The Top 5 Starbucks Refreshas: The Ins And Outs Of Their Menu
For over ten years, the Starbucks Refresha has slaked our thirst during the hottest summer months. Today, Home Grounds would like to pay homage to our 5 favourite Starbucks Refresha drinks.
From fruity and sweet, to tangy and tropical, whatever your palate craves, the Starbucks Refresha menu has got you covered.
Keep reading for our roundup of the 5 best Starbucks Refreshas. Also, stay to the end for an exclusive, bonus recipe that’s so good that 2,500 people have signed a Change.org petition to bring it back to the Starbucks Refresha menu.
What Is a Starbucks Refresha?
In 2012, Starbucks debuted its first Refresha (known outside the UK as Refresher): 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 UK 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.
So, if you’ve ever wondered which Starbucks Refresha to try, keep reading from our list of the top fruit-based Starbucks Refreshas in the UK you should try.
1. Strawberry Acai Refresha
The Strawberry Acai Refresha 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 flavours, this Refresha 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. Pink Drink
You may have heard of the Pink Drink on social media, but what is it? Essentially, it’s a Strawberry Acai Refresha with passion fruit juice, coconut milk, ice, and dried strawberries. In the UK, it has an official place on the menu as the Pink Coconut Refresha.
Like the Strawberry Acai Refresha, it’s refreshingly tart with an earthiness from the acai flavouring. The passion fruit juice gives the Refresha drink citrus notes and a slightly tart finish that’s the perfect complement to a vanilla bean scone or double chocolate brownie.
3. Mango Dragonfruit Refresha
Like the popular Dragon Drink, the Paradise Drink is a new Starbucks Refresha that brings all the flavours of the tropics to your cup without the cost of a plane ticket.
While this Refresha can’t promise you gleaming, sandy beaches or luxury spa treatments at a swanky resort, it promises to deliver a luscious tropical sensation. Made with sweet mango and dragonfruit flavours, and finished with real dragonfruit pieces, it’s the perfect summer pick me up.
Spilling the Tea: Starbucks Secret Refreshas 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 Refresha 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 Refresha, too.
4. Pink Starburst Refresha (Secret Menu)
To order a Pink Starburst Refresha, ask your barista for a Strawberry Acai Refresha and add 2 pumps each of white mocha and vanilla syrup.
5. Fuzzy Peach Refresha (Secret Menu)
To order this Fuzzy Peach Refresha, ask for a venti Mango Dragonfruit Refresha 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.
6. Bonus Recipe: The Starbucks Valencia Orange Refresha
Did you know? There’s literally a Starbucks Refresha 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 Refresha 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 Refresha when you’re in line at Starbucks, we can give you a recipe. Here it is.
- 60 ml orange juice concentrate
- ½ teaspoon green coffee bean extract
- 175 ml 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
- 475 ml 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 Refresha, 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 Refreshas have caffeine. Some Refreshas from Starbucks, like the Paradise Drink, deliver 45 milligrams of caffeine because they contain green coffee bean extract.
Yes, Starbucks Refreshas are healthy. Compared to other popular Starbucks drinks, Refreshas contain about 23 grams of sugar, while their Pistachio Frappuccino has more than twice the amount of sugar at 55 grams for serving (5).
Yes, Starbucks Refreshas are vegan. According to our research, Starbucks Refreshas 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