An unintended reference to the Harry Potter franchise may put some magic into your marketing. Just ask Starbucks.
Earlier last week, the coffeehouse chain rolled out its new, limited-edition beverage: the Smoked Butterscotch Latte. Made with milk, butterscotch sauce, brewed espresso, and sugar, the drink retails at between $4.25 and $4.45 for its 12-ounce "tall"-size cup.
The drink was a near-instant hit with Harry Potter fans, many of whom took to social media to praise its similarities to the fictional "Butterbeer." In the series, Butterbeer is sold at the fictional village of Hogsmeade. (It's worth noting that Butterbeer is being marketed as such at Universal's Wizarding World Park in Orlando.)
Of course, not all fans agree that the latte tastes like Butterbeer:
The news comes just on the heels of J.K. Rowling's announcing the release of an eighth installment in the Harry Potter series, in the form of a written transcript of an upcoming play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, so fans were likely primed to see a resemblance.
The Butterscotch Latte is not branded as Butterbeer on any official Starbucks menu or website. While it's unclear whether or not Starbucks had anticipated the cultural reference, the company did test out a similar recipe last year at its Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle, to an overwhelmingly positive response.
What's more, a similar butterbeer inspired drink can be found on the Starbucks "secret menu," an insiders-only selection of items that aren't listed on public drink menus.
The faux-Butterbeer latte is available in all major chains in the U.S. and Canada only up until March 21st.