Ranking the Best Starbucks Refreshers

12 min read APR 07, 2023

While we are all coffee lovers here, who can’t imagine starting our morning off with anything other than a freshly brewed cup, every once in a while it can be nice to indulge in something a little during the afternoon or for a quick treat.

Trying to find a drink which offers our caffeine fix but isn’t necessarily a traditional coffee option isn’t always easy, especially if you are out on the town or not at home where you can easily reach into your own refrigerator.

Starbucks offers a convenient option for cheat day treats with one of the chain locations easily found on most city corners. If you are looking to indulge while out on something besides coffee, have you tried a Starbucks Refresher? These beverages come in various flavors and are made with green coffee extract, real fruit juice, and sweeteners like sugar or stevia.

Each grande-size Starbucks Refresher contains 45mg of caffeine, making them an ideal drink that won't give you the same jolt as classic espresso drinks. Compared to a grande iced coffee with 165 mg of caffeine, a Starbucks Refresher can provide just enough energy without feeling over-caffeinated. They also boast low calories and make for excellent go-to orders if you're going on a diet or mindful about what you're drinking. Although, less calories does not always equal healthy! Make sure you are indulging in these treats in moderation to keep health as a top priority in your daily life.

Interesting Facts about Starbucks Refreshers

Contains caffeine

A Starbucks Refresher beverage contains 45mg of caffeine—the equivalent amount contained in a medium-sized cup of coffee. This can surprise unsuspecting consumers, especially those ordering Refreshers for children, as the cool and refreshing fruit-flavored drinks may seem like an innocent drink choice. It's important to be aware that these beverages contain caffeine, so buyers should take caution when purchasing for young ones.

Three Distinct Refresher versions

The regular version is sweetened with lemonade, and a vegan-friendly option is made with coconut milk.

Starbucks version of "coconutmilk"

Starbucks has crafted its own unique blend of coconut milk, aptly named 'coconutmilk.'

Freeze-dried fruit

Every Refresher is crafted with a combination of freeze-dried fruit pieces known as "inclusions." Depending on the size, each drink gets a heaping scoop (or two) to guarantee maximum flavor! If you're feeling adventurous, just ask for extra inclusions.


Refreshers are prepared by vigorously shaking them with ice cubes. This shaking technique helps to achieve a frothy and creamy consistency.

Reduce the amount of water for a stronger flavor

The Starbucks Refresher base is a concentrated blend of fruit flavors, providing a strong and delicious taste. Order your Refresher with less water, lemonade, or coconut milk to enhance the flavor even more.

Four drink sizes to choose from

Starbucks Refreshers offer a wide range of sizes for their customers to choose from. The tall size offers 12 ounces of beverage, the grand size offers 16 ounces, the venti size provides 24 ounces, and the trenta comes with 30 ounces of drink.

Few Drinks discontinued

Starbucks has ceased offering the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher and the Kiwi Starfruit Refresher beverages. These popular drinks are no longer available.

Our Favorite Refreshing Drinks - Ranked

1. Strawberry Acai Lemonade

Strawberry Acai Lemonade is a delicious and refreshing beverage that's perfect for quenching your thirst on a hot summer day. It's made from a strawberry acai base and sweetened with lemonade and freeze-dried strawberries. Each grande size contains 45mg of caffeine and 140 calories, along with 32g of sugar. This drink will surely provide the perfect energy boost to help you power through your day!

2. Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade

This Starbucks Refresher drink is a sweet and refreshing drink that packs quite the punch of energy. Each grande serving contains 45 mg of caffeine, 140 calories, and 30 grams of sugar. Combining the Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers base with lemonade and freeze-dried dragonfruit pieces creates an exotic flavor that can't be beaten. This drink comes in at a solid number 2 on the list of best refresher drinks.

3. Pink Drink

One of the most popular refresher drinks available is the Pink Drink. It's made with a strawberry acai base, blended with coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberries, and finished off with ice. The drink delivers 45 mg of caffeine in every grande-sized cup, accompanied by 140 calories and 24 g of sugar. The Pink Drink used to be a hidden feature on the menu, but eventually, it was added to the official list, showing that it's become one of the most beloved choices among customers. Its blend of natural fruit flavors provides a sweet yet refreshing taste that undeniably makes it a mainstay in people's orders.

