The Unicorn Frappuccino: It Sparkled, We Sipped, It Went

The Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino came and stirred up controversy just as it stirred together its absurd color scheme. The drink, made “with the finest rainbows,” quickly took over Instagram and inspired a savage review from the Washington Post. The Quad is here to add another voice to the clamor, now that we can look back in retrospect.

Review: Honestly, the Unicorn Frappuccino wasn’t that bad. It tasted like Skittles and it was pretty good, which says a lot coming from someone who doesn’t like Skittles. However, the whipped cream with the unicorn dust was really sour and the drink didn’t actually change from purple to pink. The Unicorn Frappuccino didn’t taste like shame, but it definitely didn’t make good on its promises of color and flavor changing.

However, many others felt differently. Christopher Raymond (CAS 20′) said it was “the highlight of my day, [but] in a bad way.” The baristas themselves had very different opinions than the public. Ashley Maldonado, the night manager at the Starbucks below Warren Towers, said “it wasn’t that it was hard to make, it was just that every person wanted it. It was a constant line.”

Clearly, the promises were an attraction for many. The line to get into Starbucks was super long while the Uni-Frap was there, and the drink was incredibly popular. When the Quad ordered, the baristas had to check and see if there was even enough powder left to make our drinks. Ashley Maldonado recalls making more than 100 Unicorn Frappuccinos in a 6-hour shift. With all its controversy, the popular drink was only around from April 19th to the 23rd – was part of the appeal its limited edition-ness?

Ashley Maldonado doesn’t think so. She believes that everyone wanted it because it “was big on Instagram and social media” and that “it just looked pretty.” 

There have been other short-lived drinks from Starbucks, including the Tuxedo beverage collection, which was available from December 26, 2016 to January 1, 2017, and consisted of three black-and-white mocha drinks meant to celebrate the New Year. Further back, there was the Frappula Frappuccino, a mocha drink with strawberry purée meant to resemble a vampire, which spooked customers from October 27 to 31 last year. Most of these drinks celebrate holidays, and although the Unicorn Frappuccino was released earlier in Boston for Marathon Monday, the only other holidays in the timespan of the Unicorn Frappuccino in places outside Boston were 420 and Earth Day. Yet, Starbucks denied that 420 was the reason behind the timing of this drink. Perhaps they wanted to leave the reasoning behind this drink as mythical as its namesake.

Featured photo via wikimedia commons.

Carolyn Komatsoulis

Carolyn Komatsoulis is the head photo editor of the Quad, an aspiring political and investigative reporter, and most importantly, an aspiring dog owner. She loves telling stories, meeting new people, and informing the world what the best places to eat are.

One thought on “The Unicorn Frappuccino: It Sparkled, We Sipped, It Went

  • April 27, 2017 at 4:31 pm
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    I actually think the limited-edition appeal did affect its popularity! I don’t know how many people felt the same way necessarily, but I know for me personally my decision to buy it was affected basically 99% by the fact I knew I had only two more days to try it out before it left! Otherwise, I might have not tried it at all (since it’s pretty enough, but I could appreciate that without buying it!) I wanted to know what it tasted like because of the novelty appeal! But of course the person you interviewed in the article could be right that it’s not the predominant cause; I just would say it’s definitely still one cause.

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