Waaay back on April 1st, Sonic Drive-In announced their newest shake – the Kale Cream Pie Shake.
Sound horrifyingly disgusting? That’s because it was an April Fool’s joke. It was a promotional gag for their Summer of Shakes, which includes Oreo Peanut Butter, Salted Caramel, and Chocolate Covered Jalapeño.
Does that last one sound horrifyingly disgusting? That’s because it was an Apri- oh, shit. It wasn’t a joke. The Sonic Chocolate Covered Jalapeño Shake is real.
When I got my shake, I was disappointed it came in a pedestrian Styrofoam cup. The promo pictures had a clear cup that showed little pepper pieces in the shake, as well as jalapeño pieces on the whipped cream. Presumably, this is why it was initially called the Chocolate Covered Jalapeño Shake, but is now called the Jalapeño Chocolate Shake.
It looked so innocent at first. Just a chocolate shake. I dipped a spoon into the cup, expecting to come up with some little pieces, but instead I found…
Yeah. Whole sliced jalapeños, right in the shake. What the fuck.
Wanting a better look, I unceremoniously dumped the shake into a glass, and the results gave me no encouragement.
Using a straw with my shake, as God intended, it initially tasted like a chocolate shake that was somehow…off. If I didn’t know there were peppers in it, I would have tasted it and thought, huh, they did something weird to this. There wasn’t any real spiciness to it, just an offness, like maybe the chocolate syrup had gone bad. I’ve never had the experience of tasting that, but that’s the closest I could come to a comparison.
And then I sucked in my first piece of jalapeño.
You know how sometimes you’ll get a chunky shake and accidentally suck a piece straight to the back of your throat? That’s exactly what happened to me. But, instead of a delicious piece of Oreo cookie, it was a motherfucking jalapeño.
And not just some pedestrian pickled jalapeño, either. A fresh jalapeño.
I did that thing where you use your tongue to move the piece back to the front of your mouth and started chewing it, but the damage had already been done. Jalapeño juice burned the back of my throat, causing me to choke and gag a little.
After getting over that, I chewed the jalapeño piece. My poor mouth was so confused. “I love jalapenos!” Some of my taste buds said. “I love chocolate shake!” others joined in enthusiastically. But then the two clashed, and both sides screamed.
“AAAAHHHHHHH THIS IS SO WRONG WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO US!”
“WE LOVE JALAPENOS WHY IS THERE CHOCOLATE SHAKE IN HERE!”
“WE LOVE CHOCOLATE SHAKE WHY ARE THERE JALAPENOS IN HERE!”
At this point, I was chatting with a friend, who kindly informed me, “I heard you don’t get the full effect unless you muddle it first.”
I hated this idea with a passion. But I had to admit he was probably right.
So I smashed my straw down into the glass, hearing the sickening squish of peppers releasing their capsaicin like a hundred villagers being reduced to a slick yet chunky mash of viscera under the foot of a vengeful giant.
Did I mention that I hate this friend?
What was once an off-tasting chocolate shake with the occasional nasty jalapeño surprise turned into a creamy drink of unending horror. The peppers had now blended efficiently with the chocolate shake, resulting in a taste that, and I’m not over-exaggerating for effect here, made me think I might vomit.
All that pepper taste that had been released and was now free to mix with the chocolate and ice cream, and it’s hard to even describe the outcome. It wasn’t just spicy chocolate. It was jalapeño peppers a la mode with some chocolate. It was bitter and sickly sweet and spicy and sad and I honestly made that face you’d make if a hippo flung poo into your open mouth.
After a few sips, I could take no more. What the hell was I going to do with this thing? I was afraid if I tossed it down the kitchen sink, I might actually toss my cookies along with it.
So I did the only thing I could – I chucked it into the dumpster outside. I should have covered it with cow excrement to make a more pleasant smell or burned that dumpster down and buried the ashes. But that’s probably a felony, so I just threw it in there and hoped no dumpster divers had the misfortune of finding it before it went to the landfill.
I’ve eaten a lot of terrible things in my journey as a food reviewer, but there are a few that really stand out. The #1 on my list has always been Jones Bacon Flavored Soda, and I was reminded of it often as I tried to down the Sonic Jalapeño Chocolate Shake.
With both I experienced a grey, mushy feeling of wrongness deep inside my soul; a knowledge that this is an experience that will stay with me forever; nausea; and the idea that a company had taken a flavor I loved and ruined it forever. Two flavors, in this case.
I really thought I would hate the Sonic Jalapeño Chocolate Shake before I tried it, but thought it wouldn’t be as bad as I’d anticipated. I was wrong. It is so, so much worse.
(Nutrition Facts – Small size — 670 calories, 280 calories from fat, 31 grams of total fat, 23 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 480 milligrams of sodium, 89 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 56 grams of sugar, 8 grams of protein, 20% vitamin A, 1% vitamin C, 26% calcium, and 5% iron..)
Item: Sonic Jalapeño Chocolate Shake
Purchased Price: $3.49
Purchased at: Sonic
Rating: 0 out of 10
Pros: The chocolate shake only tasted “off” before I muddled it. I guess using fresh jalapeño peppers deserves a mention? The cherry on top hadn’t touched the shake, so it was okay.
Cons: Muddling the jalapeños was the worst idea in the world. Um, everything about this shake is a terrible idea. Sonic had the audacity to charge me an extra $0.60 for the jalapeños, for some reason. Burning public dumpsters is probably illegal. Fuck you for scarring my soul, Sonic.