We Tried Wendy's New Peppermint Frosty. It Hits The Mark, And We're Sorry It's Seasonal

When you think about Wendy's, that popular but perennial runner-up in the American fast-food world, what's the first foodstuff that comes to mind? Is it the arterial assault that is the Baconator? Is it the nearly perfect Wendy's Spicy Chicken Sandwich? Is it the chili or the baked potato, two decidedly less common fast food menu items that are nonetheless staples at Wendy's? Or is it the Frosty? If so, you're far from alone. While sure, maybe McDonald's really does have the best french fries in fast food, maybe In-N-Out's burgers reign supreme, and yes, it can be hard to beat the prices at Jack in the Box (here's looking at you, tacos!), when it comes to a frozen treat, the Wendy's Frosty really is hard to beat.

What is it about a Frosty that makes the shake so damn good? Above all else, it's the consistency. For indeed, even calling a Frosty a milkshake is a bit of a misnomer — really, it's more like a cross between soft-serve ice cream and a traditional shake, almost too thick to be slurped through that straw and just a bit too fluid to be served in a cone. Thus most of us turn to the straw and spoon combo when enjoying our Frosty, and, yes, some of us dip our fries into the thing, too. (It's okay, you're not alone in that — no shame!) What few of us have done, though, is try the latest Frosty from Wendy's: the Peppermint Frosty. Should you try one, though?

What's in Wendy's new Peppermint Frosty?

There is definitely a lot of sugar in this newest Frosty from Wendy's, but there's nothing new about that, of course. All told, in this sweet seasonal frozen treat, you'll find, as its base, basically just a Vanilla Frosty. By which we mean ... a Vanilla Frosty. And that consists of milk, sugar, corn syrup, cream, nonfat milk, and whey. Then we move to that "contains less than 1% of category," in which we find guar gum, mono and diglycerides, cellulose gum, carrageenan, calcium sulfate, sodium citrate, natural flavor, molasses, annatto extract (for color), and vitamin A palmitate.

Got all that? Great, because that's your basic Frosty right there. As for what makes this Peppermint Frosty a, y'know, peppermint frozen treat? That's the peppermint syrup Wendy's adds. And that syrup consists of pure cane sugar, water, natural flavors, and then some less natural stuff, namely FD&C Red 40 (aka Allura Red AC), which may or may not have a causal effect on hyperactivity in kids, per the FDA. Fortunately, it's the very last ingredient here. 

One more note on ingredients, though: a bit cryptically, Wendy's website notes that in the states Alaska and Hawaii, the Peppermint Frosty also contains soy. Why the continental United States' Frosty is sans soy is a mystery to us, but there it is. So anyone with a soy allergy, you should only order a Frosty in 48 states.

How much does the new Peppermint Frosty from Wendy's cost?

The new Peppermint Frosty from Wendy's is a very affordable sweet treat in the larger sweet treat scheme of things. As it comes in four different sizes, we have four different prices to tell you about. Let's take it from smallest to largest, so we'll start with the petite junior Frosty. That costs a mere $1.39 at the locations near us and at several others we checked — but do note that prices may well vary based on area. The small Peppermint Frosty is priced at $2.29, while the medium is $2.69. And then finally we get to the heavy hitter: a large Wendy's Peppermint Frosty costs $2.99. And that right there, the large, is definitely the best value, FYI. That said, sometimes less is more, and when it comes to calories and fat, that's one of those times. So maybe don't go for the whole bang-for-your-buck approach?

For some context on the pricing, let's compare the Frosty to a shake from McDonald's. Right now, per Fast Food Price, a small vanilla shake from McD's costs $2.79, a medium shake costs $3.59, and a large vanilla shake from McDonald's costs $3.89. We do have to note, though, that a small vanilla shake from McDonald's notably has more calories than a medium Wendy's Frosty, so you may want to factor that in when you're making the choice of where to grab a frozen treat.

How long will the Peppermint Frosty be available?

Ever wonder why Wendy's restaurants never offer more than two Frosty flavors at any given time? Well, just take a look at the Frosty machine for your answer. See how there are only two dispenser nozzle things? (And no, we don't know the proper term here, we admit it.) That's why — the system is only equipped to handle two types of Frosty. No trick questions here. One of those flavors is simply always going to be that classic Chocolate Frosty — it's never off the menu unless the Frosty machine is broken, which does happen. Anyway, as we've probably made clear enough with the title of this review, this new Peppermint Frosty is a seasonal item, and it's very much tied to this holiday season, to be precise. Thus as the winter holidays of 2022 pass, so too will this Frosty go away.

