The universe conspired against this post from the start. First, by introducing a drink at a time of year, what with climate change and all, that I’m tempted to call ‘Summer II: The Reckoning,’ Dunkin’ has failed before the eponymous holiday tree has hit the ground running. But, as both a red velvet aficionado and a staunch opponent of solid food, I soldiered on to my local Dunkin’ Donuts to try their new red velvet latte.
For starters, despite my city’s affinity for all things New England, Boston, unfortunately included in that priapistic pride, there are no freaking Dunkin’ Donuts anywhere near my apartment, or my gym, or school, so I took a one-man field trip to the other side of town, taking my tires on a scenic tour of every poorly-maintained pothole in Hartford. Luckily, sandwiched next to a Dollar Tree and sketchy buffet of indeterminate heritage was the last open Dunkin’ in the area. Perhaps, the world. The person who took my order must have known from my sweaty velour that I’d just been to the gym, as she asked my preference for skim or whole milk. I’m pleased to report that even with skim milk, the water of dairy, the latte is quite rich and milky. It perfumed my car with a distinct aroma of chocolate donut- glaze and all.
Alas, when I returned, I found that I was missing a critical artificial, the foam cap and red swirl. I can only surmise that the server forgot it while captured in the prison of my steel blue eyes in the city moonlight. Either that, or it melted down into the drink as I navigated home, forever dogging me in the knowledge that I’ll never see what syrup art of Kandinskian proportions that drive-through employee was capable of. However, the pallid, somewhat dated liver-pink hue of the drink should tell you that it was both very, very sweet, and very, very unremarkable. I couldn’t tell whether to attribute the bitter aftertaste to finely ground Arabica coffee beans or finely poured Red Lake 14. The faint hint of chocolate was fleeting, and I was left with a sugary, bitter joke of a drink carrying a weirdly dry, sticky texture.
I did not check to see if there was any wheat in this, but if this coffee and milk-based beverage does contain any gluten, it’s Satan’s work and I urge you to pour it down the drain before it possesses your family. Way to start the holiday season terribly, Dunkin’. If not celebrating Christmas was bad enough, this drink certainly did the trick.