It actually tastes like a banana split
Another day, another Frappuccino from the Starbucks secret menu to taste. This one is called the Banana Split Frappuccino, and it is decidedly less outrageous than some of the other Frappuccinos that have come out in the last few weeks. The new Starbucks secret menu item was first spotted in Palm Springs, California, by Gina Vaynshteyn, the editorial director at HelloGiggles, and though the drink's ingredients were listed in full on a chalkboard outside, according to the barista who made the editor the drink, the Banana Split Frappuccino was exclusive to (and likely created by) that store. The drink was described as "summer in a cup," and since I'm a sucker for sunshine and tricking myself into thinking the weather is warmer than it really is, I knew I had to try it myself.
So how do you order a Banana Split Frappuccino? It's actually fairly straightforward, as far as secret menu items go. The Banana Split Frappuccino is a vanilla bean Frappuccino blended with a banana, Frappuccino Chips, and strawberry juice, and topped with a mocha drizzle. And according to the sign spotted in Palm Springs by Vaynshteyn listing the Banana Split Frappuccino's ingredients, the baristas recommend adding a cookie straw to the drink. For good measure, I guess.
The order was straightforward enough, though the first location I visited didn't have the requisite strawberry juice. But the second Starbucks I went to took my order without blinking an eye. And you know what I learned about asking for a drink "blended with banana"? You get a whole banana blended into your drink. Yes, the barista took a fresh banana, peeled it, and plopped it into the blender. That's a whole piece of fruit! In my Frappuccino! I think that means that this Frappuccino is basically a health food, especially along the spectrum of Starbucks secret menu items that I've tried. (It might sound like I'm making a joke about this, but I swear I'm not. Need I remind you about the so-called, still unidentifiable "blue swirl" of the Unicorn Frappuccino?)
The final Banana Split Frappuccino that ended up on my barista's counter was a little visually disappointing. The drink that I received was not as gloriously pink as the original photo (though, to be fair, that image could've been edited). The Banana Split Frappuccino was actually more of pastel pink than a vibrant hue, which was slightly disappointing.
So you might still be wondering what the Banana Split Frappuccino tastes like. Well, it tastes exactly like banana split made with vanilla ice cream and topped with strawberries and a drizzle of chocolate sauce—and that's because that's basically what it is.
The cookie straw was also a dope addition to the ice cream-inspired drink (and, to be honest, I'm shocked it's taken me this many Starbucks secret menu orders to get a cookie straw). It was akin to putting your sundae in a waffle cone rather than a cup. The cookie straw was not without logistical challenges, though. Chunks of banana kept getting caught in the bottom of the straw as I sucked, and the straw would get soggy after a few sips so I had to take a bite to get to the drier part and by the time I hit the midway point of the drink, I had barely enough cookie straw to reach the bottom of the cup.
But you know what was great? Having chunks of real fruit get stuck in my straw, and drinking a Frappuccino that felt familiar rather than outrageous. I didn't have to pucker my mouth in confusion at the barrage of flavors. I had a good sense of what flavors I would be consuming, and this banana-strawberry-vanilla-chocolate milkshake exceeded my expectations. My standards for what makes a new Frappuccino delicious might be low these days, but believe me when I say that the Banana Split Frappuccino is the best Starbucks secret menu item yet.