I’m the kind of person who gets totally flustered when ordering a drink in Starbucks. The menu completely confuses me, I never know what alterations I’m allowed to make to a drink (I constantly ask for things that aren’t possible!), and I always feel like I’m going to somehow order a drink that contains 8044 calories and not realize it until I’ve happily slurped the whole thing down. Also, I really, really enjoy the Oprah Chai Tea Latte (a million times more than the regular Chai Latte). But I feel ridiculously absurd ordering a drink with Oprah’s name in it (but seriously, the proceeds go to Oprah’s Leadership Academy Foundation, so really, I should order with PRIDE). Also, it’s never on the menu anymore, so I always have to go up to the counter and say, “excuse me, do you still have the Oprah Chai?” And then I want to crawl in a hole. I just want all my options laid out on the wall over the counter… But I guess there is just so much going on at Starbucks these days, it’s not possible.
Then there are the secret menu drinks. Ah. From what I hear, there’s not actually an official Starbucks secret menu… There are just people who order crazy off-menu things and then try to make them popular. And I guess you could say that worked with the Pink Drink, which all the sudden became all the rage (thanks, Insta!). I ordered my own Pink Drink just a couple weeks ago in what was my very first Starbucks “secret menu” order. Of course, when I ordered it, the barista looked at me like I was crazy and said, “you mean, you want the Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk?” Um yes, I guess? I don’t know; I thought it was SECRET. And you just destroyed the mystery for me. But thanks, I’ll have it anyway because it won’t get out of my Instagram stream and therefore my brain. Also, it’s beautiful.
And it was delicious to boot. So, I went home and decided to recreate it. And I think my version turned out to be pretty fabulous!
At first I was going to ignore the whole acai part of the drink. Because though I love acai and live for the frozen Sambazon packs, I knew that adding purple into my Pink Drink would turn it into Brown Drink. Not OK. But then I realized that I had this Lipton Acai Green Tea right in my very own cabinet (Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher is a drink with green coffee extract, so I figured green tea would work, too). Done and done. I brewed a strong cup and let it cool.
Then put it in a blender along with some fresh strawberries, a little bit of sugar, and ice. I blended away and poured the drink into two glasses with some coconut milk mixed in (I used Silk Unsweetened). Obviously I mixed in some sliced fresh strawberries for garnish, too. And I had my very own Pink Drink without any awkward ordering or confused baristas.
And it was awesome! Chris said it was way better than Starbucks Pink Drink and I don’t think he was just saying that because he’s my husband and he loves me (I can always tell when he doesn’t really like something I’ve made…). I actually considered setting up a lemonade-style stand outside my house, but then I worried I live too close to Starbucks and if they saw me, they’d sue me.
I’m pretty sure Starbucks actually makes their Pink Drink with freeze dried strawberries, which I think would also be delicious. But at this time of year, I’m definitely not turning down any fresh strawberries. I know it’s just so trendy and “basic” at this point, but come on, that color! How can I ever go back to an Oprah Chai when I can have Pink Drink?
I’m pretty sure “Pink Drink” previously meant Pepto Bismol, so I hope this drink goes down in history and changes everything. And also fixes whatever ails you. At the very least, it will brighten up your day.
Also, the pretty color makes this drink PERFECT for your 4th of July weekend! I hope that you have a fabulous one planned… I feel very lucky in that I not only have the 4th off from work, but I also have the 5th! And the weather is looking beautiful here in Boston. Hooray!
Next up? I’m newly obsessed with the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew! Despite its name, a grande only has 110 calories. More than my typical morning black coffee, but still not too shabby for a treat. And I wonder if you can order it with sugar-free vanilla syrup?? I guess I’ll just have to ask and then crawl into my hole when they tell me I’m crazy. Or maybe I’ll try to recreate this one at home, too!
Have you tried Starbucks Pink Drink yet or ordered off their secret menu?
- 12 large strawberries, hulled
- 1½ Tbsp granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
- ¾ cup acai green tea (or plain green tea), chilled
- 1 cup ice
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- Place 8 strawberries, sugar, cold tea, and ice in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Divide strawberry drink between two large glasses and pour in coconut milk.
- Slice remaining strawberries and use to garnish drinks.