Starbucks rolls out Gin Barrel-Aged Cold Brew

Starbucks fans can now enjoy a taste of gin in their coffee with the launch of the chain’s new Gin Barrel-Aged Cold Brew, described as a twist on a gin and tonic.

The popular coffee chain has teamed up with Seattle-based Captive Spirits Distilling, which produces Big Gin, on its new product – called Starbucks Reserve Gin Barrel-Aged Cold Brew. Over a period of several weeks, Rwandan coffee beans are hand-rotated in the barrel, in order to absorb the flavours of pepper, cardamom, and vanilla from the gin barrels, which previously held Bourbon. Then, the beans are roasted, during which time the alcohol from the barrels burns off the beans, leaving behind the aroma and flavours of the gin. The result is a coffee infused with a “warm botanical essence that highlights its bright citrus notes and caramel finish”. To make the serve, baristas shake together the Gin Barrel-Aged Cold Brew, ice, and a few dashes of lime bitters, then add tonic and a lime garnish. The gin-flavoured cold brew comes one year after Starbucks's introduction of its first whisky barrel-aged coffee. “We started with the coffee, our bright and lively Rwandan beans,” said Jennifer Galbraith, Starbucks manager of product development for R&D. “The beans absorb the botanical essence of the gin, bringing out its bright citrus notes with a sweet caramel finish. The resulting cup is rich, nuanced and unlike anything we’ve tasted before.” “When you go to take your first sip, you’ll smell the quinine from the tonic and the botanicals from the gin and the coffee. "Then you taste the orange and lemon, finishing with caramel notes from the coffee and the barrel. It weaves together like a piece of fabric and leaves you with a light, refreshing flavour.” Starbucks Reserve Gin Barrel-Aged Cold Brew is available exclusively at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle for a limited time.