The Top 6 Starbucks Refreshers: The Ins And Outs Of Their Menu
For over ten years, the Starbucks Refresher has slaked our thirst during the hottest summer months. Today, Home Grounds would like to pay homage to our 6 favorite Starbucks Refresher drinks.
From fruity and sweet, to tangy and tropical, whatever your palate craves, the Starbucks Refresher menu has got you covered.
Keep reading for our roundup of the 6 best Starbucks Refreshers. Also, stay to the end for an exclusive, bonus recipe that’s so good that 2500 people have signed a Change.org petition to bring it back to the Starbucks Refresher menu.
What Is a Starbucks Refresher?
In 2012, Starbucks debuted its first Refreshers: an iced beverage made with green coffee bean extract, real fruit juice, and pieces of real fruit (1). Though they began as a limited-time item in the United States and a handful of other countries, their wild popularity ensured they became permanent fixtures on HomeGrounds’ list of the top Starbucks drinks, along with their delicious herbal Starbucks teas.
Starbucks Refresher Recipes At Home Grounds:
So, if you’ve ever wondered which Starbucks Refresher to try, keep reading from our list of the top fruit-based Starbucks Refreshers you should try.
1. Strawberry Acai Refresher
The Strawberry Acai Refresher is made with white grape juice concentrate, acai notes, fruit and vegetable juices, and real pieces of strawberry.
With a slight hint of tartness from the strawberries and a delicate earthiness from the acai flavors, this Refresher is a must-try when you need a mild, afternoon pick-me-up.
Plus, acai berries are packed with antioxidants (2).
Antioxidants are important because they neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals throughout the body.
If you’re not familiar with free radicals, they’re the unstable molecules in your body that lack an electron in their outer shells. This instability means they break down other things in your body to make themselves stable again. Antioxidants work to repair the damage they cause.
2. Strawberry Lemonade Acai Refresher
The Strawberry acai lemonade Refresher is the same basic drink but with added lemonade. And with only 140 calories per grande serving and 32 grams of sugar, it’s a delicious energy-boosting drink that you cannot skip (3).
3. Pink Drink
One of the best refreshers at Starbucks you may have heard of on social media is the Pink Drink, but what is it? Essentially, it’s a Strawberry Acai Refresher with passion fruit juice, coconut milk, ice, and dried strawberries.
Like the Strawberry Acai Refresher, it’s refreshingly tart with an earthiness from the acai flavoring. The passion fruit juice gives the Refresher drink citrus notes and a slightly tart finish that’s the perfect complement to a vanilla bean scone or double chocolate brownie.
4. Paradise Drink Refresher
Like its cousin the Dragon Drink, the Paradise Drink is a new Starbucks Refresher that brings all the flavors of the tropics to your cup without the cost of a plane ticket.
While this Refresher can’t promise you gleaming, sandy beaches or luxury spa treatments at a swanky resort, it promises to deliver a luscious cascade of pineapple and passion fruit flavors. Made with real pineapple pieces, natural passion fruit and pineapple flavors, green coffee bean extract, coconut milk, and white grape juice concentrate, it’s a delicious way to get your 45 milligrams of caffeine in for the afternoon.
Spilling the Tea: Starbucks Secret Refreshers Menu
When none of the options on Starbucks regular menu are doing it for you, why not create your own drink? With Starbucks’ latte syrups.
Pick an existing Refresher base from the cold drinks menu, pick a syrup, add coconut milk, and you’ve made a secret menu drink.
Though many people usually associate Starbucks’ secret menu with lattes and other hot drinks, you can make your own secret menu Starbucks Refresher, too.
5. Pink Starburst Refresher (Secret Menu)
To order a Pink Starburst Refresher, ask your barista for a Strawberry Acai Refresher and add 2 pumps each of white mocha and vanilla syrup.
6. Fuzzy Peach Refresher (Secret Menu)
To order this Fuzzy Peach Refresher, ask for a venti Mango Dragon Fruit Refresher but nix the water and any inclusions. Then, have the barista make it with half peach juice, a bit of coconut milk, and 2 pumps of vanilla syrup.
7. Bonus Recipe: The Starbucks Valencia Orange Refresher
Did you know? There’s literally a Starbucks Refresher that has such a cult following that 2500 people have signed a Change.org petition to bring it back (4)?
For a little Valencia Orange Refresher nostalgia from back in the day, here’s a video of a barista making it at home. Don’t tell, but ours is better.
While we can’t really tell you how to hack your way to a Valencia Orange Refresher when you’re in line at Starbucks, we can give you a recipe. Here it is.
- 2 ounces orange juice concentrate
- ½ teaspoon green coffee bean extract
- 6 ounces of cold water
- ¼ cup tangerines
- 1-2 drops cardamom extract, optional
- ½ teaspoon dried jasmine flowers, optional
- 2 tablespoons hot water, optional
- ½ to 1 tablespoons of dried apricot pieces, chopped, optional
- Thinly sliced blood oranges, for garnish
- Orange or tangerine juice ice cubes
- 16 ounces glass, chilled
- A cocktail shaker
- If you’re using the jasmine flowers and cardamom, steep the ½ teaspoon of jasmine flowers in 2 tablespoons of 180-degree water for 4 minutes. Discard the spent jasmine flowers and add 1-2 drops of cardamom extract. Stir and add this to your cocktail shaker.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, except for the orange slices, into the cocktail shaker. Place the lid on and shake thoroughly until the outside of the shaker begins to frost.
- To assemble your Valencia Orange Refresher, carefully pour your mixture into a chilled glass. Glass. Garnish with thinly sliced blood oranges and enjoy.
Made with real fruit, fruit juices, green coffee bean extract, and coconut milk, these fruity drinks at Starbucks are sure to bring an uplifting note to even the hottest dog days of summer.
Yes, Starbucks Refreshers have caffeine. Some Refreshers Starbucks offers, like the Paradise Drink, deliver 45 milligrams of caffeine because they contain green coffee bean extract.
Yes, Starbucks Refreshers are healthy. Compared to other popular Starbucks drinks, Refreshers contain about 23 grams of sugar, while their Pistachio Frappuccino has more than twice the amount of sugar at 55 grams per serving (5).
Yes, Starbucks Refreshers are vegan. According to our research, Starbucks Refreshers only use coconut milk in their drinks. However, we’d suggest double-checking with your barista when you get to the counter.
- Starbucks Refreshers Beverages Debut Globally – Starbucks Stories. (2019). Starbucks Stories. https://stories.starbucks.com/stories/2012/starbucks-refreshers-beverages-debut-globally/
- Jennings, K.-A. (2017, May 31). 5 Impressive Health Benefits of Acai Berries. Healthline; Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-acai-berries
- Starbucks®. (2023). @Starbucks; Starbucks. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2122677/iced
- Sign the Petition. (2021). Change.org. https://www.change.org/p/starbucks-returning-the-beloved-valencia-orange-refresher-to-starbucks-menus
- Starbucks®. (2023). @Starbucks; Starbucks. https://www.starbucks.com/menu/product/2123364/iced/nutrition