The reign of terror is over. The vampires and zombies and witches have been vanquished. Starbucks has emerged from the Instagram spell — or curse — that doomed it to base all of its seasonal drinks on some sort of magical creature, ramping up the number of weird-colored powders and syrups and gimmick ingredients with every new monster drink it added to the menu. The newest seasonal drink is modeled after an actual food item, and it doesn’t have any pink syrup or edible glitter or color-changing sour powder. It’s s’mores.
Look, I am as surprised as anyone that I’m about to say this. But this drink is . . . good? As your faithful Frappuccino Critic of two years, I am beyond jaded about these overpriced milkshakes. I tried the unicorn Frappuccino, which tasted like “sour birthday cake and shame.” I tried the “Witch’s Brew,” which I believe cursed me for all of eternity. I tried the Christmas tree frapp, which looked like “chocolate milk topped with wasabi.” I tried the crystal ball Frappuccino: “Everything about this Frappuccino is a bad omen.”
But the s’mores frapp has recognizable ingredients: A pleasingly thick marshmallow crème, chocolate sauce, coffee — actual coffee in this one, folks! — and a graham cracker topping that adds a bit of crunch. You can taste each distinct element of the s’more, unlike the other drinks, which melded together into some sort of cotton candy-Robitussin crème potion.
It is too sweet, but all Frappuccinos are too sweet, so we grade on a curve there. The drink isn’t new — it debuted in 2015, and the company claims, with a straight face, that it “evokes a passionate fan-base similar to that of the fall-inspired, Pumpkin Spice Latte.” (Sure, Jan.)
When I tried it, I was surprised by how much I liked it — but it wasn’t long before I got bored. That’s the unfortunate consequence of Starbucks’s never-ending purple and green glitter drinks: They prime the audience to be adrenaline junkies, hopped up on rainbow sugar syrup, looking for our next thrill. A s’more, so tame and wholesome and brown, feels like detox.
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