Starbucks just added several new vegan options to both its US and UK holiday menus.
The star of this year’s festive lineup is the Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte, the coffee chain’s first as-is holiday-themed beverage that requires no amendments to order vegan. (Important note: Starbucks’ color-changing, reusable red cups are back too.)
Inspired by German biscuits called “spritzen,” the new drink combines sugar cookie-flavored syrup, Starbucks Blonde Espresso, and almond milk, topped with red and green sprinkles for a dash of color. According to the brand, it can be ordered iced or hot.
“Almond is used quite a bit in baking,” says Erin Marinan, product development manager for Starbucks R&D. “The almond flavor from the almond milk makes for a natural pairing with the nutty notes in Starbucks Blonde Espresso.”
“We also wanted to harness the buttery and vanilla notes of the cookie, which you can pick up in the aroma from that first sip” she explains, adding “it gives me all the nostalgic feels of the holiday.”
A new Irish Cream Cold Brew drink can also be ordered vegan by choosing one of the various plant-based milks—soy, oat, almond, and coconut—instead of dairy. Starbucks’ various new festive drinks (including the Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte) are launching at U.S. stores nationwide from November 4.
It’s not just U.S. customers who are getting something new this year.
The just-launched Starbucks UK holiday menu features the Turkee & Trimmings Toastie—a sourdough sandwich with vegan turkey, cranberry sauce, dairy-free mozzarella, and a potato, leek, cabbage, and sprout “hash shred.”
Updated fan-favorite the Very Berry Beyond Meat Sandwich is also available, which includes a Beyond Meat patty, cranberry chutney, fresh salad, a vegan cheese slice (made from coconut oil), and egg-free Dijon mustard mayo.
“This holiday, we wanted it to feel magical, we wanted it to be warm, and we wanted it to be inclusive,” says Starbucks associate creative director Suzie Reecer. “Our goal was to really bring joy to every customer and every partner.”
Returning holiday drinks the Toffee Nut Latte and Gingerbread Latte can both be ordered vegan by substituting traditional milk and cream for one of Starbucks’ dairy-free options and Whipped Topping (which was trialed in the U.S. for the first time earlier this year).
Starbucks UK’s holiday menu is also available nationwide from November 4, 2021. Check out our complete guide to the company’s non-PSL fall drinks (for American customers) here.
Liam writes about environmental and social sustainability and the protection of animals. He has a BA Hons in English Literature and Film.