Secret barista hack transforms the flavour in this new limited-edition drink.

Starbucks Japan’s latest limited-edition Frappuccino release has caused a stir amongst locals as it’s the chain’s first-ever nationwide Watermelon flavour. Needless to say, this was a drink we weren’t going to miss out on, so we tried it as soon as it was released on 9 August, and immediately fell head-over-heels for its intense watermelon taste.

Called the Gaburi Suika Frappuccino, with “suika” meaning “watermelon” and “gaburi” meaning “a big bite“, the new drink is complete with a Watermelon Salt topping, as a nod to the Japanese custom of eating salt with watermelon.

Watermelon isn’t the only fruit flavour in the drink — it contains a blend of dragon fruit pulp, a sauce made with passion fruit juice, and a dollop of kiwi fruit pulp at the base, to mimic the green peel of the fruit.

Upon first sip, this drink fools the taste buds into thinking they’re enjoying a big bite of watermelon, with its distinct flavour dominating the palate. The sweet and salty combination is totally addictive, and lingers delightfully after each sip.

However, after trying our first Suika Gaburi, we were keen to find out if the baristas might recommend a unique customisation for it so we asked them about it. As always, they knew their stuff, and suggested we try it with a pump of white mocha syrup for an additional 50 yen (US$0.35), and a pump of chocolate sauce, which costs nothing.

▼ The customisation certainly changed the look of the drink, but how would it change the flavour?

This new blend of ingredients increased both the sweetness and richness, but oddly, it made the watermelon flavour even more intense. Who knew white mocha and chocolate could make watermelon even more watermelony? We certainly didn’t, so this was a nice surprise, and when we remarked about it with the barista, they told us to try it with chocolate chips next time, to give it a light crunchiness that would make it feel more watermelony too.

That new customisation idea really piqued our curiosity, so now we can’t wait to visit again and try it with our next Suika Gaburi while it’s still on the menu. It’s only around while stocks last until 31 August, though, priced at 678 yen (US$4.68) for takeout or 690 yen for dine-in, so if you’d like to try it with all the hacks too, you’ll want to get in soon to avoid missing out!

Images © SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

[ Read in Japanese ]