10 Best Drinks From Starbucks Reserve You Can't Get At Regular Cafes

There are six Starbucks Reserve Roasteries around the world — from Chicago to Shanghai — offering immersive coffee experiences and exclusive drinks that are only available at individual locations. The first, opened in Seattle, just nine blocks from the coffee giant's original Pike Place location, has become a must-visit for Starbucks enthusiasts who want to enjoy the most exclusive and experimental drinks the coffee chain has to offer.

Guests quickly realize these roasteries aren't your average Starbucks coffee shop. They're expansive eateries with premium menu items that range from savory dishes like the Princi potato truffle pizza, sweet treats such as their chocolate almond brownie, and even alcoholic coffee beverages.

These are 13 of the Reserve locations' most coveted beverages that have garnered the most attention in the media and on social media. While each beverage isn't at every location, these are the top, exclusive drinks to try the next time you're lucky enough to find yourself at a Starbucks Reserve.

1. Pumpkin Spice Espresso Martini

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Starbucks' beloved pumpkin spice latte, the coffee giant introduced a variety of pumpkin spice beverages to Reserve locations, including the trend-forward, pumpkin spice espresso martini. Cocktail lovers across the globe know that espresso martinis enjoyed a recent moment in the spotlight, and this seasonal version makes for the perfect happy-hour beverage or late-night pick-me-up.

Starbucks' version starts with their signature espresso martini — only available at Reserve locations — and adds fall flavors like cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove before topping it with pumpkin spice-flavored whipped cream and pumpkin pie spices. The perfect whipped topping not only adds a creamy texture as well as an extra bit of sweetness, it also makes it a photo-worthy beverage. For the perfect pairing, Starbucks Reserve locations are also offering a pumpkin spice cake. Seasonal drink enthusiasts will be excited to hear that a peppermint mocha version is also now available for the holidays.

2. Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew

This variation of cold brew coffee might not actually have any booze in it, but still captures the smokey taste of a great whiskey — so it's the perfect caffeinated beverage for whiskey lovers who might not want an alcoholic beverage. The whiskey barrel-aged coffees are Starbucks' first barrel-aged coffees and were first introduced back in 2017. And, in 2021 one Redditor claimed it was "absolutely phenomenal. So smooth, sweet, and mellow. Just an amazing flavor."

To create the unique flavor, the inventive coffee company places unroasted Reserve Sulawesi beans from Indonesia into a recently emptied oak-aged whiskey barrel, then hand rotates the beans, allowing them to fully absorb all of the whiskey flavors, according to Starbucks. The beans then stay in the barrels for several weeks before being roasted in small batches which removes any alcoholic properties.

Then to make the rich Whiskey Barrel-Aged Cold Brew drink, the cold brew is combined with and sweetened with a vanilla bean syrup. The final concoction is then shaken with ice and served iced.

3. Dark Chocolate Mocha

Mochas might be one of the world's best-known coffee orders, but this version of the chocolatey coffee beverage is one-of-a-kind. The Starbucks Reserve version is an unsurprisingly rich coffee creation that puts a unique spin on the beverage with a bitter, dark chocolate taste. Even better, the fan favorite is now a menu staple available at all of the U.S. locations in the main bar.

It's crafted with small-lot Starbucks Reserve espresso, and rich dark chocolate – then topped with steamed milk that makes the drink sweet while maintaining the integrity and slight bitterness of the dark chocolate. True chocolate lovers will love pairing the drink with one of the Reserve location's decadent chocolate sweets like the chocolate almond brownie torte garnished with a dusting of powdered sugar, or the triple chocolate Princina — Starbucks Reserve's signature tart made with a chocolate shortbread crust filled with rich ganache and topped with cocoa powder.

4. Empire Affogato Flight

Why just have a coffee when you can have dessert too? And, why stop at one dessert when you could have three? If you have a serious sweet tooth or are visiting the Empire State Building's Starbucks Reserve at 9th Ave. in New York City — the decadent Empire Affogato Flight is for you. 

This is an Italian-inspired flight that features all three of the roastery's affogatos made with the Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building microblend coffee. The flavors range from coffee-forward to super sweet, so there's enough variety to bring some fun to the whole group. In fact, one Yelp review described the experience as "fun and tasty."

The flavors run the gamut with the Whiskey Barrel-Aged Affogato, Banana Crisp Oatmilk Affogato, and Caramel Mocha Drizzle Affogato. The Whiskey Barrel-Aged affogato features rich and smokey whiskey and coffee flavors while the Banana Crisp Oatmilk Affogato offers a dessert-like sweetness and the Caramel Mocha Drizzle Affogato falls somewhere in the middle with a subtle sweetness.

5. Sparkling Sakura Allure

While Starbucks might be known for a myriad of coffees in all shapes and sizes, hot tea lovers don't need to feel left out when visiting one of the six Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations. From chai tea lattes to classic hot teas there are plenty of tea-based beverages available to enjoy. Not to mention, all the delicious food items. However, the Reserve-exclusive Sparkling Sakura Allure is a specialty alcoholic beverage to remember. It features hints of warm vanilla and zesty lemon served in a champagne flute with a bright, reddish-pink color — making it feel like a celebratory beverage fit for a special occasion. One four-star Yelp review raved about the drink as "very fresh, fruity and light."

