Starbucks’ first-ever vegan holiday drink is inspired by sugar cookies


Starting tomorrow, Starbucks will launch its new seasonal menu which includes its very first vegan holiday drink: Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte. Inspired by “spritzen” cookies, a German holiday sugar cookie, the new vegan holiday drink as is (which can be ordered iced or hot) consists of a sugar cookie flavored syrup combined with Starbucks Blonde Espresso, almond milk and garnished with a sprinkle of red and green cookies.

“Starbucks customers continue to look for new ways to enjoy plant-based options and personalize their Starbucks experience, and we’re excited to introduce the new holiday menu featuring our first dairy-free vacation coffee drink.” , a Starbucks spokesperson told VegNews.

Developed to evoke holiday cooking memories, the new drink was developed by Starbucks R&D Erin Marinan and Starbucks employee Sara Bennett. “The almond is used a lot in baking. The almond flavor of almond milk blends naturally with the nutty notes of Starbucks Blonde Espresso, ”Marinan said in a statement. “We also wanted to exploit the buttery and vanilla notes of the cookie, which you can capture in the aroma of that first sip of the syrup and the sugar cookie flavored nuggets. It reminds me of baking cookies with my growing mom and sisters. It gives me all the nostalgic feelings of the holidays.

The holiday drink does not require any modification to be ordered vegan, but Starbucks does not label it as such due to potential cross-contamination concerns. The Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte is available while supplies last, along with the return of holiday drinks, including an early launch of the Irish Cream Cold Brew which can be ordered vegan with plant-based milk. Starbucks also offers its holiday drinks in four gift-inspired mug designs: wrapping paper, candy canes, Christmas lights and ribbon.

Starbucks Holiday Drinks

In the United States, Starbucks’ most anticipated holiday drink, the illustrious Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), still had dairy ingredients in its base when the chain launched it in August. However, Starbucks hasn’t let vegan customers down with a fall drink it released alongside PSL.


The Apple Crisp Macchiato, inspired by apple-centric bakery products such as apple cider donuts and a variety of apple pies, was made with a combination of milk, brewed espresso, brown sugar syrup with apples and a spicy apple fillet. The drink’s deep apple flavor comes from the mashed apple and the vegan order involved a simple swap of cow’s milk for one of Starbucks’ four vegan milk options (oat, almond, soy or coconut).

A more sustainable Starbucks

Starbucks aims to become a resource positive company by 2030 and is implementing various measures, including plant-based menu updates, across its global operations to achieve this. Starbucks launched its Greener Stores initiative in 2017 and this year opened its first Greener Store outside of North America in Shanghai, China. There the menu is over 50% plant-based and oat milk, not climate-damaging dairy products, is the default milk option in drinks.

While Starbucks has turned 2,300 of its North American outposts into greener stores since 2017 – and two new locations are planned in Seattle and Southern California – none have yet featured so much food and drink herbal as its location in Shanghai.

However, in addition to its first vegan holiday drink, Starbucks is testing a few all-herbal items in the United States. Last year, Starbucks tested the Plant-Based Breakfast Sandwich, Plant-Based Baked Potato Bites, and Chickpea Bites at a site in Issaquah, Wash. , where he also tested Miyoko’s Creamery vegan cream cheese. The vegan breakfast sandwich of meatless sausage, dairy-free cheese, and mung bean eggs landed in Dallas-area stores in January, but Starbucks has yet to extended the vegan sandwich to its national menu. The chain also began testing vegan, lentil-based whipped cream at two Seattle locations in September.

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“Building on Starbucks’ commitment to sustainability, the company’s goal is to expand plant-based choices, as an eco-friendly menu contributes to our goal of being a resource-positive company, ”the spokesperson told VegNews. “We continue to innovate with plant-based ingredients on key platforms such as espresso, cold brew, refreshments, food, etc. as we aim to offer our customers a variety of choices in as part of their Starbucks experience. “

To learn more about being vegan at Starbucks, read:
Starbucks Just Launched Its First Nationwide Vegan Protein Box
Starbucks to launch oat milk in all U.S. stores

The essential vegan guide to Starbucks fall drinks

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