Starbucks’ New Halloween Frappuccino Is Actually Kind of Scary

It’s charcoal-black, ‘fresh and fruity’ and, alas, available only in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

If the pressure to pull together the perfect Halloween costume or the sugar crash that has followed furtively scarfing down fistfuls of fun-size candy bars (sorry, less for you, trick-or-treaters) has you in a deep, dark, black-as-night mood, Starbucks has just the drink for you: the Phantom Frappuccino.

Available only through October 31 and, alas, only in stores across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the new limited-edition blended beverage is nevertheless worth taking note of even if you don’t happen to be in those locales this week. It’s coal-black, but also, incongruously sweet, or, as Starbucks put it in a blog post, the drink is "spooky and stunning on the outside and fresh and fruity on the inside."

To get the black color, Starbucks’ beverage innovators used charcoal powder (so on trend). The "fresh and fruity" taste comes from a blend of coconut milk and mango essence. Then, the glowing, swirly Halloween piece de resistance: "a ghoulish lime slime made with spirulina to deliver a light and fruity taste extravaganza," Starbucks says.

Oh, and the drink is vegan, so if you eschew animal products, there’s no need to be spooked.

On the other hand, detractors have called it "the worst Starbucks flavor I've ever had" and, more damning still, "the worst drink I’ve ever had."

OK, so mixed reviews. There has also been a lot of talk about the charcoal’s alleged effects on the body – some of it not so pretty (black mouth, black, um, other things); some of it, if true, pretty scary.

Still, can’t help but wish it were available here in the U.S. Way to turn our terrified Halloween "Boo!" into a weepy Halloween-beverage-bereft "Boo-Hoo!" Starbucks!

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

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