WHAT IS IT: Butterfly, Mariah Carey‘s new bottled drink ($1.99 each at Walgreen’s nationwide)
WHO TRIED IT: Any PEOPLE.com staffers curious enough to come to our office taste test
WHY WE DID IT: Love of Mariah? Super thirsty? Free drinks? Motives differed.
Butterfly is, according to the slender pink bottle, “a melodic beverage inspired by the magic of Mariah Carey.” Is it a juice? An energy drink? Is Mariah’s magic really the inspiration for a mix of filtered water, sugar and “natural flavors?” Clearly, we had to stage an office taste test.
Even buying Butterfly is magical. If your shopping experience is anything like ours, a drugstore employee will interrupt you while you are plucking bottles out of the cooler — “Maa’m? Maa’m?” — and ask if you’ve tried the drink before, because he is very curious what it tastes like. “No! First time!” you will cheerfully answer, before a male shopper in a dress shirt and tie chimes in from across the store: “It’s really shi*** tasting.” You will look at him inquisitively. “It was a good Instagram,” he will say, shrugging.
Here is the drink. Unfortunately, we did not have this many bottles to test at PEOPLE.com because there were only two left at Walgreen’s this day.
Reactions from the PEOPLE peanut gallery speak for themselves:
“It smells like gummy bears.”
“It’s… not horrible.”
“The flavor is elusive — like Mariah!”
“I think monarch butterflies are taking off in my stomach.”
“I feel like I should be calling my co-workers ‘lambs’ now.”
“I feel like a giant gummy bear is enveloping me in a giant gummy bear hug.”
“It tastes like watered-down Kool-Aid. No, the Kool-Aid off-brand. Flavor Aid!”
[Looking at nutrition label] “It’s just full of sugar and water.”
“And unicorn tears.”
“Oh my God! There’s an aftertaste!”
“Is the aftertaste Nick Cannon?”
“No, it’s Tommy Mottola.”
“The color makes me nervous.”
“It looks like fairy mouthwash.”
“This would be great for a kid’s tea party.”
“It would! There should be princesses on the bottle.”
THE GROUP VERDICT: The closest flavor approximation is a liquified Ring Pop, the drink would channel more of Mariah’s magic if it were fizzy, and, despite the above reactions, we all finished our cups and somehow felt compelled to pour ourselves more. The bright pink bottle and even brighter pink liquid would be terrific for a princess-themed tea party. Also, we really hope Mariah has this coming straight out of her fridge’s water filter.
If you are interested in trying Butterfly, you should probably take advantage of Duane Reade/Walgreen’s 2 for $3 deal (beware: card members only!). That way you’ll have a bottle left over to take to your next karaoke night, where some PEOPLE staffers are convinced it will turn you into a fantastic singer. A metamorphosis from karaoke caterpillar to karaoke butterfly, if you will.
Sadly, our 2 p.m. taste-test group found that spiking Butterfly with vodka makes it taste curiously worse, like medicine. If you find a better mixer, we’re all ears.