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Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino about as easy to find in F-M as an actual unicorn

Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino starts out purple and sweet and magically turns pink and tangy. It's available from April 19 to April 23. Photo: Starbucks

FARGO — Area Starbucks fans are jumping on the unicorn bandwagon. Sales have been brisk for the just-released Unicorn Frappuccino — a pink, purple, blue, swirly, sparkly blended beverage the company calls "mystical" and "magical."

But does it live up to the billing?

I went to Starbucks to find out. The barista said they had had a run of the beverages in the first hours it was for sale on Wednesday, April 19. And while Starbucks was offering the Unicorn Frappuccino until Sunday, April 23, Fargo-Moorhead Starbucks stores are now sold out.

I ordered a 16-ounce grande, and they quickly gave me a beautiful, foo-foo looking beverage with swirls of blue woven throughout the mostly pink drink, all topped by a pillow of fluffy vanilla whipped cream and sparkly blue and pink sweet-and-sour dust. (Imagine the drink Barbie would sip on the porch of her vacation dream house and this would be it.) Looks matter, but what about the taste?

The first sip takes you back a bit. Because of the color, I expected a berry or even cotton candy flavor. However, the Unicorn Frappuccino actually contains mango syrup, so it has a sweet and fruity tropical flavor at first. But then, the more you sip it, the more tangy and tart it gets, presumably because the whipped cream with the sour dust starts to mix in with the rest of the beverage.

Perhaps the magical part is how each sip is just a little bit different — one sip fruity and sweet like a milkshake, the next more like eating a couple of Sweetheart candies. Starbucks claims the beverage does a lot of color-changing from purple to pink. I didn't find that to be the case. It was mostly a Pepto-Bismol pink the entire time, which got a little more purple as the blue coloring mixed in.

Starbucks is trying capitalize on the current social media frenzy over unicorn-themed food and drinks — overall this is a nice addition.

However, I certainly won't shed any tears when the Unicorn Frappuccino finds its way back from our world to its enchanted forest on April 23 (or until supplies last). I prefer my Starbucks beverages a little less sweet and to actually include coffee (the Unicorn Frap does not). While there's nothing very magical about a skinny vanilla latte, it gets me through a gloomy Monday morning and that's good enough for me.

Tracy Briggs

Tracy Briggs is a former TV anchor/radio host currently working as a features writer and video host for Forum Communications.

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