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Morning Spew

I’m a Baddie (Put Donuts in My Coffee Milkshake)

"The chunks feel gross, but then it's kind of fun. It's like a little game."

9:56 AM EDT on September 18, 2023

A completed Ice Spice drink.

(Hell Gate)

It is our duty to alert you when corporations attempt to use hard-won scientific advancements to play God. So on Sunday afternoon, we walked into the Dunkin' on Delancey Street and ordered an Ice Spice MUNCHKINS® Drink.

What intrigued us most about this new beverage collaboration with the Bronx-born rapper was the company's audacity to put actual donuts into the mix. "Historically, no bakery treat had made its way into one of Dunkin’s signature drinks," the company stated in a press release.

Schematics of the beverage's assembly that were leaked online by dubious baristas showed a disturbingly complex recipe requiring several pumps of "liquid cane sugar," two injections of caramel syrup both below and atop a swirl of whipped cream, and up to four pumpkin-flavored donut holes, depending on the size that is ordered.

Asking for the Ice Spice drink felt slightly transgressive, not just because the smallest version contains 44 grams of sugar and nearly 600 calories—there was no signage whatsoever to indicate that the drink was actually on the menu and for sale. Our barista, who was wearing a surgical mask and a Dunkin' baseball hat with a Yankees logo on it, quickly confirmed that it was, and that plenty of people were buying it. 

The company's press release suggests that the drink is "reminiscent of the texture of a cookies and cream shake," but that's not true. The crumbled up donuts, soggy and suspended in a glop of caramel cement, make you yearn for their original texture. It's like taking the three olives off the toothpick atop your martini, finely chopping them, and dumping them into the cocktail. The straw gets frequently clogged with mush, and you can't taste any pumpkin, just the sweet artificial burn of liquid caramel. 

Who is buying all these painfully sweet "coffee" drinks? Very young people, allegedly. 

"Gen Z was raised during tough times, through recessions and a global pandemic," one coffee expert told the blog Coffee Intelligence. "Candy-flavored coffee is a way of rebelling against the super-functional perfection that millennials have been seeking." The same article noted that the flavored coffee market is projected to rise from $6 billion in global sales to $8 billion by 2028.

In this way, the Ice Spice drink makes a lot of sense: The world is extremely fucked up right now, so why not toss a few donuts in my milkshake so I can feel alive?

Three young art students, Thomas, Makena, and Elle, had come to Dunkin' at the same time to order the shake, and were able to share their impressions.  

"You're not gonna get it the first sip but, second, third sip, something kind of snaps. It's kind of gross, but then it grows on you," Thomas said. "The chunks feel gross, but then it's kind of fun. It's like a little game."

Makena disagreed. "It's way too textural. If you're getting a drink like this, you're expecting it to be smooth," she commented. "But this is—you get hit with so many feelings in your mouth." 

"I like it," Elle proclaimed. "It's chunky! There's donuts!"

"There's something about knowing that Ice Spice was a part of this," Thomas added. "She loves it, and I love it because she loves it."

Some more links that will get stuck in your straw:

  • In yet another scandal for the music venue with close ties to Mayor Eric Adams, Gothamist reports that a 23-year-old attending a concert at Brooklyn Mirage nearly two years ago suffered a fatal overdose after purchasing drugs from a food vendor working outside the show.
  • Tens of thousands of people marched through Manhattan to urge our leaders to do something about the impending climate apocalypse. 
  • We learned some things about Mayor Adams's former Department of Buildings commissioner who was arrested last week on corruption charges: Eric Ulrich reportedly never completed his background check and his girlfriend runs the nonprofit that oversees Gracie Mansion, where Mayor Adams lives.
  • DocGo? Go, Doc! GO.
  • The Adams administration insists on chaining people on Rikers to their desks, and those students are "sitting ducks" for people trying to attack them, the CITY reports.
  • Free advice: If you're going to hire a chauffeur, it's best to keep quiet about your micropenis
  • A school principal is trying to ban kids from following certain Instagram accounts. The NYCLU points out that this is unconstitutional, but the current U.S. Supreme Court majority is probably licking their chops.
  • The Bronx day care operator and her alleged "accomplice" were arrested over the weekend for the death of a one-year-old boy in their charge, and for sickening two other babies. The child died of an apparent opioid overdose, and police allegedly found a kilo of fentanyl and a drug press in the day care center. It's still not clear how the children were exposed to the drug, but in the vast majority of fatalities involving kids and opioids, the drugs are ingested orally.
  • The cost of municipal street parking is going to go up by 20 percent soon, but it's still a fantastic bargain.
  • Drew Barrymore did the right thing, after everyone yelled at her for doing the wrong thing.
  • A new and better world (cops not parking on the sidewalk) is possible.

And finally, if you're gonna give the Bills a billion dollars in public money, you might as well cheer them on:

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