Starbuck's newest Roastery location boasts a 60-foot bar -- Here are the coffee-inspired cocktails you need to try
Putting liquor in your coffee might not be something you do on the daily unless you’re a Bailey’s loyalist -- but the combination of both bitter liquids is actually more common than you may think.
Cocktails like Espresso Martinis and Mexican Coffees have been earning spots on the trendiest menus for years with good reason — there’s something to be said about the decadence that a perfectly roasted coffee bean matched with a rich, equally-as-strong liquor offers.
And perhaps no brand’s reputation for perfectly roasted coffee beans proceeds that of Starbucks, which is set to open its fourth (second in the United States) Reserve Roastery in New York on December 12.
The Roastery is an all-immersive experience where customers can stop by the first craft coffee bar on the way in, grab their signature skim latte and watch the roasting process actually take place on the same floor.
The 23,000-square-foot Roastery in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District is massive and multi-leveled, with a different tasting experience to be had around every corner.
But the real star of the Roastery sits perched atop a staircase overlooking the main-level coffee bar (the Roastery boasts two in total) and Princi bakery — the craft-cocktail focused Arrivamo Bar.
The name ‘Arriviamo’ is a nod to Starbucks’ Reserve Roastery in Milan, an Italian phrase that roughly translates to ‘We have arrived’ and an homage to the bar’s dedication to the concept of Italian apertivo.
Because when you pull up a conveniently angled high-top seat at the massive yet intricately detailed 60-foot Arriviamo bar, you’ll truly feel as if you’ve reached a separate destination in and of itself.
Take a look through the new Roastery here:
The menu at the bar was carefully curated by award-winning mixologist Julia Momose, whose Japanese roots can are celebrated in certain whiskeys and spirits that are specifically chosen to enhance the Starbucks coffee or tea that every cocktail contains.
At Arrivamo, the coffee and teas used in each specialty drink are the stars — the other syrups, bitters and liquors are just complementary to what the Starbucks brand is putting forward at the base.
11 of the craft cocktails on the menu are ‘spirit-forward’ and five are ’spirit-free’, a unique but intentional way to distinguish between and label drinks on the menu that contain alcohol and those that do not.
The spirit-free cocktails can all be made alcoholic, each bartender having knowledge of a specific liquor to add to each specific drink at the customer’s request that will best elevate the drink as it stands.
This is a major distinction from ’spirit-free’ drinks in most bars and cocktail lounges where alcohol is simply omitted to make a drink virgin — customers are usually left with some semblance of a concoction that feels like an after-thought, ingredients muddled together that feel juvenile and anything but elevated.
But since Starbucks Reserve blends, cold brews and teas are the pinnacle element in every drink at Arriviamo — whether they’re spirit-forward or not — guests don’t lose out by choosing the spirit-free drinks.
Turning the ‘virgin’ drink on its head is a clearcut example of what Arriviamo aims to do — take classic cocktails and twist them.
Switching out gin for tequila, or one variation of whiskey for another is something that becomes necessary when being challenged to center each cocktail around a coffee or tea element.
How do you keep the same flavor profile and facets of smokiness or bitterness or sweetness in a beloved cocktail while making it something completely unique at the same time?
Thanks to Momose, there’s a menu full of answers.
Here are our Arriviamo must-trys:
1. Siren’s Glaze ‘Spirit-free’
Starbucks Reserve® Coffee, Hazelnut, Cocoa, Acacia Honey, Coconutmilk
With a chocolate mixture swirling at the bottom and around the side of the glass, you get a full liquid desert with this one — best enjoyed slowly, like any spirit-filled cocktail. Plus, when was the last time your drink came with a side of assorted nuts drizzled with chocolate? Just saying!
2. Final Say
Matcha, Tequila Cabeza, Liquore Strega, Roots Mastiha, Royal Combier, Lime, Coffee Infused Amarena Cherry
A major twist on the classic recipe, this one swaps out gin for tequila in an attempt to stop the strength of the gin from competing with the grassiness of the matcha base —and it makes all the difference. Bonus points for the chartreuse color which is absolutely stunning -- it's one of the most Instagram-able items on the menu (Millennials take note!)
3. The Triomphe
Teavana™/MC Darjeeling de Triomphe Tea, NY Distilling Dorothy Parker Gin, Dr. Konstantin Frank Dry Riesling, Krogstad Aquavit, Passionfruit LaCroix, Weatherby’s Orange Saffron Bitters
A light and airy drink, this one has a tea base, which gives it an earthy, cooling flavor without any sort of sugary-sweetness. The pop of passion fruit flavor paired with an eye-catching floating flower on top of the cocktail serves you your daily dose of girliness and romance (if that's what you're after).
Experts at their craft of cocktail-creating and masters of drink presentation, all of the mixologists and bartenders at Arriviamo have undergone standard Starbucks barista training to ensure that they’re completely familiar with the Starbucks brews, roasts and teas that can be found at the center of the drinks that they're serving.
Through training, they’ve become proficient in the notes and profiles of selected Starbucks variations so that everything about the cocktails they make for customers come rich with an understood history and appreciation for each element.
And yes, Momose went through the training, too, before creating the menu.
But in a city that’s ever-evolving, the menu must be too — since Starbucks Reserve blends change seasonally, so do the drinks. Most cocktails at Arriviamo are seasonal solely based on the different blends of coffees and teas they’ll be centered around.
The Arriviamo bar is fully stocked with over 200 different spirits, from nearly all beers being sourced locally (albeit one Italian offering) to hundreds of different global liquors that allow it to be the place where you can go to discover the taste Black & White Manhattan poured through coffee beans or order your standard Gin & Tonic with your favorite house liquor.
So whether you’re one for tradition or one for innovation, Arriviamo knows the real way to our hearts is through a solid cup of coffee — and that’s something we can all cheers to.