Starbucks
Starbucks' Unicorn Frappuccino is already the thing of legend.

The 5 Most Outlandish Drinks in North America

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Beverage menus are overflowing with everything from pastel-colored unicorns to black-as-night skulls.
By Nicole Duncan April 2017 Blog

For many in the restaurant biz, summertime means open patios, extended hours, out-of-town visitors, lighter menu items, and extra cool libations. Menu innovators seem especially smitten by that last one. A year ago, frosé (frozen rosé) was making the rounds at trendy restaurants in major cities while DIY versions invaded many a cookout.

Memorial Day weekend—the unofficial start of summer—is still a solid month away, but a number of brands are already mixing up the most colorful, clever, and in some cases, just crazy, concoctions. 

Will any of these unseat frozen daiquiris or brewed-in-house iced tea? Probably not. Will frosé return with a vengeance? Possibly. Are mixologists going to make like booze cruises and go overboard? You betcha.

Unicorn Frappuccino

Starbucks

The drink was so fleeting that you might think it just a social media myth, not unlike its namesake. The color– and flavor-changing frap started purple and fruity before morphing to a tangy-tasting tart.

Chicago-Style Hot Dog Whiskey Sour

The Tuck Room, New York City

Blending meat into liquid form has somehow graduated from SNL’s Bassomatic skit to the realm of reality. Adam Seger, the mad scientist/executive bartender at NYC’s The Tuck Room, infuses the flavors of Vienna Beef hot dogs, relish, pickles, mustard, and other condiments into whiskey before adding house-made sour mix. The unnamed cocktail is essentially a Chicago-style hot dog whiskey sour.

The Treebeard

Botanist, Vancouver

Our neighbors to the north know what’s up with weird libations. Vancouver’s newest restaurant, Botanist, boasts a cocktail menu that would please the Hemingway of woodland gnomes. Divided into categories like “Flowers + Trees,” “Fruits + Vegetables,” and “Berries + Vines,” the most noteworthy must be the Treebeard—Douglas Fir gin, oaked rye, cedar, birch sap, and Alderwood-smoked tea.

Hot Chocolate, Now Frozen

Dunkin' Donuts

For decades, Serendipity 3 was famous for its Frrrozen Hot Chocolate (and for a terrible John Cusack movie). The counterintuitive combo could get a second wind now that the No. 2 coffee concept, Dunkin’ Donuts, has added its own “Hot Chocolate, Now Frozen.”

Perla Negra

Slowly Shirley, New York City

The balance of light and dark could bode well for under-the-radar charcoal cocktails. A macabre—yet refreshing—beverage like Slowly Shirley’s Perla Negra stands out amid sunny days and beyond-bright drinks. Served in a skull-shaped glass, the opaque-black cocktail includes activated charcoal (purported to have detoxifying properties) with aged rum, orange juice, citrus, and honey.