No Swimming After Drinking the Mermaid Frappucino


The strange appearance of this frappuccino has my beta fish, Romeo, dazzled. – photograph by Kasey Charron

After the craze over limited edition Unicorn Frappucinos last month, Starbucks’ baristas have been scrambling to create the next drink. Many of these recipes are placed on the secret menu, where instructions are listed to make anything from apple pie frappuccinos to a mojito style refresher.
One of the more popular new drinks on the secret menu is the Mermaid Frappuccino. Posted all across social media, its mystical appearance and taste is thought to be an improvement on the Unicorn Frappuccino. But for anyone who values their physical health and wallet, it is recommended that you stay far, far away from the almighty Mermaid Frappuccino.
I pride myself on my healthy eating habits, so I wasn’t ecstatic about ordering something whose base drink alone contains 11 grams of fat and 39 grams of sugar. Nevertheless I did my best to remain open minded in looking at the ingredients: dehydrated blackberries and a green drizzle made with white mocha sauce, toasted coconut syrup, and matcha powder. It sounded, in theory, exquisite.

The most puzzling part of the Mermaid Frappuccino experience for me was ordering it. It took a solid five minutes for the barista to understand what I was asking and understandably so; the drink calls for most of the ingredients to be made into a drizzle, that’s poured into it and onto the top, which isn’t how Starbucks’ drinks are traditionally made. In fact, at the Starbucks in Avon, the manager advised me that they would do it once but they don’t make drizzles otherwise since so much of it ends up being wasted. I felt extremely high maintenance, enough that in pity I left a hefty tip.
After waiting an excruciatingly long time for the drink, I was very impressed by its appearance. While the drizzle didn’t float up the side as magically as I had seen in the pictures and the color was much more purple than I expected, it was nevertheless a pretty drink.
The first sip of the frappuccino tasted even more impressive. The berries and matcha flavors didn’t feel heavy, and it had a very refreshing taste. I enjoyed the texture, and it wasn’t clumpy as you would have expected considering whole blackberries were mixed in.
Unfortunately, the first sip was the only part of the Mermaid Frappuccino I can say I enjoyed. What continues to confuse me is why it’s called the Mermaid Frappuccino. I understood that the coconut syrup and matcha were supposed to resemble beach flavors, but the white mocha in the drink overpowered any taste that would remind me of a mermaid.
Furthermore, the drink was not well mixed and I drank up all the matcha and berries almost immediately. The white mocha flavor was all I tasted, and it left an aftertaste in my mouth. The sweetness was overpowering, and I quickly felt sick from drinking half of it and had to stop. While I may not be fine tuned to drinking excess amounts of sugar, I can’t overlook the destroyed feeling in my stomach to enjoy the frappuccino. My hope is that I somehow miscalculated the amount of syrup I needed, but I still can’t fathom how anyone could drink an entire frappuccino that sweet.
Besides the tip, the final cost of a tall mermaid frappuccino was $4.31. Make of that what you will; I personally felt ripped off, considering I might as well have dumped an entire bag of sugar down my throat for the same price, taste, and feeling.
If any sweet-tooths or white mocha fans are hanging around Starbucks, then knock yourself out with the teeth-rotting mermaid frappuccino. I will be sticking with my sugarless cappuccinos and lattes.