And sure, that's a sad story and all, but keep in mind that in order to add the Peppermint Frosty to the menu, Wendy's had to drop the popular Strawberry Frosty that the chain added just this past summer. What's more, if you have a hankering for a good ol' Vanilla Frosty, then so too will this peppermint variety have to shuffle off again. It's a give and a take, in Frosty flavors as in life. For now, though, if you're reading this review any time before the end of 2022, 'tis the season for a Peppermint Frosty!

How does the new Peppermint Frosty compare to other Wendy's menu items?

This new Peppermint Frosty is, no surprise to be sure, a perfectly logical addition to the Wendy's menu that is easily compared to other tried-and-true Wendy's menu items. (Especially to the, oh right, the other Frosty offerings!) It has the same delightful thickness as any of your other favorite Frosty flavors — so much so that it's nigh on impossible to pull any up through the straw without straining your cheeks and throat until it has had a few minutes to melt and soften. (Thus, as noted, we started eating our Peppermint Frosty with a spoon and then we switched to the straw later.) In sweetness, this Frosty easily stacks up to the Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry Frosty flavors.

And as we'll dive into a bit deeper when we finally tell you how we felt about this new Frosty, it's really closest in taste to the Vanilla Frosty, being, after all, basically just a Vanilla Frosty with added peppermint flavoring. (And added coloring, to be sure.) Now, how does the Peppermint Frosty taste with a Wendy's french fry dipped into it? You're going to have to tell us, as we skipped the fries this time. But we're guessing it's a pretty comparable flavor and texture experience to a fry dipped in a Chocolate or Vanilla Frosty. 

What's the nutritional info for the new Peppermint Frosty?

Yeah, yeah, nutrition. It's not great news, of course, but we all knew that going in. You want a healthier frozen treat? Try a Smoothie King smoothie. You want a rich and sweet frozen dessert? Get yourself a Frosty! And when you do, here's what you'll get in terms of the nutrition facts. A junior Peppermint Frosty has 210 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 80 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. None of that is really all that big of a deal except for the sugar — that's more sugar than an adult woman should have in an entire day and nearly as much as an adult man should have in 24 hours. And that's all in a 210 calorie mini treat. Oh well. 

In a small Peppermint Frosty, you'll find 330 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat, 130 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. So again, the sugar is the concern.

Moving up to the medium size here and we're confronted with 410 calories, 9 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 160 milligrams of sodium, 64 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein. And in the large Peppermint Frosty, we have 540 calories, 12 grams of fat, 8 grams of sat fat, 210 milligrams of sodium, 83 grams of sugar, and 12 grams of protein. The 83 grams of sugar is well over double the RDA experts recommend, so you really do need to think twice before consuming a large Peppermint Frosty.

Did we enjoy Wendy's new Peppermint Frosty?

Did we like this latest Frosty from Wendy's? No. We loved it! And so much more than we expected, because candidly, peppermint is not our personal favorite flavor — we'll take a Milky Way bar over a York Peppermint Patty any day, for example. (Or a Push Pop or a handful of Sour Patch Kids over peppermint, too, really.) So it was with great pleasure that we found the peppermint flavor here to be quite mild. The Frosty has none of the bite you might get with, say, peppermint-flavored gum, and it did not at all blow out our taste buds like so many minty foodstuffs can do. We could still enjoy our burger (we said we passed on the fries — but a Dave's Single? We had to) when alternating sip (or spoonful, that is) of Peppermint Frosty between each bite.

The Peppermint Frosty lets some of the vanilla flavor that is its base shine through, tempering it with a mild minty taste that even called to mind a slight hint of cinnamon, though that might have been a power of suggestion thing, given the pale pinkish-red color of the Frosty. As noted, it had that delightful and unique Frosty thickness when fresh and cold, and when it softened and melted, we whisked it into a thinner but still quite tasty sort of milkshake froth. In any form, the Peppermint Frosty was good to the last drop, sip, or scoop, and we'll be sure to get another before this seasonal treat is swapped out for ... well, we'll see!