognition, Starbucks is a hard name to beat, but how do the new drinks add up in what is becoming a very crowded digestif market.
The two drinks come in martini shaker-shaped bottles, with an enameled cream finish for the Cream Liquor, and a dark, nearly opaque coffee brown for the Coffee Liquor. At just under thirty bucks for a 750 ml bottle, they’re priced competitively enough.
The obvious competition for the Cream Liquor is Bailey’s, and in the glass, it would be hard to tell the difference — both drinks have the same rich, thick texture, and would probably do just as well on the rocks.
The Starbucks drink might actually have the edge served straight up — without the obvious Irish Whiskey bite of the Bailey’s the Starbucks is a slightly smoother cream liquor.
The danger, of course, is overindulging in such a deceptively sweet after dinner treat — as hundreds of young people discover every night.
The Coffee Liquor is up against Kahlua, of course — the coffee drink that made its way into our bars in the age of tiki drinks and rum bowls. Starbucks’ version is more complex — using premium coffee has its advantages.
Like the Cream Liquor, it’ll hold up very nice neat, in a glass, though it will probably be a lot more discreet when mixed into a coffee cocktail. Since the holiday season is usually when we dust off our liqueur selection for holiday parties and vain attempts to ameliorate family reunions, now would be a good time to make Starbucks just that much more ubiquitous in our lives.
The Ultimate Tiramisu
Recipes courtesy of Starbucks