Celebrate the Frappuccino's 21st Birthday With a Festive, Cake-Flavored Drink


This week, Starbucks famously frothy Frappuccino drink turns 21 years old. To celebrate the milestone, Fortune reports, the coffee chain will briefly bring back the Birthday Cake Frappuccino—a festive concoction they introduced last year for the beverage's 20th anniversary.

The drink is a blend of vanilla bean and hazelnut, garnished with pink whipped cream. (Sorry, folks, it doesn’t include alcohol.) It will be available in participating Starbucks locations throughout the U.S. and Canada until May 2, the franchise said in a release.

The Frappuccino was first invented in 1993, at a Starbucks location in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley, another release states. “It was the summer of 1993, and Los Angeles is very hot in the summer,” said Dina Campion, a former manager of 10 Starbucks locations in Southern California. “We noticed there were some smaller coffee shops that did some sort of blended coffee beverage. A couple of store managers and I felt there was a huge opportunity for Starbucks.”

Campion, who now works for Starbucks Digital, obtained a blender—and permission from upper management—to create a new ice-blended drink. A location in Santa Monica began offering customers taste-tests of Campion's concoction, and before long, the beverage was popular among patrons in Southern California.

In 1994, Starbucks acquired The Coffee Connection in Boston. One of their products, a slushy drink made with a soft serve machine, was called the Frappuccino. Starbucks decided to use the name for their new beverage; the chain officially launched the treat nationwide in 1995.

Starbucks ended up selling about 200,000 Frappuccinos in the first seven days—more than double what officials had expected—and the rest of the story is (tasty) history.

Originally, Starbucks offered two Frappuccino flavors: coffee and mocha. Today, customers can enjoy unexpected twists on the blended beverage, like Caramelized Honey, Citrus Green Tea, and "Sakura Blossom." In fact, Starbucks officials claim that there are 36,000 different drink combinations, thanks in part to a  “secret”  menu that offers Banana Cream Pie, Cinnamon Roll, and Captain Crunch Berry Frappuccinos. 

[h/t Fortune]