This booze-packed, vibrant cocktail features the tropical-flavored Teavana Sakura Allure Green Tea crafted with the light Suntory Toki Whisky, prosecco, vanilla bean syrup, and lemon. According to Starbucks, it's a "nuanced sparkling beverage showcasing the lighter side of whisky and darker side of tea." 

6. Cold Brew Arancia Rossa

The shocking combination of coffee and orange juice became a controversial trending topic in May 2023 after Ashton Kutcher revealed he adds it to his coffee instead of creamer. But, the Cold Brew Arancia Rossa has been a favorite in Milan, Italy since at least 2019.

It's an Italian-inspired beverage that combines the coffee flavor and caffeine hit of a strong yet lightly sweetened cold brew with the refreshing citrus taste of blood orange and regular orange juice. In fact, "arancia rossa" is Italian for blood orange. It proves there's no need to order your coffee and orange juice separately when you can just as easily combine them for a tropical coffee concoction that's surprisingly enjoyable. Served in a tall glass, this beverage's presentation is also quite stunning with the bright orange juice on top, layered with coffee and foam, then garnished with an orange peel.

7. Cold Brew Malt

If you enjoy the taste of high-quality coffee but find yourself at a Starbucks Reserve location and in the mood for a chilled dessert instead of a cold brew then the Cold Brew Malt might be your go-to. This decadent coffee-based beverage serves as a good bridge between a traditional coffee beverage and a malt, giving you the best of both worlds in one item. It's now a mainstay available on all of the Starbucks Reserve U.S. locations menus and for good reason — it tastes decadent and fancy, while still possessing the ability to incite the childlike joy that comes from a creamy and sugary milkshake. In fact, one five-star Tripadvisor reviewer "loved the cold brew malt," claiming, "it's like a really creamy coffee shake."

Despite the complex flavor profile of the drink, the recipe is surprisingly simple — with just three rich and impactful ingredients. They include the Starbucks Reserve signature cold brew coffee, scoops of creamy vanilla gelato, and a dash of chocolate bitters, all blended together until they reach a perfectly thick, malted milkshake consistency.

8. Melrose-Tokyo

One of the most popular beverages among Starbucks Reserve visitors is Melrose-Tokyo, which serves as one of the coffee chain's interpretations of a Manhattan. Exclusive to the Starbucks Reserve in Tokyo, this version — which is by no means an exact comparison — contains none of the alcohol found in a traditional Manhattan but does not compromise on flavor.

The Melrose is expertly crafted with the Starbucks Reserve-exclusive cold brew coffee and a bit of sweet Demerara syrup paired with cherry bitters and topped with a maraschino cherry. The two cherry components not only invoke the spirit and flavors of the renowned Manhattan cocktail but also pay homage to one of Japan's most popular celebrations — the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival, known as Sakura. It makes it a perfect choice for enjoying a taste of Japan while visiting the Tokyo Reserve location. Additionally, the cherries add a subtle sweetness to the otherwise strong — and highly caffeinated — cold brew.

9. Starbucks Reserve Boulevardier

This complex cocktail takes the classic Boulevardier and turns it on its head with a unique combination of ingredients that includes Starbucks Reserve coffee, sweet vanilla bean syrup, and earthy lavender bitters. However, boulevardier enthusiasts will still recognize many of the other cocktail's classic ingredients which include Woodinville Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Campari, and Carpano Antica Formula sweet vermouth. 

For whiskey lovers — or those who simply enjoy trying an out-of-the-box beverage — it's a must-try when visiting the Seattle, Chicago, and New York Reserve Roastery locations. Pair it with one of the Reserve's gourmet sandwiches — like the prosciutto and parmigiano-reggiano on brioche — and you'll feel like you've been transported to a five-star restaurant. Plus, the bright red drink served is colorful and aesthetically pleasing enough to make for the perfect Instagram photo so you can announce to all your friends and followers that you were living it up at one of these Starbucks Reserve locations. 

10. Lake Shore

This Chicago-exclusive Reserve beverage pays homage to Chicago's Lake Shore Drive — the scenic drive that runs along the shoreline of Lake Michigan. Its light, fruity flavor profile conjures up the feeling of being near a body of water — making it the perfect drink to complement its namesake. The drink's recipe was also inspired by Mexican paletas — or ice pops — making it lighter than many other Reserve beverages, which makes it the perfect daytime cocktail. It's also bright yellow – bringing a hint of Chicago summer to even the gloomiest of winter days. 

The vibrant cocktail is crafted with El Tesoro Añejo Tequila, oolong tea, mango yogurt syrup, lime juice, lime zest, and sea salt tincture finished with a mango popsicle inside the glass. As the only Chicago-exclusive tea-based cocktail, The Lake Shore stands out by giving the flavor of Teavana Zen Clouds Oolong tea center stage.