June 24, 2017

Pink tragedy: sip-by-sip review of the Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks' new Unicorn Frappuccino features blended creme, mango syrup and layered with sour, fruity blue drizzle. The limited-edition concoction is available until April 23 in the United States, Canada and Mexico. (Photo courtesy of Starbucks)

Cotton candy, Jolly Ranchers, bubble gum, berries galore and a whirlwind of sugar to send me to my early diabetic death.

Expecting all this — a sugar sweeter than the White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino — I sipped on the new drink from the on-campus Starbucks.

I would like to say now it was not the fault of the April-stressed college barista behind the counter. Much like a gold leaf, the more aesthetic it has, the more novel it is, the worse it tastes.

The flavor of watered-down banana with ice turned to store-brand cough syrup as I let the drink sit longer. This was what my $5.45 worth of hopes bought.

There are four steps to the tragedy of realizing the true despair that the Unicorn brings.

Starbucks unveiled the limited-edition Unicorn Frappuccino Blended Creme on April 19. (Photo by Rin Carbin)

The first step is the first sip.

The first sip is the best sip. No! It is the sip before the first, it is the absence of a sip. It is the childish naivete, the wait in line for a cup that returns with a bubbly color and misspelled name.

It goes downhill from there.

The second step is the second (or third, or fourth, or …) sip, when you’re forced to figure out how to describe the flavor to your friends.

Is it mango? Is it banana? It’s “the dress” of 2017. Black and blue, white and gold — mango, banana?

You say it’s banana, another person says it’s mango. They probably thought the dress was white and gold too.

The third step is the wait.

You set the drink aside to regain your bearings.

Maybe you just need to rest your taste buds, acclimate to a refined flavor palette no being of this planet could ever prepare for.

You observe the drink. It’s the science experiment from elementary school — will the bread grow mold? Will the drink get better?

It gathers at the bottom, all the pink syrup. Ice dyed purple is all that remains at the top, with the most despairing mass of whipped cream and sprinkles.

It’s layers of depression and regret, guilt for trying something new.

The fourth step is the death step.

Jump in! Take the sip. Right from the bottom, where all the syrup has bided its time.

Finally, the sugar-coma you wished for — it’s as sweet and foul as children’s cough syrup.

It settles uncomfortably, and you feel like you’ve sinned in a way you can never repent away.

What happens next depends from person to person.

I’m economical, so the drink stays in the office fridge. It will sit there until either I or the drink matures — whichever happens first.

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