Espresso martini lovers are about to fall head over heels for this drink.
Fans of seasonal Starbucks fare have plenty to look forward to anytime the weather changes, but the fall slate of drinks might be the most beloved of them all. After all, the pumpkin spice latte heralds the beginning of cooler weather, the comfort of cozying up at home and the brisk business of back-to-school season.
The PSL—and many of its fellow autumn beverages—returned to the Starbucks menu last week, much to the delight of many a coffee sipper. The full slate of fall java includes the returning Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew and Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato, plus newcomers like the Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso and Iced Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte (here's what our dietitians would recommend from the menu). If you're in the mood for a snack, you can choose from seasonal options like the new Baked Apple Croissant or choose a classic, like the Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin or Owl Cake Pop.
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And some customers will have even more options. To celebrate the PSL's 20th birthday, Starbucks is bringing a fall menu to its U.S. Starbucks Reserve locations, and it even includes a new iced latte and a cocktail. For a limited time, folks can try the Pumpkin Spice Whiskey Barrel-Aged Iced Latte and Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini exclusively at Starbucks Reserve. The iced latte features espresso combined with coffee aged in a whiskey barrel, plus milk, whiskey-barrel-aged whipped cream and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice. The espresso martini will include vodka and Starbucks' signature espresso, infused with pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves, plus a pumpkin spice whipped cream and a sprinkle of spices.
Curious drinkers will have to travel to a Starbucks Reserve location in Seattle, Chicago or New York to try these spiked coffees. Six stores in total will offer this limited-time fall menu, including three stores in New York and two in Seattle—you can see the six stateside locations here. If you're not local to one of those cities but happen to be making a trip to one soon, heading to a Starbucks Reserve Roastery could definitely be on your list of fun stops. Grab a fancy drink or go all in and reserve an "Experience," like a wine-tasting-esque Coffee Lab or espresso martini-making class.
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Not all of us are city dwellers, but that doesn't mean you can't try re-creating this autumnal espresso martini at home. Use our Espresso Martini recipe as a base, but replace the simple syrup with pumpkin spice syrup. You can purchase a bottle in stores, or make your own by combining 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a small saucepan and bringing it to a boil. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from heat. Add pumpkin pie spice to the hot syrup as it cools, or add a cinnamon stick, nutmeg and cloves according to your taste.
If you use that flavorful syrup in the martini, you'll get some of those wonderful warm spices in every sip. You could even replace the coffee liqueur with a pumpkin spice coffee liqueur, like this Kahlúa version, for extra flavor. You could also opt for our Frozen Pumpkin-Spice Espresso Martini for a warmly flavored icy-cold treat.
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Pumpkin Spice Lattes are pretty sweet—that's why we recommend making them an occasional treat rather than an everyday drink—but they're also a classic way to say hello to the new season. If you want to make your Starbucks fall order a little lighter, try these dietitian-approved tips. You could even make your PSL at home with our handy recipe. However you spice up the fall, be sure to savor every sip.