Kiwi Starfruit Refresher: Enjoy This Fruity Favorite At Home
Sometimes, after my second or third Americano, I’m ready for a break from coffee, even if I’m still hankering for a bit of caffeine to power through the afternoon. That’s when Starbucks Refreshers come in handy, with bright fruit flavors and a gentle boost from green coffee extract.
The Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refresher is the perfect drink to slake my thirst and fuel me through a midday slump. But making a daily Starbucks run quickly turns into an expensive habit. That’s why I developed this Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refresher copycat recipe. It’s not just more affordable than the original; I think it’s even tastier!
What You Need
- 1 cup white grape juice
- ¼ cup orange, blood orange, or starfruit juice
- ¼ cup kiwi juice
- ¼ teaspoon green coffee bean extract
- ¼ cup fresh kiwi or freeze-dried kiwi, chopped in small pieces
- Ice cubes
- Additional freeze-dried kiwi, optional
- Mint, optional
- Orange zest, optional
- One 16-ounce glass, chilled
- 1 cocktail shaker
At a Glance
The Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refresher is one of the most popular options on the Starbucks’ drinks menu, especially in the steaming summer months when a hot cup of java just doesn’t hit the spot. This cool and refreshing drink is light and sweet with a slightly tart finish.
Starbucks released its line of Refreshers in August 2020 to celebrate the late summer season (1). These iced drinks feature real fruit juice and green coffee extract, making them just lightly caffeinated. Along with the Kiwi Starfruit flavor, Starbucks’ list of refreshers includes instant classics like the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher and Strawberry Acai drink.
What Is In A Kiwi Starfruit Refresher?
The ingredients list for the Kiwi Starfruit Refresher Starbucks version includes many products you might struggle to find at your local grocery store, like natural flavors or citric acid. However, this DIY recipe contains only whole foods you can easily track down as Kiwi Starfruit Refresher ingredients. And don’t worry, this Kiwi Refresher Starbucks copycat tastes just as good as – or, dare I say, even better than – the original Starbucks Kiwi Drink!
What Is Starfruit?
Starfruit is a yellow or green, star-shaped fruit with edible skin and tart, slightly sweet flesh (2). When it’s fully ripened, the starfruit flesh is mildly fragrant and is almost as crisp as an Asian pear.
If you happen to be making this Refresher in the fall and early winter months, you just might be lucky enough to find fresh starfruit at the grocery store. Although you won’t get much juice from it, you can cut off both ends, slice it, remove the seeds, and blend it into this Refresher.
The best way to replicate the starfruit flavor if you can’t find the real thing is to use a similarly sweet-and-tart juice — like blood orange, orange, or tangerine. For the freshest fruit flavor, buy whole produce and juice it yourself with a citrus squeezer.
For Best Results, Use Fresh Kiwis
Kiwis, primarily grown in New Zealand, are fuzzy, egg-shaped fruits with edible skin and green flesh. They are sweet, slightly astringent, and very nutritious – packed with vitamins, fiber, and potassium (3).
This recipe calls for kiwi in two ways. Kiwi juice gives the base drink kiwi flavor, while real kiwi pieces add texture. Fresh kiwi is the best choice, but freeze-dried or frozen kiwis can be substituted if you can’t find the real thing. If you can’t find kiwi-flavored juice, you can easily make fresh kiwi juice by putting a peeled kiwi in your blender.
White Grape Juice
In any great musical composition, the bass line gives a piece cohesion, direction, and shape. In this recipe, the white grape juice is the same thing. It adds sweetness, depth, and a slight astringent note to the Refresher.
Made from Niagara grapes, white grape juice concentrate is less astringent than the usual purple grape juice varieties at the store. With a crisp finish and a milder, sweeter flavor, Niagara grape juice is the perfect base for any Refresher you’re trying to recreate at home (4).
If you’re looking for a tangier drink, feel free to substitute half the white grape juice for lemonade or add a squeeze of lime juice.
Green Coffee Extract
Green coffee bean extract gives this Kiwi Starfruit Refresher a caffeinated boost, though it contains less caffeine than brewed coffee. If you can’t find green coffee extract, a tablespoon of green tea, white tea, or a quarter teaspoon of matcha powder are good alternatives. Or leave the green coffee extract out altogether to make a caffeine-free refresher.
