I love a funky coffee creation as much as the next gal — I’ve tried basically every latte, Frappucino and shaken iced tea concoction Starbucks has come out with, even the ones that seem more like science experiments than actual beverages.
But the latest drink at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle has given me major pause. It’s the Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist — a concoction of nitro cold brew enhanced with malted pepper syrup, pink peppercorn, honey foam and (get ready!)… a skewer of grass-fed beef jerky.
It’s a far cry from the pink drink. I’ll certainly give them that!
Even though my initial reaction was “Hell NO,” I can sort of see how coffee and beef jerky might not be so strange a pairing. After all, coffee-rubbed beef tenderloin is pretty much heaven on Earth. There’s a certain smokiness to the roasted coffee that helps play up the earthy flavors of meat.
And just as cayenne pepper can liven up a bar of dark chocolate, I can totally see how peppercorns could add a jolt of flavor to a cup of joe. Combined, you have a sort of caffeinated (nonalcoholic) twist on the bloody mary, something savory to get your day started.
You can try out the Pepper Nitro with a Jerky Twist at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle. It’s not going to be served at any other roastery locations, so if the Venn diagram of your favorite foods is an overlap of coffee and beef jerky, it might be worth the trip.
Just don’t try this at home, kids. A Slim Jim swizzle stick in your iced mocha does not a culinary masterpiece make.