During this past weekend in April, my newsfeeds and timelines filled with images of the Unicorn Frappuccino: a limited-edition, "sweet-to-sour" blended drink available at Starbucks for exactly four days. The photos are magical and colorful, giving the Internet a whimsical wash of pink, blue, and purple. However, read reviews online, and you'll see it described in the worst ways imaginable

My eagerness to enjoy it myself, regardless of others' negative opinions, leads me to my local Starbucks. I know that I can revamp it if necessary, so I set off to taste the elusive drink.

Emma Cassell

After my first sips of the Unicorn Frappuccino, I am surprised: how is it that people don't like this? It's sweet with a tropical feel, and the flavor is immediately enjoyable. However, after stirring it, the taste transforms. The sour drizzle on the sides of the cup is the issue—it makes the drink taste like curdled milk. I plan to harness the yummy taste that I experienced before mixing the drink. 

Emma Cassell

Making A Better Beverage

My goal for improving the Unicorn Frappuccino is to create a drink that tastes like the tropics, minus the sour drizzle. After all, it is the blue syrup that turns off people from the original drink. I don't want my drink to taste like a liquid Warhead candy.

I have my barista add mango syrup in varying amounts to individual vanilla bean Frappuccinos to try and mimic the base flavor of the Unicorn Frappuccino. I use a grande size drink and then have her add syrup in "light," "regular," and "strong" amounts. Trial-and-error is my friend, and I am willing to do whatever it takes to capture the palatable flavors of the Unicorn Frappuccino.

liquor, beer, alcohol, wine, whisky
Kayla Jimenez

My final creation, the Mango Dreamsicle Frappuccino, successfully mirrors the Unicorn Frappuccino's enjoyable parts. The new drink is not as colorful as the Unicorn Frappuccino, but where it lacks in vibrancy, it delivers in flavor. If you close your eyes, it is as if you have melted a popsicle from your childhood into a cup and are drinking it with a straw. Sounds over-the-top, tastes like nostalgia. 

The Simple Solution

chocolate, cake
Emma Cassell

Three pumps of mango syrup for a grande size Frapp make for a satisfying balance of sweetness from the crème and tanginess from the mango.

If you are going to order a tall, I would suggest 2 pumps of mango syrup; for a venti, I would suggest 4 pumps of mango syrup. 

My quest for the improved Unicorn Frappuccino ends on a high note. I now have a quick and easy recipe for a refreshing yet indulgent treat, and I can get it any day of the year. Mission accomplished.

ice, dairy product, cream, milk
Emma Cassell