4. Strawberry Acai Refresher

Starbucks' Strawberry Acai Refresher is a refreshing drink perfect for an afternoon drink. It's made with their signature vegan-friendly Strawberry Acai Base, which has a delightfully fruity flavor. To enhance the flavor further, freeze-dried strawberries are added to give it an extra burst of sweetness and a nice texture. The drink is then finished off with water and ice and served cold.

This beverage contains 45 milligrams of caffeine per grande size, providing just enough energy to get you through the day without being too overwhelming. And with only 90 calories, it's a healthier alternative to other high-calorie beverages while still having plenty of flavors. The grande size contains 20 grams of sugar, making it sweet but not overly so—perfect for those looking for a lighter taste.

5. Dragon Drink

The Dragon Drink from Starbucks is refreshing to get your day going. It's made from a Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Base that's combined with coconut milk and then topped off with some sweet-tasting Freeze Dried Dragonfruit Pieces. The total caffeine content of this grande-sized drink is 45 milligrams, 130 calories, and 23 grams of sugar. If you prefer it to be less sweet, you can add some water for fewer calories and less sugar. The combination of flavors in the Dragon Drink will tantalize your taste buds and provide an energizing boost.

6. Mango Dragonfruit Refresher

Starbucks' Mango Dragonfruit Refresher is a delicious, fruit-infused beverage that offers a great way to get a boost of energy. With 45 milligrams of caffeine in a grande size and 90 calories, the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher is the perfect drink for those looking for an energizing drink without overloading on sugar – it only contains 19 grams! The iced drink combines Starbucks' signature refresher base with water and freeze-dried dragonfruit pieces for an extra burst of fruity flavor. It's an excellent choice for those needing a light yet energizing drink with plenty of flavors.

7. Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade

Nothing can be more refreshing for those hot summer days than an icy cold Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade. This drink boasts a unique combination of lemonade and pineapple passionfruit refresher base, giving it a distinctive sweet and sour taste.

Each grande-size serving contains 45 milligrams of caffeine and 140 calories while also providing 30 grams of sugar to give the already tart flavors a little extra sweetness. Adding freeze-dried pineapple gives this drink a delightful texture that refreshes with each sip. While the Pineapple Passionfruit Lemonade is not as popular as some other Refreshers, it provides an ideal way to quench your thirst while you enjoy the warm summer weather.

8. Paradise Drink

The Paradise Drink from Starbucks is the perfect way to beat the summer heat. This delicious concoction combines ice, Starbucks' signature Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher Base, Coconutmilk and Freeze Dried Pineapple for an exotic flavor unlike any other. With 45mg of caffeine in a grande size, it's just enough of an energy boost to get you through your day.

The Paradise Drink contains 140 calories and 23g of sugar per grande serving, making it a great choice for those looking for something sweet but not overly sugary. Adding the Paradise Drink to the Starbucks menu in 2022 brought a refreshing new option that customers have quickly come to love.

9. Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher

Regarding the most delicious and refreshing beverages, the Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher from Starbucks tops the list. This bright drink combines pineapple passionfruit refresher base, ice and freeze-dried pineapple pieces. With 45 mg of caffeine in each grande, this drink provides just the right amount of energy without sacrificing taste.

Each grande also contains 100 calories and 19 g of sugar, making it a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth without overindulging. For those looking for a tropical escape in their cup, this beverage will surely bring a hint of paradise with its key ingredients, pineapple and passionfruit inspired by traditional pineapple popsicles and shaved ice. The sharp tartness of the passionfruit blended with the sweetness of pineapple creates an unforgettable flavor that will leave you feeling revived and reenergized!

Secret Menu Refresher Drinks

Secret menu drinks have become increasingly popular on social media, but if you don't know the recipe for each drink, baristas may be unable to make them for you. To get your desired secret menu to drink, you'll need to provide the exact ingredients and customizations you want to get the perfect beverage. These drinks are made with a combination of regular Starbucks drinks and additional items like syrups and toppings to make them unique.

10. Tiktok Pink Drink

The Tiktok Pink Drink is a delicious and popular secret menu item at Starbucks. This custom drink uses the Pink Drink, which blends sweet strawberries and creamy coconut milk as its base.

