For the first time in sixteen years, Starbucks has shoved over some space on its year-round menu for a new espresso drink, which debuts today across the United States. Like its older sister the Caramel Macchiato, the new Starbucks Hazelnut Macchiato is built atop vanilla syrup—a couple of pumps to sweeten the base for steamed 2% milk and Starbucks' dark-dark espresso roast. The theme flavor comes only at the end, measured out carefully in a specific pattern of cross-hatches and swirls conceived to dispense just the right proportion of viscous, hazelnutty goodness.
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Something about Nutella makes even the most mild mannered horf it down in an animalistic frenzy. And while Pacific Northwest-based Burgerville isn't using any actual Nutella here, the spirit of the transcendent spread is alive and well in the chain's delicious seasonal Chocolate Hazelnut Milkshake.
Love of Nutella is one of the things that connects us as a species. And while chocolate is fantastic, it's the humble hazelnut that elevates Nutella from delicious to life-changing. That's why I'm surprised that hazelnut liqueur (also called noisette) flies a bit under the radar compared to its nutty cousin amaretto.