We tried the Unicorn Frappuccino so you don't have to

By Rachel Rippetoe | April 21, 2017 3:00am

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A picture's worth a thousand words. Senior reporter and copy editor Cheyenne Schoen and Living Editor Rachel Rippetoe are not too fond of Starbucks' new unicorn drink. 

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

As far as high school Tumblr-girl stereotypes go, I’m not of the unicorn, rainbow fetish variety. I had to scourge my closet on Easter Sunday just to find any article of clothing that wasn’t black. But I’m also a sucker for the over-hyped food fad, so when Starbucks announced its new “unicorn” drink, I knew I was doomed to a calorie-loaded, mystical, purple fate.

After a few hours of hoopla surrounding Starbucks’ release of its latest limited edition drink, the world largely came to a consensus: These cotton-candy-looking treats are disgusting. It has some sort of blue, sour syrup that interrupts the drink’s sweetness and has everyone cringing and throwing it away after they’ve put the finishing touches on their Instagram post.

Everything started out normal. Cheyenne looks pretty cute with her purple unicorn beverage. 

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Why ruin a perfectly good frappuccino with Warhead-tasting gunk? Well, if 2017 has taught us anything it’s that we can’t have nice things, not even weird, unicorn drinks.

What can I say, though? I’m here for the morbid, sugary, grossness of it all. Sign me up for the 59 grams of sugar!! I’ll take a venti, please and thank you.

Before I rip Starbucks a new one for this health-hazard publicity stunt that tastes like the inside of a piñata, let’s talk about me for a minute.

I’m the type of girl who will push my plate away from me, deem something inedible-y disgusting, and still find myself picking at the remnants later in the conversation. I’m the type of girl that eats everyone else’s gross dessert even after I’ve nodded in conforming agreement that it shouldn’t be eaten. I can’t help myself. I fall victim time and time again to my crippling sugar-addiction.

Then Rachel joined and they both just went for it. Brave souls. 

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

I expected no different of myself as I strolled into a Starbucks Thursday morning, ready to get my gross, sugary drink on. But nothing could prepare me for this pastel-tinted abomination.

I shared a venti unicorn frappe with whipped cream and powdery sparkles on top with two other editors. The advertisements make the drink look like a “My Little Pony” wet dream, but our colors were a little more muted. It was mainly purple, with a few swirls of blue, which I already knew signified the danger zone.

We dug in, rather hesitantly. The first two sips tasted like a combination of a Jolly Rancher, Fun Dip and unwelcome middle school flashbacks. It was as if Starbucks blended together all of the candy Valentines I received in second grade (back in a civilized society when the whole class gave them out, and you were never left hungry and lonely on V-Day).

It wasn’t truly a painful experience until I braced myself and took a swig of the blue swirls stuck to the edges of my cup. Suddenly, all I could picture was that one kid in middle school who would peel back his eyelids and stick them to his face, just to freak everybody out. Everybody knew one of those kids, right? That’s what this drink reminds me of because it made me want to peel my eyelids off.

Nope. Unicorn Frappuccino gets zero out of ten stars. 

by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Also, the drink’s careless treatment of whipped cream wildly offends me. While the glitz powder makes for a nice aesthetic on your Instagram feed, the taste is akin to Kool-Aid powder without the sugar. Honestly, I think Starbucks should write me a formal letter of apology for its senseless killing of countless dollops of whipped cream. Once that gross unicorn sparkle garbage touched the innocent whipped cream it was no longer edible.

Apparently, the drink is supposed to be mango flavored. It’s not. But to be honest, it’s hard to taste anything through the sour flavoring that I still can’t get out of my teeth.

Kudos to the 11-year-old boy who clearly concocted this drink, but all mixed together into one purple Starbucks sunset, “the unicorn” is undrinkable.


Do yourself a favor and save your $4.95.  

Contact Editor in Chief Rachel Rippetoe at rippetoe18@up.edu or on Twitter @rachelrippetoe.
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