The Taste Test: Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino (Limited Edition)

Starbucks is back at it again with a creation that has just about taken over the Internet. Remember me talking about Pink Drink? Well, I think this one is just a bit more popular—if that’s even possible. I haven’t been able to get on Snapchat or Instagram the last few days without seeing someone posing with the newest drink: the Unicorn Frappuccino. Ever the lover of Starbucks, I was quite intrigued upon seeing the pastel beauty. What does “unicorn flavor” taste like, after all? When I found out that it would only be available for a few days, I rushed to try it out. All across social media I’ve seen outcries of dismay thanks to it being sold out at their local stores. If you’re one of the people who didn’t get to experience the awesomeness that is the Unicorn Frappuccino, keep reading. I’ll try my hardest not to rub it in.

Finding this drink was a bit of a struggle, I’ve got to be honest. I don’t even know the date that it actually dropped or how I originally found out about it. My first instinct is to say that I saw James Charles with it on Snapchat, but don’t quote me on that. It had to be someone from California though because the first thing I thought when I saw it was, “Oh great. California gets everything first. My dumb cow town probably won’t even get it.”

You may be thinking that I was being overly dramatic, but I kid you not—my town is so small that it’s not even considered a town. They consider it a village. Can you imagine?? What is this? The old country? Anyway, due to our population size, we often miss out on the seasonal/limited time items from Starbucks. You know the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte and Cream Cheese Pumpkin muffins of autumn? Those sell out so fast you’d be lucky to know they ever had them at all. Starbucks must be sending one muffin out. Is it the end of the world? Obviously not. #FirstWorldProblems. I know this. I’m just a really spoiled native-Californian who is used to having ten Starbucks locations within a three-mile radius. I’ll deal. *Smile*

Sure enough, my local store sold out of their stock of the Unicorn Frapp by 5 p.m. the first day they had it. What?? I honestly didn’t think anyone around here would care much about it, but you know, it was that one person who did. I was hardly impressed.

The barista did their best to provide some comfort, “If you’d just gotten here thirty minutes earlier…”

But I didn’t, so that ended the search for the day. I was not about to venture several towns away just for a drink. As I saw it, it was not that serious. Of course, I say that, but I ended up scouring the Starbucks app the very next day. I kept trying to find a reasonably close location that still had it available via the ordering feature, but I kept popping up empty. And then I had the idea of the century—the Starbucks in Target! Sure enough, that location was just inconvenient enough to prevent people from snatching up all the Unicorn Frapps. Mission accomplished.


Tasting Notes 

 

Appearance: This frappuccino is a gorgeous display of lilac purples, Barbie pinks and psychedelic sky blues intermingled into wavy zig-zags. The whipped cream is dusted with pink and blue “fairy dust” (as coined by Starbucks).

Smell: In short, this smells sweet and fruity. It was very reminiscent of some kind of fruity cotton candy. There was a slight tartiness to it as well, but I would say the overall scent was fairly normal for such an abnormal looking frappuccino.

Texture: Same as always: cold, icy and smooth. Nothing interesting to report here. My frappuccino was a bit melted by the time I was able to take a photo and consume it, but it was still what you’d expect. Once I froze it and brought it back to life, it was exactly as a frappuccino usually is.

Flavor: Truth be told, I wasn’t feeling too well by the time I obtained the frappuccino, so I only took a few sips of it yesterday. I couldn’t quite taste it (thank you, blocked sinuses), so I put it in the freezer until today when I was feeling better. With a clear nose, I could grasp the full flavor better.

Just as Starbucks described, the flavor changes as you drink it. One minute it’s sweet and docile, the next it’s punchy and sour. The sweet isn’t overly sweet, but when you get a hit of the tart taste, you are glad to have something sweet to balance it out with. Fruity meets milky, the general taste reminded me of strawberries and raspberries. It wasn’t like berries you’d pick off of the vine though—all fresh and organic. This was more of an artificial berry flavor (think lollipops).

When I went to taste the “fairy dust” by itself, it was downright mouth puckering. It’s not a sweet sour either. It’s just sour…like a lemon is sour. Watch out for that stuff!

Strangely enough, the frapp actually contains white chocolate mocha sauce (I couldn’t taste any trace of chocolate), vanilla syrup and mango syrup (containing passionfruit juice concentrate). Even after having looked up the ingredients list, I still think the Unicorn frappuccino tastes like berries. Who am I to argue with Starbucks though?

Tastes Like: Raspberry sherbet meets Pixie Sticks and Fun Dip. It was definitely more reminiscent of sherbet opposed to sorbet (sherbet is essentially sorbet with the addition of dairy, which makes it creamy). The taste reminds me of a day at the county fair, pastel tutus, fuzzy stuffed animals and Lisa Frank school supplies. I’m totally aging myself, but who remembers and loved Lisa Frank like I did? Bottom line? This frapp has a fun, child-like flavor. If you love whimsical, sweet and sour candies, you will probably love this.

Overall Impressions: I’m kind of surprised by how much fun I had trying the Unicorn frappuccino. At first, I thought the sour notes were super bizarre (especially since I typically don’t order frappuccinos outside of the odd Vanilla Bean). However, as things started melting together and the sour/sweet flavors blended more, I was totally hooked. It’s obviously not thirst quenching (what frapp really is?), but it makes a great unconventional dessert drink, in my opinion. I am so sad that this will be vanishing soon because I’d love for it to stick around forever.

I guess that would defeat the purpose of it being as rare as a unicorn though, huh? If it were that common it’d be a Dog frappuccino or something, wouldn’t it? Gross.

Score: 10/10


 

Like I said, this thing was really good and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Was it worth the temporary panic and miniature scavenger hunt to find it? Heck yes. Starbucks has really stepped it up lately. For awhile, so many people were saying that they are overrated—people were kind of over them. Even I, as loyal as I’ve been the last 15+ years, was getting a tad bit bored with the selection of drinks. Let me tell you, I’m far from bored now! I’ve been trying so many new things over the last few months and all of them have become favorites. It seems like a whole lot of other people are loving Starbucks again too, which can’t be a bad thing for Starbucks. Keep ’em coming, Starbucks.

I have no idea when the last Unicorn frapp will leave stores, but once they are sold out, that’s it. If you haven’t had the chance to try it yet and would like to, I highly recommend it. It’s probably not something most people would order every single time they go to Starbucks (if they could), but it’s an amazing pick if you have a taste for something sweet and tart. So run, don’t walk, to your nearest stocked Starbucks and pick this up before it’s gone! I’m going out tomorrow, so I hope I can experience it just once more. You know, for the road. -XO

 

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