Taking a walk around New York City in early spring is truly an experience like no other. You’ve got to try it sometime if you’re from somewhere random like Illinois or Pennsylvania. Window shopping a Cohen’s Fashion Optical transition lens display, taking $40 out at a Chase Bank ATM, bantering with the Fios man and the traffic cops…and all in a New York minute. Need I say more? I always do. But first, coffee.
To celebrate the first blooms of March in the greatest city on earth besides Emily in Paris, I walked to a place called Dunkin’, a cool little coffee shop my colleague Kelly Conaboy introduced me to last month. They’ve got donuts and sweet treats, plus a line of eggy buttholes and other savory items. Nom-wise, they always seem to be innovating over there, and their new brown and green ombré Shamrock Macchiato with Irish Creme is no exception.
When I walked into the charming café with my dog Mars, there was a professional-looking woman in scrubs standing in front of the sign advertising the beverage, speaking loudly about what seemed to be confidential hospital administrative budget business. I thought that was cool – a doctor and a businesswoman, like that famous riddle about the bloodied son and father. I still haven’t solved it myself, unfortunately, but I think I’m getting close.
I wanted a photo of the sign, which said “SPRING YOUR A-GAME,” but I wasn’t going to give up the mogul’s identity, so I went ahead and got in line. While I waited, I wondered what SPRING YOUR A-GAME could possibly mean.
“Could I have a small Shamrock Macchiato with Irish Creme and the accompanying chocolate croissant, served warm, please?” I asked. The key when ordering these sophisticated specialty beverages in New York City is to be assertive.
The barista asked me what kind of milk I wanted and I said regular. That question alone ruled out the possibility that actual Irish Creme, which is normally shelf stable, was in the beverage. I believe the drink is made with a green, flavored syrup, but I couldn’t quite see what the shamtenders behind the espresso bar were up to.
And then it was on.
The iced drink cup was seasonally winter-themed with a pop-art DNKN’ snow globe on it, which was commentary on the cyclical nature of trends.
At first blush, the drink was stunning. I loved the unexpected color story of mint and brown. But don’t get it twisted: this is not mint-flavored. As I believe we’ve discussed, it’s Irish Creme-flavored. It’s just mint-colored.
As I waited for the croissant, the yelling doctor-lawyer had shifted and I was able to get my shot. Sure, the ombré was starting to muck itself up some when I put my straw in, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Sip time! I was expecting to utter my signature catchphrase, “Now that’s thick!” upon making contact with the liquid, as I find much of Bailey’s draw to be its fatty mouthfeel, but it was just regular iced coffee consistency. And yet, the perceived fattiness and near-eggnog taste of the Shamrock Macchiato simulated richness.
I was pretty happy the green color dissipated with first sip, because my dog was embarrassed to be seen with me drinking something like this. It’s like this one time in 2008 my dad and I were on a college tour and he stopped to get a bag of Doritos out of a vending machine — the group kept walking, and I wanted him dead for that. At least get pretzels or something sophisticated, man.
I’ve had four sips of this in the last 45 minutes. It will probably sit in my fridge, teeming with possibility and melted ice cubes, until tomorrow afternoon, when I toss it.
The warm croissant was pretty burnt, but that’s New York style I think. I ate the whole thing.