Starbucks’ new drink may dethrone the Pumpkin Spice Latte

Sometimes I wish December could last forever. January is a really difficult month for me. It’s the month when bakeries cut back on the gingerbread cookies and when grocery stores quit stocking peppermint ice cream, which always baffles me because why would you only sell the best flavors once a year? Agh!

Thank god for Starbucks, where I can still get my standard peppermint hot cocoa anytime day or night. (Pro tip: if they don’t have it on the menu, they can usually mix some peppermint in no problem.) However you feel about drinks like the Pumpkin Spice Latte or the Chestnut Praline Latte, or even Peppermint Hot Cocoas, you have to admire Starbucks for its year-round dedication to the sweetest tooths out there. .

But Starbucks new Strawberry Cheesecake Frappucino is taking things to a whole ’nother level. For now, the drink is only available in Australia for a limited time, so any of our readers who live Down Under will need to get it while it’s . . . cold (?) and report back ASAP. Here’s how Starbucks describes their most luxurious beverage yet:

“Celebrate the sweetness of summer with the NEW Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino® blended beverage. Inspired by one of the world’s favourite (and most decadent) desserts, enjoy ice-cold creaminess swirled with our signature strawberry puree and a crunchy layer of cookie crumbles. Top it off with a decadent cheesecake-inspired whipped cream, swirls of strawberry sauce and a few shakes of more cookie crumbles for a tasty summer treat unlike any other.”

How over-the-top is this drink? Let us count the layers: 1) cream, 2) strawberries, 3) cookies, 4) whipped cream, 5) strawberry sauce, 6) EVEN MORE COOKIES. Yes, this is basically an elaborate parfait that you can drink through a straw but what’s wrong with that? Strawberry parfaits are delicious and I can’t think of any reason why they shouldn’t be sipped rather than scooped.

But I am worried about the cheesecake whipped cream. Would you eat that? I’m not sure how I feel about liquefied cheesecake and the Internet seems torn, too. Eyebrows were definitely raised when photos of a “Cheese Flavoured Syrup” (note the Aussie spelling) started making the rounds last week. “Cheese Flavoured Syrup” isn’t exactly the most mouth-watering phrase I’ve ever heard. Some foods are good to eat but not to drink and cheese is probably one of them. I’m willing to withhold judgment until I can afford to fly to Melbourne and try one for myself.

The real question is: can Starbucks ever top the Pumpkin Spice Latte which nearly achieved total “world domination” in 2014? So far, Starbucks has offered the Eggnog Latte, the Cinnamon Dolce Latte, the Gingerbread Latte, the White Chocolate Mocha — it makes you wonder when Starbucks is going to give up on the whole coffee front and just start making milkshakes already. But none of these drinks have come close to matching the success of the PSL. At 200 million sold, it remains the company’s “most popular seasonal beverage of all time.”

The Strawberry Cheesecake Frappuccino is a bold move but it’s probably a little too risky for the average coffee drinker. While it might not sell as well as the PSL, it’s bound to make headlines if only for its decadence. So if you love the PSL and other sweet Starbucks treats, take a trip to Sydney and pick one up. And if you’re one of the Pumpkin Spice haters, congratulations. You can finally start making jokes about another drink.