Somewhere right now there is a Buzzfeed writer pondering potential candidates for a completely arbitrary list of the Top Ten Secret Menu Fast Dessert mashups. Between rethinking his or her seventh place entry of a Chili Cheese Tater Tot Milkshake from Sonic, and committing to the fourth place finisher of an Bacon Apple Pie McGriddle (note: someone make this happen), she realizes all the actual good combinations have already gone mainstream.
Case in point: Chick-fil-A’s new Frosted Lemonade.
Don’t let the “new” signs fool you. Veteran Chick-fil-A eaters like me have long known of its existence. Have I ever tried the formerly secret menu item before? Well no, but that’s because I do my most intrepid fast food eating on Sundays, and yea…
Anyways, the combination of soft serve Ice Dream and Chick-fil-A’s fresh-squeezed lemonade has always been something your friend’s cousin’s roommate’s sister made for herself when she worked there, but heretofore has never gotten official recognition. That’s a damn shame if you ask me, because lemon is seriously one of the most underrated dessert flavors. Lemonade, Lemon Poppy Seed, Lemon Meringue; heck, even Lemonheads. You get the point, and so apparently does Chick-fil-A.
I was a little worried at first that the Frosted Lemonade would be more drink than ice cream, but that turns out to not be the case. There’s still plenty of bright, citrusy, and sweet lemonade flavor to love, but unlike popular frozen lemon desserts like lemon Italian Ice or even those thick frozen lemonades you sometimes find at baseball stadiums, the Frosted Lemonade has a distinct dairy flavor and milkshake texture. The first few sips came with some effort, and while not quite as thick as a real ice cream milkshake (like the excellent ones from Sonic) it comes close to the thickness of Chick-fil-A’s milkshakes.
Similarly, any fears of a saccharine or cloying artificial sweetener aftertaste in my Diet version of the frozen lemonade were quickly dismissed (although not quickly enough to lead to a brain freeze), with my tastebuds registering only a clean and altogether lemony flavor. I’m not sure if this is more due to the three ingredients in the Diet version (water, lemon juice, Splenda) or the sweetness of the soft serve ice cream, but you would have been hard pressed to convince me it was a diet version of anything had I not ordered it.
The soft serve, which I’ve always found thicker and more authentic in dairy flavor than most fast food soft serve (oh, the irony) cuts whatever tartness the lemonade has, and rounds out the flavor to something altogether pleasant and mellow, with just enough richness to remind yourself that you’re drinking something on the dessert menu.
Some old fogies and lemonade traditionalists may scoff at this lack of zing and pulp in the lemon flavor, but the last thing I want stuck in my ice cream is pulp from a lemon. If I have one complaint it’s that the Frosted Lemonade could have been richer and creamier. With bottles of whipped cream in store, I’m sure your friend’s cousin’s roommate’s sister topped a Frosted Lemonade with the stuff. Who knows? Maybe the Frosted Whipped Cream Lemonade will be the next dessert addition to the Chick-fil-A menu. One can always hope.
(Nutrition Facts – 260 calories, 50 calories from fat, 6 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 160 milligrams of sodium, 41 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, 6 grams of protein, and 25% calcium.)
Item: Chick-fil-A Diet Frosted Lemonade
Purchased Price: $2.75
Size: 16 oz.
Purchased at: Chick-fil-A
Rating: 8 out of 10
Pros: Bright and sweet lemony flavor. Not sour at all, nor cloying nor artificial. Milkshake-like texture without the heaviness. Hints of dairy richness.
Cons: Pulp fans will be unimpressed at the lack of pulpage. A bit pricey for the size. Could use a bit more creaminess. Not having the balls to ask for whipped cream.