The Starbucks Dark Barrel Latte That Never Made It Onto The Menu

A whipped cream and caramel topped latte in a white mug
A whipped cream and caramel topped latte in a white mug - MaraZe/Shutterstock

Starbucks has become known for some pretty inventive drink recipes but not every creative beverage has made its way onto permanent Starbucks menus. Such is the case with the Dark Barrel Latte, a beer-flavored coffee drink that managed to sneak into stores in only two American states, Ohio and Florida, in 2014. Despite its name, the drink didn't contain any alcohol but instead used a beer-flavored syrup to impart a unique taste to more traditional latte or Frappuccino orders.

The Dark Barrel Latte was up against fairly stiff competition, however, as the recipe was launched in the fall and failed to hold its own when placed next to the ever-popular Pumpkin Spice Latte. While Starbucks customers in Ohio and Florida could sample milky lattes garnished with a stout-flavored chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a drizzle of dark caramel, reviews were mixed, with some patrons comparing the drink to an early-morning pint of Guinness and others describing the flavor a bit more favorably as something akin to a molasses-infused beer.

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It's Five O'clock Somewhere

A pint of Guinness beer on a bartop
A pint of Guinness beer on a bartop - stoutofthisworld/Instagram

If you're a fan of malty, earthy stout beers that have been brewed with notes of coffee or espresso, the Dark Barrel Latte might have been a coffee drink you would have enjoyed, no matter what time of the day your order was placed. While it's not likely to return anytime soon, you can replicate the drink at home by making your own similar beer-flavored syrup that you can add to coffee. Start by bringing a pint of stout beer, like Guinness, to a boil, then reduce the heat and mix in cane sugar and vanilla.

When cooking Guinness into a reduction, make sure you don't warm the malty pints of beer too fast. A good, slow heating will preserve the beer's rich flavor. Also, be sure to taste the concoction before adding any additional sugars or sugar substitutes as evaporation could over-concentrate the components and make for a too-sweet syrup.

After the mixture has cooled, pour it into a sealed container and keep it in the fridge to be added as needed to any latte or freshly brewed cup of Joe. One thing to note, though, is that, unlike Starbucks' Dark Barrel Latte, this one includes alcohol and is more similar to an Irish coffee. Try this unusual flavor combination at home and decide for yourself whether or not Starbucks missed an opportunity by passing over potential cups of liquid gold.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.