Ever since I tasted my first Frappuccino in the fourth grade, I was hooked. Starbucks was my go-to for coffee, even more so in my later years of high school and college when I actually needed caffeine to get through my day.
I’m also a self-proclaimed foodie. I follow all of the cooking how-to videos, read the blogs and try to eat at mainly local places when I go out. One of the latest food trends I’ve noticed popping up online is a unicorn obsession. I must admit I don’t really get it. I’d like to think the “Let’s eat something sugar-loaded, pink and sparkly,” hasn’t drawn me in since my elementary years. But bakeries and restaurants all over the nation, and even locally, are joining in and making their own versions of unicorn food.
But get this – Starbucks released a limited-time drink Wednesday: the Unicorn Frappuccino. It’s bright pink, full of sugar and apparently super popular on social media. It’s like a bath bomb you can eat.
Starbucks has marketed the drink as the “flavor-changing, color-changing, totally not-made-up Unicorn Frappuccino.” Ingredients include ice, milk, mango syrup, blue drizzle, pink powder and sour blue powder just to name a few.
So, like any true journalist I was curious and decided to try it. I had to move quick though because this drink is only around for five days and I had already lost one.
After being turned away from the Starbucks on Jackson Avenue because they already ran out of the ingredients on day two, my coworker Jonathan saved the day and brought me one from the on-campus location in Coulter Hall. I was secretly happy I didn’t have to say, “May I have a unicorn Frappuccino, please?” in front of a coffee shop full of people.
To my amazement, the drink looked as pink, blue and swirly as it did in the advertisements. I’ll definitely give all the hardworking baristas props for that.
I slid my green straw through the pink and blue sugar-topped whip cream and into the drink. I took my first sip. My eyes closed and my lips puckered… and not in a good way.
This drink was one of the most sour things I’ve tasted in a long while. It was like popping fifteen Starbursts into my mouth at once – not a good idea. We passed the drink around the office, each taking turns experiencing that first (and usually last) lip-puckering sip before passing it off to someone else.
This was a brilliant marketing on Starbucks part. Everyone saw the Frappuccino on social media and rushed out to get one just like they did when popular Instagrammers posted the secret menu Pink Drink a few months ago. That drink became so popular it’s been added to the permanent menu. They company nailed the look of the drink and even put thought into giving it “magical qualities” like changing colors and taste when you stir the drink. There’s no doubt this is a well-made product, it’s just not a tasty one. This drink was made to be hashtagged with unicorn emojis, not to be sipped.
No amount of supposed fairy dust is worth a toothache sugar rush and 410 calories in a grande cup. I say buy one for yourself and a group of friends. You can snap a picture of the drink for social media, share in a taste-test and be able to take part in this current conversation.
Both Starbucks locations on campus, one in Coulter Hall and one in the J.D. Williams Library, are making this special offer drink while supplies last.