By the Way

Searching for a magical unicorn drink on the Coast? You’re out of luck

Starbucks debuted the Unicorn Frappuccino on Wednesday. Starbucks says its newest beverage not only changes colors with a stir of the straw, but flavors as well. The Seattle chain says its “Unicorn Frappuccino” starts as a purple drink with blue swirls that tastes sweet and fruity, before changing to pink with a tangy and tart taste with a stir of the straw.
Starbucks debuted the Unicorn Frappuccino on Wednesday. Starbucks says its newest beverage not only changes colors with a stir of the straw, but flavors as well. The Seattle chain says its “Unicorn Frappuccino” starts as a purple drink with blue swirls that tastes sweet and fruity, before changing to pink with a tangy and tart taste with a stir of the straw. AP

My search for a magical drink based on a mythological character was, alas, not meant to be.

But that’s only how this story ended. So for the sake of narrative and linear storytelling, let me start at the beginning.

On Wednesday, Starbucks launched a new drink called the Unicorn Frappuccino. It was a sweet-and-sour drink that changed colors as one consumed it, or at least that’s how it was advertised.

Here’s what the company was claiming on Twitter:

“The drink was supposed to be available from April 19-23. The release of the iced beverage created a social media frenzy. Seriously. It’s all over social media, including Snapchat, which has its own Starbucks Unicorn filter. Even wine connoisseurs Kathy Lee and Hoda were posting about the drink on Facebook, because they are cool like that. Everybody wants a (hopefully) delicious unicorn.”

My wife, Dayna, was even talking about the drink in our home last night. But she painted a darker, more somber picture of the connection.

“I heard some people at Charlie’s day care saying that it was nasty and that it ‘tastes like a Warhead sour candy,’” she said.

I was perplexed by this admission. Just what exactly is Starbucks putting in these drinks?

The short answer is fat and sugar — lots and lots of sugar. I’m talking upset-stomach levels of sugar. A 16-ounce drink has almost 60 grams of sugar in it and 16 grams of fat. As a diabetic, I knew this was something I didn’t need to fool with.

But I did think it would be funny to take a taste test with my colleagues and get their take on the Unicorn. Plus, I could do a bit about how it was chockfull of real unicorn meat and all of my co-workers would laugh at my jokes and everyone would want to be my friend.

It wasn’t going to happen.

A trip to the Starbucks on Pass Road in Biloxi literally killed my comedic dreams — Coast Starbucks sold out of the drinks in a day. Calls to other Starbucks locations from Gulfport to Pascagoula proved this theory. I felt like one Starbucks employee could feel my pain when I asked about the magical elixir and they replied, “Nah. We out.”

And just like the real-life unicorns, the Unicorn Frappuccino has been reduced to urban folklore and mythology. Everyone will one day say they drank from the proverbial fountain of youth that was the Unicorn Frappuccino. And although I will not correct them nor attempt to diminish their memories, I will know they are lying.

Good-bye, beloved Unicorn Frappuccino, we will see you in our dreams and nightmares. But hello, Chizza at KFC — the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse of our bowels are coming thy way.

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