Coconut Milk and Other Non-Dairy Milks
The Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refresher is a milk-free drink, more akin to a fruit juice. But if you prefer the creamier consistency of the famous Dragon Drink or Pink Drink refresher, you can easily modify this recipe.
Add a splash of coconut milk or coconut cream to make this a creamier drink that maintains the flavors of the tropics. This is also a menu item at Starbucks known as the Star Drink. If you want a creamier base without the coconut flavor, oat milk is a great choice. However, we’d avoid non-dairy milks like almond or soy, as their flavors can clash with the fruit in this drink.
How To Make Kiwi Starfruit Refresher At Home (Starbucks Copycat Recipe)
Now that you’re familiar with all the ingredients, it’s time to get started on the recipe. To be honest, the grocery shopping was the hardest part. With your materials in hand, you’re only a few steps away from a delightful pick-me-up with the best flavor for summer sipping.
1. Chill the Glass
Place your 16-ounce glass into the freezer and let it chill for between 30 and 45 minutes. While not mandatory, we always advise matching the temperature of your glass to the temperature of your drink.
Pro Tip: For a more flavorful refresher, replace the regular ice cubes with orange juice ice cubes. Just pour orange juice into an ice cube tray and freeze it overnight.
2. Assemble the Kiwi Starfruit Refresher and Shake
Add ice cubes, 1 cup white grape juice, ¼ cup kiwi juice, ¼ cup orange, blood orange, or starfruit juice, ¼ teaspoon green coffee extract, and ¼ cup diced fresh kiwi or freeze-dried kiwi pieces to a cocktail shaker. Close the lid and shake thoroughly until frost develops on the sides of the shaker.
Pro Tip: If you don’t have a cocktail shaker, then a mason jar will work just as well because there is nothing to strain. Be sure to fill the mason jar no more than ¾ of the way.
3. Assemble the Kiwi Starfruit Refresher
Once the Refresher is thoroughly blended, carefully pour the drink into your pre-chilled glass.
Taste the drink before serving because the flavor of fresh fruit can vary considerably depending on its ripeness and the season. If your Kiwi Starfruit Refresher tastes too tart, it can easily be sweetened with a simple syrup. Heat equal parts water and sugar until the sugar dissolves to make simple syrup. Add 1 tsp of simple syrup at a time until you reach the perfect sweet-tart balance.
Pro tip: Want to make it fancy? For garnish, add a few mint leaves, some orange zest, and more diced kiwi.
The Starbucks Kiwi Refresher is a healthy and delicious summer drink that’s refreshing any time of year. Skip the long coffee shop lines and follow our easy recipe to make this tasty drink.
Did you make this recipe? If you enjoyed it, please leave a rating or a comment. And be sure to pass it along to your Starbucks-loving friends.
A 16-ounce Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refresher contains 45 milligrams of caffeine (5). However, if you make our Kiwi Starfruit Refresher recipe, there may be more or less caffeine, depending on how much green coffee extract you use.
No, Starbucks’ Kiwi Starfruit Refresher has not been discontinued. It is still available at Starbucks locations around the country. While it was originally a summer seasonal special, it is now on the menu year-round.
There are 90 calories in a typical 16-ounce Starbucks Kiwi Starfruit Refresher. It is one of the healthiest drinks on the menu because it contains no saturated fats, trans fats, or cholesterol (5).
The Kiwi Starfruit Refresher costs between $3.85 and $4.45, depending on the size of the drink and the franchise owner. The Star Drink, which adds coconut milk, is a bit pricier, running between $4.35 and $5.05.
- Starbucks Stories. (2020). Enjoy the Last Sips of Summer with Starbucks New Colorful Drinks Now Available in the U.S. Retrieved from https://stories.starbucks.com/press/2020/enjoy-the-last-sips-of-summer-with-starbucks-new-colorful-drinks-now-available-in-the-u-s/
- Gunnars, K. (2019, January 23). Star Fruit 101 — Is It Good For You? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/star-fruit-101
- Cleveland Clinic (2023, February). 6 Health Benefits of Kiwifruit. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/kiwi-benefits/
- Specialty Produce. (2023). Niagara Grapes. Retrieved from https://specialtyproduce.com/produce/Niagara_Grapes_13952.php
- Starbucks®. (2023). Kiwi Starfruit Starbucks Refresher. Retrieved from https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2123247/iced/nutrition