Check out this review of Starbucks Reserve's new hot honey menu items.

I Tried Starbucks' Hot Honey Drinks & They’re As Spicy As They Sound

The new Reserve offerings include an espresso martini — with chili peppers.

Things are heating up at Starbucks this season. On Tuesday, March 26, the coffee giant introduced two new menu items at its Reserve locations in New York City, Chicago, and Seattle featuring a fiery (and unexpected) ingredient: hot honey.

Between the brand’s recent foray into lavender-flavored sips and the launch of the V-Day inspired Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Crème Frappuccino, Starbucks has been taking some major risks lately, and the new spicy options are no exception. Made with wildflower honey infused with premium chili peppers, you can get your spice fix with:

  • Starbucks Reserve Hot Honey Espresso Martini — A twist on the classic cocktail (not the Kendall Jenner version) made with Starbucks Reserve Espresso, Kalak Single Malt Vodka, vanilla syrup, Ancho Reyes Chile Liqueur, and hot honey, topped with spicy cold foam and a black sesame seed garnish.
  • Starbucks Reserve Hot Honey Affogato — Forget an ice cream sundae, this flavorful dessert features vanilla gelato drenched in Starbucks Reserve Espresso, plus Scrappy's Orange and Firewater Bitters drizzled with hot honey, complete with an Amarena cherry on top.

Even if you like hot honey on your pizza, that doesn’t mean you can’t be skeptical of the new specialities. Lucky for you, I put my tastebuds to the test so you don’t have to. Before making the trek to your nearest Reserve, here’s what you can expect from the hot honey offerings:

The Starbucks Reserve Hot Honey Espresso Martini Is A Plot Twist

Courtesy of Starbucks

It should come as no surprise that a drink with vodka, liqueur, and hot honey would have a strong taste. What is surprising, though, is that it actually kind of works?

It hits right at the back of the throat instead of lingering on the lips or tongue.

Even with so many flavors working against it, the heat from the hot honey cuts through the strongest. It hits right at the back of the throat instead of lingering on the lips or tongue, which makes for a much more enjoyable tasting experience IMO. Don’t get me wrong, the vodka announces itself, but the star of the show is definitely the drink’s fieriness. The actual honey flavor really flies under the radar, but I think adding another flavor into the mix would be too much for my tastebuds to handle.

Probably the most interesting thing the sip has going for it is the spicy cold foam topping. It somehow manages to be cool and refreshing while also bringing even more zest to the martini. The peppery flavor is pretty subtle compared to the rest of the drink, making it a nice respite from the spicy sip. The black sesame seeds are an unnecessary addition, though.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5. Though I’m not the biggest espresso martini fan, there’s a lot going for this drink that I can appreciate. The flavor and the cold foam are really unique, and if nothing else, it makes for a great Insta story-accessory.

The Starbucks Reserve Hot Honey Affogato Is The Epitome Of Sugar & Spice

Courtesy of Starbucks

I personally believe hot honey is best when you can taste the honey, so that probably explains why I liked this affogato so much. Not only is the honey flavor more forward in this offering, but it complements the vanilla really well. Plus, the ice cream neutralizes the spice quite a bit, so you don’t have to worry about burning your mouth on the flaming hot dessert.

You would think a treat like this would be equal parts sweet and savory, but it definitely leans more sweet. It’s a great option if you struggle with spicy foods, or if you have an adventurous sweet tooth like I do.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5. I love a treat that’s a little left of center, but is still familiar. The vanilla-honey combo speaks to my insatiable love of sweets, and the heat not only tastes great, but pushes me out of my dessert comfort zone, too.

If you’re a certified spice lover, you’re not gonna want to miss out on these ~spicy~ treats. Starbucks’ hot honey offerings will be available on Reserve menus throughout the summer while supplies last, which means hot girl summer is about to get a total rebrand.