Starbucks UK Launches New Drink Inspired By 2 Classic British Treats

When traveling abroad, it can be fun to see how diverse the offerings of chain restaurants truly are as the brand adapts its menu to international tastes. It can also be heartbreaking. Who hasn't wanted to hop on a plane to China for a Dragon Twister, KFC's take on traditional Peking duck, or to India for a McDonald's McSpicy Paneer sandwich featuring a fried patty of the country's firm, mild cheese? That's probably why we're at once excited and remorseful to tell you that Starbucks U.K. has a new beverage that nods to not one but two classic British desserts, and you won't find it stateside.

The Clotted Cream Fudge Cold Brew, "sweetened with vanilla flavoured [sic] syrup, topped with a Clotted Cream Fudge cold foam, and finished with a generous sprinkle of Clotted Cream Fudge topping," is Starbucks' way of celebrating the 25th anniversary of its arrival there. The company prides itself on introducing a number of coffee shop staples to the U.K. consumer, among them being the classic cold brew and perennial autumnal treat, the Pumpkin Spice Latte. But with the Clotted Cream Cold Brew, the chain seeks to honor British culinary culture, in particular.

Clotted cream and fudge

Clotted cream is a quintessentially British ingredient that's wholly unlike the smooth and pourable heavy cream we're used to. It isn't airy and light like whipped cream, nor as dense or rich as butter. Like a cream cheese without the tang, it is thick enough to be spread like butter over pastries, both savory and sweet (most notably scones), from breakfast to high tea. Making clotted cream is pretty simple and can be recreated at home if one desires. Full cream cow's milk is heated and allowed to rest, during which time the milk fat separates and rises to the top of the mixture, forming clumps or clots. This thick coagulation of milk fat is then extracted as clotted cream. It's a unique ingredient that was worth experimenting with, even if the drink doesn't become a national hit. 

The other component of the drink is fudge, which is largely thought of as an American creation but has roots in the U.K. Not unlike caramel and taffy, fudge is a crystalline confection, the base of which is simply butter, milk, and sugar. Many food historians claim fudge is derived from a Scottish treat called tablet, which is a bit more brittle and grainy but strikingly similar to fudge. Regardless of who conceived of it, fudge is a popular British treat today, and one of the most popular flavors happens to be ... you guessed it, clotted cream. So whether you're a native of jolly old or just passing through, make sure you grab a cup of each!