This purple beauty plays tricks on our eyes and our taste buds.

With less than two weeks until Halloween, Starbucks gave us a fright by leaving details of its annual Halloween Frappuccino until the eleventh hour, announcing the limited-time drink just a day before its release.

That was all the time we needed to set our alarm clocks for the next morning, though, and, as always, our resident Starbucks aficionado K. Masami was one of the first in line to get her hands on the new beverage.

This year’s spooky seasonal offering is the Purple Halloween Frappuccino, which is an absolute masterpiece to look at. The deep purple hues are synonymous with Halloween in Japan at this time of year, and they complement the green-and-white mermaid logo perfectly while the white-and-purple topping invites us in to explore the mysterious depths of the beverage.

If Masami didn’t know any better, she’d have guessed that blueberry would’ve been responsible for the vibrant purple hues here. However, because it’s now autumn, and not summer when blueberries are in season, there’s a different player doling out the colour for this beverage, and it’s a taste that’s synonymous with the season — sweet potato.

It’s not just any sweet potato that’s been enlisted for the task, as this drink is filled with the flavours of murasaki imo, a type of purple sweet potato. The adventure begins with purple sweet potato sauce and powder on top, and continues into the blended cream base below.

Although Masami was bracing herself for a strong, over-the-top taste to match the visual impact of the drink, she was pleasantly surprised to find that the drink was much mellower than it looked.

The purple sweet potato sauce contains vanilla, which helps to round out the earthy sweetness of the potato, while the cream helps to create a light and airy texture. It’s a deliciously simple yet moreish combination of flavours that you won’t get tired of drinking, and Masami liked it so much she ranks it up there in her top two favourite Frappucinos of the year.

If you’d like to treat yourself to a little something extra this Halloween, you can always check out the chain’s new black cat drinkware or try the Melty Raspberry in Halloween Cake, which is also available at Starbucks for a limited time.

The cake retails for 290 yen (US$3.10), while the Purple Halloween Frappuccino retails for 690 yen, and both will be on the menu from 19-31 October, or until stocks last.

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