To jazz it up, customers can ask for heavy cream to replace the coconut milk and for two scoops of vanilla bean powder to be shaken in for an extra flavor kick. Finally, whipped cream is added to the top - completing this indulgent Refresher!

To order this delightful drink, simply ask for a Grande Pink Drink with an extra splash of heavy cream and two scoops of vanilla bean powder stirred in. Finally, generously top it off with whipped cream to give it that perfect flavor burst.

11. TikTok Matcha Pink Drink

This delightfully refreshing beverage starts with a Pink Drink (made with passion fruit, acai, and guarana). It is then customized with a special topping – sweet vanilla cream cold foam blended with one scoop of matcha green tea powder for added flavor.

Even better, ordering this tasty treat is easy – just ask for a grande Pink Drink topped with sweet vanilla cream cold foam blended with one scoop of matcha!

12. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Pink Drink

The Chocolate Covered Strawberry Pink Drink from the secret menu of Starbucks can provide a delicious and unique beverage experience. This drink starts with a grande Pink Drink, which features a sweet and fruity flavor combination of strawberry acai refresher and coconut milk.

To this base, vanilla, sweet cream cold foam is added, expertly blended with two pumps of mocha sauce for an extra richness that creates an indulgent treat. The creamy foam combined with the light sweetness of strawberry and cocoa makes this drink a tantalizing option when in need of refreshment.

13. TikTok Sunset Drink

This delicious drink starts with a base of Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade and has customizations added to it - no dragonfruit inclusions and a splash of a peach juice blend. To top it off, Iced Passion Tango Tea is layered on for a refreshing sweetness.

When ordering this drink, simply ask for a grande Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade without any dragonfruit pieces, plus an extra splash of a peach juice blend. To finish it, top your beverage with refreshing Iced Passion Tango Tea. Combining these carefully chosen ingredients creates a truly exquisite summer drink that is delicious and one-of-a-kind!

14. TikTok Rose Gold Refresher

This custom drink is made from a Mango Dragonfruit Refresher as its base and then tweaked with several additions.

When ordering, you'll want to ask for a grande version with no water or inclusions and then add peach juice and two pumps each of classic and raspberry syrup. The result is a fruity concoction that will tease your taste buds! Combining mango, dragonfruit, peach, classic syrup, and raspberry syrup creates an unforgettable flavor experience.

15. Material Girl

The Material Girl is a special drink available at Starbucks that starts with the popular Pink drink. White mocha sauce and sweet vanilla cream cold foam blended with strawberry puree sauce is added to customize it.

This refreshing beverage is easy to order. Simply ask for a grande Pink Drink with a splash of white mocha sauce, followed by sweet vanilla cream cold foam that has been blended with strawberry puree. Combining these ingredients creates a unique flavor profile that is delicious and visually appealing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are there differences in the amount of caffeine contained in Starbucks Refreshers and iced tea?

Yes, there is a difference between the caffeine content in a grande Refreshers (45 mg) and a grande Iced Black Tea (25 mg).

Can I add inclusions to any drink at Starbucks?

Yes, you can add inclusions like frozen and dried fruit to your iced tea or milk beverages.

Is it possible to get a Starbucks Refresher without any caffeine?

Unfortunately, the Refreshers' bases contain green coffee extract, so they cannot be made into a caffeine-free beverage. However, you can request to have less caffeine by asking for fewer scoops of green coffee extract in your drink.

Do any of the Starbucks Refreshers contain dairy?

No, all Refreshers are made with fruit juice and water, so they do not contain any dairy products. If you want a creamy texture to your beverage, add non-dairy milk or creamers such as coconut milk or plant-based milk (soy, almond). If desired, you can also ask for cold foam blended with non-dairy syrups such as hazelnut or caramel.

Is it possible to get a "secret menu" item at Starbucks?

Yes! Some customers create their own custom drinks and give them a unique names. If you know the recipe for any of these drinks, you can ask your barista to make it for you! Not all Starbucks locations are familiar with secret menu items, so be sure to provide detailed instructions on how to make the drink.

Do the secret menu items have nutritional information available?

Unfortunately, no. Since each drink is a special creation by customers rather than an officially listed item, very limited nutritional information is available. If you would like more details about the ingredients in a particular drink, you can always ask your barista for more information.

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