Arts & CultureFood

Starbucks’s Unicorn Frappuccino is a magical nightmare



Starbucks’s magical Unicorn Frappuccino looks like a little kid’s science experiment: a swirl of pink and blue color stirred into a cup then topped with whipped cream. If a child showed their parents, they’d say it was beautiful while anxiously thinking of how to sneak it in the trash with minimal mess. 

Today, I tried the suspicious drink that Starbucks is calling the Unicorn Frappuccino. It’s available until April 23, but don’t get too upset it’s out for such a short time. The only good thing about this drink is it won’t be available in a matter of days.

First, be aware that the only exciting part of this drink is the surprise. If you don’t want to know how it tastes, don’t read on. But do know that this knowledge may save you a few dollars and an upset stomach. 

I watched the barista make the drink.  She poured in milk, mango and frappuccino syrups, then lots more sugar-like powders and syrups sprinkled on top. Just like the unicorn, I wondered, what of this drink is actually real? 

Even Starbucks baristas are complaining about the new drink. Watch the video below to see one barista’s thoughts on the new drink. 

I dipped the straw into the suspicious powdered pink and blue substance sprinkled across the whipped cream and took the first sip. 

It’s a bunch of sugary chemicals splashed into a cup with milk and then dubbed to be magical. I wanted to believe the magic, but after a few sips I already felt nauseous. First it tastes like mango. That’s a pretty normal flavor, right? 

No. 

It tastes like fluoride. The kind the dentist tells you to gurgle during a visit. The kind you let seep into your tongue for a whole 30 seconds as the dentist half smiles and says you can’t eat for another 30 minutes, the taste lingering awkwardly until you can finally eat again. 

The barista warned that the horrid concoction had different layers of flavor. I thought perhaps this flavor was just one bad part. Surely, there must be other layers of magical unicorn goodness yet to come. 

It tasted like extra sour sweet tarts covered in citrus, sugar and more fluoride rinse. I wondered what went through the head of whoever made this recipe. The sugary infusion of flavors made me wish I had never ingested this substance. 

I wanted to believe it tasted good like bubble gum, cotton candy and rainbows. Then the chemical aftertaste overcame my taste buds and I pushed the drink away. I stared at it melting in front of me. It looked  like something sheer bliss turned to utter sadness, like a McDonald’s birthday cake thrown up all over the floor. 

If you think the experience of trying this concoction that pays homage to the unicorn is worth it, by all means, try it. It’s kind of exciting to ask for a “magical” drink with a straight face. Just don’t be offended if you share it with your friends and they question all your life choices. 

Personally, I’ll be sticking to hot chocolate and lattes from now on. 

Follow Anna on Twitter: @annarlieberman

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Anna Lieberman

Anna Lieberman

Anna is the Emerald's Outreach Director. She likes to eat macaroni and cheese and talk about her rabbit.