I can't anymore with these mythical Starbucks Frappuccinos. We started with Unicorn Frappuccinos, and then, a few days later, there were Dragon Frappuccinos. Now, we've finally worked our way to Mermaid Frappuccinos, which feels like we've come full circle in some kind of way. After all, who can forget the glittery mermaid toast whose siren call was heard 'round the internet? The Mermaid Frappuccino is not an official menu item like the Unicorn Frappuccino. It's off the so-called Starbucks secret menu, which, again, is not a real menu from which you can order. It's actually a series of customizations you can make to existing drinks to fit your dietary restrictions or make your drinks look like mythological creatures or whatever.
So what is the Mermaid Frappuccino, and how do you order a Mermaid Frappuccino from your no-doubt exhausted Starbucks barista? It was created by a woman named Jocelyn Freeman who runs the blog The Modern Barista. According to a post on StarbucksMelody, which summarized Freeman's order, the Mermaid Frappuccino is a Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with three scoops of blackberry inclusions for a grande. That sounds simple enough, sure, but that's not everything.
There's also the green syrup that drizzles down the inside of the cup, and that's where the order gets weird. StarbucksMelody writes, "I’m afraid that most stores will be reluctant to make this for one drink. The drizzle is 8 pumps white mocha, 3 cbs pumps toasted coconut, and 3 scoops matcha," and adds, "If your store doesn’t want to make the drizzle, ask to have it topped with matcha on the whipped cream—You’ll still get a great drink!"
But is it really a great drink? I decided to go to Starbucks and find out. (As if I have any autonomy left when it comes to viral Starbucks drinks. If the internet creates it, I must try it. This is my life now.)
I've gotten to the point that I apologize to my barista before ordering. "I know that this is a complicated order, and I'm sorry in advance," I said as I held out my phone with the instructions from StarbucksMelody. I showed my barista the recipe and asked, "Can you make this?" (Pro tip: If you want to order a viral Starbucks drink, write out the recipe on a sheet of paper, and politely hand it to the barista. You don't have to recite a complicated order; the barista doesn't have to wonder WTF you mean by "Mermaid Frappuccino." It saves everyone a lot of headaches.)
The two baristas behind the counter looked at the order and explained the syrup as written out wasn't going to happen, but the barista making my drink said she'd see what she could do. And boy, did she do it.
The result was a purple drink with matcha sludge on the outside of the cup and sprinkled on the whipped cream. It tasted totally fine, like vanilla bean and blackberries with a little bit of bitterness from the green tea. I wouldn't say it was balanced, but it wasn't as aggressive as the now-infamous Unicorn Frappuccino. If anything, it reminded me of the Baby Vomit Frappuccino I tried a few months back.
The most disappointing thing about the Mermaid Frappuccino was how bad it looked in photographs. Like yes, the Unicorn Frappuccino wasn't my proverbial cup of tea, but at least it looked dope in photos. The Mermaid Frappuccino looked pretty normal, which was disappointing—and, in my opinion, makes it not worth the hassle. Because if you're going to make me order a Mermaid Frappuccino, I want it to be sparkling, not just fine.
But I guess this is the progression of things now: unicorns to dragons to mermaids, even if the magic has all but disappeared. All that's left is a Frappuccino as black as my heart, and only then can we end the cycle.