Starbucks has unveiled its newest beverage and, bless them, it has nothing to do with unicorns nor beef jerky: It’s called the Horchata Frappuccino.
The coffee chain is clearly playing to its legions of lactose intolerant or otherwise alternative milk-favoring customers here, as this is the first Frappuccino to be specifically made with non-dairy milk: The Horchata Frapp contains almond milk, Cinnamon Dolce syrup, coffee, and ice, and is crowned with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and cinnamon-sugar sprinkles. (The garnishes do contain dairy, but can be left off for the truly lactose-averse; it’s also worth noting here that any of Starbucks’ Frappuccinos can be special-ordered with alternative milk options — soy, almond, or coconut — to create a non-dairy Frapp.)
Note that the Horchata Frapp does not actually include, uh, horchata, but Starbucks notes in today’s announcement that it’s simply “inspired” by the popular beverage. The best-known horchata to most Americans is the Mexican version, a milky, rice-based beverage flavored with cinnamon. It’s also popular in other countries such as Spain (where it’s made with tigernuts) and in Puerto Rico (where it’s made with sesame seeds); in parts of Central America, horchata can also be made with almonds.
Perhaps a more appropriate name for this beverage would be “Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino,” but that already exists on the Starbucks menu (and has for years). Essentially, then, this new drink is just a Cinnamon Dolce Frappuccino with almond milk and the addition of caramel drizzle. Salute to the Starbucks R&D department for dreaming up new menu items using stuff stores already have on hand — that’s the magic of marketing.
• New Starbucks Horchata Frappuccino Available Today [Starbucks Newsroom]
• Unicorn Frappuccinos Inspire Starbucks Barista Meltdowns Across America [E]
• More Starbucks Coverage on Eater [E]