The new Frozen Horchata from Saxbys was created for Drexel's Class of 2018 and will be available at the two Saxbys locations on the University City Campus. Photo courtesy Saxbys.
For the first time, a Drexel University class will have its own special drink — and it’s a cool one.
Thanks to a unique partnership with Saxbys, this year’s seniors (and visitors to the two Saxbys on Drexel’s University City Campus) can toast to their upcoming graduation with a limited-edition beverage: the Frozen Horchata, which is a Mexican cinnamon-vanilla iced beverage.
The drink launches May 22 and, to celebrate, Saxbys team members will be roaming the campus handing out free samples to students. Students should follow Saxbys on Twitter and Instagram to learn more about where the company’s team members will be during the day. The Frozen Horchata will also be available at both Saxbys on campus – in the Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building and on 34th Street and Lancaster Avenue, both of which are exclusively operated by Drexel students.
“We’re pretty excited about the partnership and the concept of a class drink, which is a first for senior programming,” said MacKenzie Luke, executive director of Student Life. “It’s a wonderful idea and it’s great that Drexel students were involved with this as well.”
At the beginning of the academic year, the campus Senior Year Experience Committee, which includes current students, alumni and staff, began to bring the idea of a special class drink to life.
The decision was then made to reach out to Saxbys to get involved — a logical leap, considering that the University has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Saxbys since the first student-run café opened on campus in 2015. When Saxbys agreed to the arrangement, it became the first time, however, that Saxbys developed a drink specifically for a college or university, including those that it has partnerships with.
“I was really excited when the idea was introduced to me by the committee,” said Gabrielle Goitiandia, a pre-junior accounting major in the LeBow College of Business and the president of Drexel Traditions Program. “I feel as though Saxbys has such a strong presence on our campus that to do a partnership like this just made sense. The senior year experience programming is some of my favorite programming to be involved with and I love seeing the additions that are added that become new traditions for the University.”
Drexel Traditions then gathered possible drink ideas from students during the Activities Unlimited fair in fall term, with the proposals including everything from the beverage names to a list of ideas or just a simple suggestion for the Saxbys product development team. It just so happened that the Saxbys team included Elizabeth Czerpak, a then-junior culinary science major and nutrition minor in Drexel’s Center for Food and Hospitality Management. She was working at Saxbys Headquarters in Center City as a product development associate for her second co-op and had already helped roll out multiple Saxbys products, like the Vanilla Bean Cold Brew, which made it on the menu at all cafés over the past year.
“I learned so much from my experience creating the class drink!” said Czerpak. “It was one of the first projects I was able to completely develop from beginning to end, including recipe development, product tasting and pricing. I am very proud. My classes have definitely prepared me to be able to think creatively and develop new and exciting products.”
She worked with Saxbys Product Development Manager Lori Kuserk to create five finalist drinks based off of the suggestions from the senior class. Those prototypes were all iced beverages: the winning Frozen Horchata, a Nutella drink, blueberry lemonade, a s’mores drink and a cotton candy frozen latte.
“There is no better job — in my opinion — than getting to develop new creative drinks,” said Czerpak. “The Frozen Horchata was my favorite to develop.”
When the samples were perfected, the Drexel senior year experience committee visited Saxbys Headquarters for a tasting — which was “overwhelmingly enjoyable” according to Thanh Lam, a biological sciences major in the College of Arts and Sciences who is the senior class president of Drexel’s Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA).
“Being involved with this contest was such an awesome and humbling experience for me,” said Lam. “It was such an honor to sit in as a representative of the senior class to be able to see the final contestant flavors, and also taste and vote on them as well.”
The five finalist drinks were then announced for seniors to vote on a winner. The Frozen Horchata — which was submitted by Davos Paquin, a freshman finance major in the LeBow College of Business — won the contest, with the Nutella drink coming in a distant second. And now, the Drexel seniors can finally taste the winning drink and check off one more item from their pre-graduation to-do list.
“I think that having a senior class drink invites seniors to feel significant and a sense of pride because that's our drink,” said Lam. “No other class before has ever had the opportunity to be able to say that they had a class drink and I think that is something really special.”