Inspired by the piney scent of Christmas trees, the Starbucks Juniper Latte is a citrusy, fresh seasonal offering. But if it’s not December or your local Starbucks isn’t carrying it, how can you try this exceptionally tasty drink?
Making a juniper latte at home is easier than you might think! You will need one unusual ingredient – juniper berries – but if you can handle that, this tasty latte will come together in moments. Get ready to try your new favorite drink!
What is a Starbucks Juniper Latte?
The Starbucks Juniper Latte is an herbal, citrusy winter delight that combines the fresh, piney taste of juniper with hints of orange and baking spices. At Starbucks, you’ll find this seasonal treat garnished with a sprinkle of “pine citrus sugar,” but at home, we prefer to stick with an orange peel, sprig of juniper, or sprinkle of classic brown sugar.
The easiest way to add juniper flavoring to your latte is to whip up a quick juniper syrup. Because some juniper berries are poisonous, bitter, or inedible, we don’t recommend foraging in your backyard. You can buy jars of edible dried juniper berries online or at specialty food stores. Then cook the berries with water, sugar, spices, and orange zest. You can use this syrup in cocktails and coffee drinks all winter long!
Homemade Starbucks Juniper Latte
- Small saucepan
- Airtight jar or tub
- Tall latte glass
- 1 jar edible juniper berries 1.3-1.6 ounces
- 2 whole cardamom pods
- Zest of small orange in large pieces
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup water
- 1.5 teaspoons juniper syrup to taste
- 2 shots espresso or ½ cup strong brewed coffee
- 8 ounces milk any kind
- Orange peel and sprig of juniper optional garnish
Make the juniper syrup.
- Combine the syrup ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring regularly, and allow to cook for 15 minutes.
- Let the syrup cool completely and pour it through a fine mesh strainer.
- Store your juniper syrup in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Make the juniper latte.
- Pull two shots of espresso using your espresso machine or Moka pot. If you prefer, you can make strong brewed coffee instead.
- Steam your milk using a steam wand or standalone steamer. You can also heat the milk in a pan on the stove and then whisk or shake it until it’s frothy.
- Pour the espresso into your latte glass. Add the juniper syrup and finish with the steamed milk. Garnish with a sprig of juniper, an orange peel, or a sprinkle of brown sugar.
Homemade Juniper Lattes: Final Thoughts
Ready to whip up an unusual and delicious drink? The homemade Starbucks Juniper Latte, inspired by the version you can find seasonally at the popular coffee shop, combines the fresh, piney flavor of juniper berries with citrus, spices, steamed milk, and espresso. This latte will knock your socks off at any time of year!
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Featured image credit: Rimma Bondarenko, Shutterstock