Let's do a little word association. Ready? Go:
Quick, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Was it milkshake-like frozen beverages? No?
Though you may have immediately conjured up the sights and smells of sugar-and-cinnamon-laced dough pulled fresh from the oven and covered in sticky-sweet glaze, chances are you're not even aware that the country's best-known mall and airport cinnamon bun purveyor has its own line of blended beverages. And just in time to compete with McDonald's Shamrock Shake and Dunkin' Donuts' Lucky Mint Coolatta for your neon-green-tinted-drink dollars, Cinnabon is rolling out its limited-time-only Oreo Mint Chillatta.
The chillatta begins not with milk and ice cream as you might expect, given how shake-like it looks, but a blender filled with ice cubes. A mix of sweet cream, crushed Oreo cookies, and Monin mint syrup is measured over the ice and blended together before it's emptied into a plastic cup swirled on the inside with chocolate sauce. A generous squirt of whipped cream and a sprinkle of crumbled Oreo cookies provide the finishing touches on a beverage you can practically taste before you've even taken the first sip.
In theory, this is a drink for fans of Keebler Grasshoppers and Girl Scout Thin Mints. Unfortunately, though, the classic interplay between mint and chocolate is so watered down by the crushed ice that any flavor to be extracted from the mint or cream ends up muted beyond recognition. With the exception of the whipped cream on top, the whole beverage comes across thin and bland, and really, what else could you expect from a beverage that's water based?
The one saving grace is the presence of the Oreos. Even ground to pebbles, they still taste like Oreos, and not just the cookie parts, but the creamy centers, too. Unfortunately, our server topped off our chillatta with chocolate sauce instead of more delicious Oreo pieces, so what we received didn't quite match the promo shot.
I would imagine most people ordering the Oreo Mint Chillatta would expect something with more body to it than this. As light as it is, it's much more suited to a hot summer day than the end of winter, and I could see it being popular with people who want to grab something refreshing to drink while the sun's blazing down. But as it happens, this green-for-St.-Paddy's-Day Oreo Mint Chillatta is only available until May 18, so if you're curious, get thee to a mall. (For the rest of you, don't be too sad you missed it.)
About the author: Adam Lindsley is a Pacific Northwest-based writer, musician, and the author of the pizza blog, This Is Pizza. You can follow him at @ThisIsPizza on Twitter. He is currently searching desperately for the recipe for Boneyard Beer's RPM IPA, so if you have a lead, get in touch!