My first impression of my Wendy’s Peppermint Frosty, which debuted at Wendy’s today and will be available for a limited time during the holidays, was that it was more pink than I was expecting.
It was advertised as pink, and pink is a peppermint-associated color at this time of year (the melding of the red and white stripes of a candy cane, I suppose). But this shade of pink is also kind of a medicinal color. Seeing it there in the cup, it just didn’t scream minty, wintery fun the way I was expecting it to, nor was it served in the cheery red-and-white-striped cups that Wendy’s website appears to promise. Maybe that cup would have made it feel more festive and less simply... pink.
What a Wendy’s Peppermint Frosty tastes like
Wendy’s Peppermint Frosty is a brand-new seasonal flavor that will be served alongside the Chocolate Frosty throughout the season. It tastes minty and creamy—and here’s where we should probably address the elephant in the room. The pink color might have become more startling to me the more I ate because this Frosty reminded me of a distinctly green treat I’ve had many times before: the McDonald’s Shamrock Shake.
Since the holiday seasons for these two frozen treats don’t line up, I can’t do a side-by-side taste test, but it would be a huge oversight to not address the fact that, in flavor alone, this thing is a lot like a Shamrock Shake, which McDonald’s releases around St. Patrick’s Day every year. The Shamrock Shake is not peppermint, it’s more broadly categorized as “mint,” which isn’t quite as strong as peppermint. And the Peppermint Frosty isn’t far enough away from that general minty flavor profile that I trust I could distinguish it from a Shamrock Shake in a blind taste test.
To be clear, that’s fine with me. I’m a huge Shamrock Shake fan, and you probably are too.
What happened to Wendy’s Vanilla Frosty?
For a long time, Wendy’s only offered a Chocolate Frosty. It’s always been a mild chocolate, and that’s by design. The original concept of the Frosty was based on ice cream at a race track in Cleveland in the 1950s, which was vanilla and chocolate soft serve mixed together.
“The idea of mixing vanilla into chocolate was a general idea to make the chocolate a bit smoother and give it more of a malty flavor,” said the Frosty’s inventor, Fred Kappus, in a retrospective published in 2019 to celebrate the Frosty’s 50th birthday.
In 2006, it debuted the Vanilla Frosty. Fans were surprised when, this past summer, the Vanilla Frosty went on “vacay” to make room for a limited-time Strawberry Frosty. Strawberry has now been left behind with beach time, bathing suits, and everything else good from the summer to make room for holiday Peppermint.
Reportedly, the vanilla flavor will return after we all spend the holiday season indulging in the Peppermint Frosty. And if you miss out on this limited-time release, you can always recreate the experience at McDonald’s this coming March.
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