Dunkin’ sells small donuts they call “munchkins”; Ice Spice’s fans are called “munchkins.” Let’s face it, it was only a matter of time before these two would link up for some #brand #synergy. The Ice Spice Munchkins Drink — which is a clunky ass name, regardless of marketing alignment — has been on Dunkin’ menus nationwide for about a week now and it hasn’t taken over the world like the Grimace Shake.
That’s a good thing. Lately, we’re living in a celebrity-branded fast food hellscape. Not exactly a new thing, it’s just more prevalent now than it was a decade ago. But on the real, these new menu items are supposed to be innocuous — they’re easy cash grabs for both brands involved and aren’t meant to really win anyone over but one key audience: fans of the artist themselves.
My only issue is… do they have to be that boring? Why can’t these things actually be… good? Am I giving away the verdict on this drink already? Maybe! But really, think about how much easier it would be to make a good drink.
Just a thought… how about Spiced Ice?
It’s a fun play on Ice Spice’s name, we can lean on spicy cinnamon flavors or, hell, do something truly new like add some type of cayenne pepper or cumin into the mix. All of which pair with coffee in interesting ways. A cayenne pepper and cumin coffee drink subverts expectations — it’s the perfect drink to represent Ice Spice, who herself has subverted the expectation of what an iconic rapper looks and sounds like.
But instead… we got this. And it’s not good (another spoiler?). So let’s get into where this drink went wrong.
The Ice Spice Munchkins Drink
Tasting Notes & Thoughts
Have you ever taken a slice of pumpkin pie, thrown it in a blender with some coffee, and drank the result? No? Why not? Because that would be disgusting?
I agree. But still, it would probably taste better than this. Even though that’s essentially what the Ice Spice Munchkins Drink is — Dunkin’ grabs a handful of pumpkin cake Munchkins (Dunkin’s version of donut holes), blends it up with frozen coffee, tops it with whipped cream, and drizzles caramel all over everything.
At first sip, your taste buds are inundated with an intense level of sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, and allspice flavors. Like flooded. The sweetness is so strong that it actually made me recoil. To add insult to injury, the texture is absolutely horrendous — it’s gravely and chewy. Let me tell you after half a decade as a food writer: those are two features that food taken through a straw should not have.
After approximately four drinks I was done. Look, I love sweet drinks as much as the next person, but this is too sweet to finish, it’s the sort of heavy sweetness that totally ruins your palate for the day. Maybe the week. My original plan was to drink Ice Spice’s drink alongside a Pizza Hut melt (shout out Flyana Boss) but I couldn’t taste anything after. I had to tap out.
Sweetness aside though, the worst part of this drink is by far the texture. Munchkins just have no place in a drink because they don’t melt. That means after your drink sits for about 10 minutes, and the blended drink starts to melt away into liquid, the Munchkins begin to gather in your cup and gravitate towards one another. It’s a weird bit of chemistry and just generally bad.
The Bottom Line:
Ice Spice and her fans both deserve a better drink and, most frustrating of all, it doesn’t seem like it would’ve been too hard to make one. But Dunkin’ took the absolute easiest road possible, taking a bunch of ingredients they already had on hand and throwing them together and not really caring about the result aside from the opportunity to market. I can’t help but think of Jeff Goldbum’s Ian Malcolm, who criticized the scientists at Jurassic Park’s motives for reanimating dinosaurs with this great quote:
“Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
Well, at least we got that gem of a commercial up there out of the whole thing. Alas, when a food brand does something for the content and not for the pleasure of the people, it’s lost its way.