You can only purchase Starbucks’ Shaken Watermelon and Passion Tea in Japan. But with this copycat recipe, you can make the iced summer drink home!
Here’s the definition of a real first world problem… I see a news story on Facebook about a new summer drink at Starbucks. It’s a Shaken Watermelon Passion Tea. Yes! This sounds amazing and will be the perfect summer refresher I crave as an afternoon workday pick-me-up. I read the entire article that goes into depth about it’s deliciousness before I learn that there’s a “catch.” How bad could it be, I think? Maybe it’s more expensive than the typical Starbucks drink. Or maybe it’s only around for one week this summer (in that case, run!!). Nope. It’s worse than that. Way worse than that. The drink is only available in Japan. Le sigh. Of course, the Facebook post didn’t mention that (ahem, fake news!). And despite the fact that visiting Japan has always been on my bucket list, a drink at Starbucks isn’t quite enough for me to get out my wallet and start planning a trip.
Tough life, huh? But rather than sit here and whine about how life isn’t fair and how Japan always gets everything better than us (not sure this is true, but let’s go with it), I decided to take action. The drink sounded pretty simple, so I grabbed the ingredients and made my own version. I found Teavana’s Iced Passion Tango Tea on Amazon and made a huge pitcher of it (each tea bag makes 64 ounces). Once chilled, I combined about 16 ounces of it with watermelon juice, lime juice, and crushed ice. That’s all! You’ll also have plenty of leftover passion tea ready to go (if you want to use all 64 ounces of it for this drink, you’ll also need 64 ounces of watermelon juice… And then you’ll need a gallon-sized pitcher… Great for a party!).
As you might have guessed, I have no real idea if this tastes exactly like the Starbucks version, but based on all of the descriptions I’ve read, it’s as close as can be! I kind of feel like I owe it to you (and myself) to do some serious market research and make sure this recipe truly is a copycat. Though I think if I were actually in Japan, I’d probably forgo Starbucks to overload on matcha. And I’m honestly not sure if this Shaken Watermelon Passion Tea would go well with the ridiculous amounts of sushi I’d be consuming.
But! It is absolutely perfect for a sweltering hot (and humid) day in New England. You know me, I’m pretty much always putting alcohol in my drinks, but on a random afternoon during the workweek? Well, I’d just prefer you didn’t mention my name if you are caught sipping a cocktail at work. However, I feel like I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you that vodka would be an absolutely delightful addition to this drink. Just, you know, maybe wait until after 5:00.
However, I promise you that this is a delight all on its own. Watermelon is one of those fruits you really only eat in the summer (unless its in a gross pre-made fruit salad with cantaloupe, honeydew, and dry flavorless pineapple… am I right??) and while it can be a pain to cut up a whole one, I’m trying to enjoy it to its fullest potential this year. I bought a huge one for this drink and now I have a huge bag of chopped watermelon in my fridge and my summer feels so much happier.
I also admit that I’m usually into the more caffeinated coffee-based drinks at Starbucks, but sometimes when I’ve been loading up on coffee all morning and I’m taking an afternoon walk in the heat, I really just crave a cool, refreshing tea drink.
So, I’m pretty sure I just saved you a trip to Japan. Kidding. But I hopefully gave you the tools you need to make your summer a little brighter without leaving your house. Which is still a pretty good deal, right?
If you’re interested in another Starbucks “pink drink,” I recreated their secret menu Pink Drink (Strawberry Acai Refresher with Coconut Milk) last year!
Do you get jealous when you see foods and drinks in other countries that you don’t have access to? Japan always seems to have the coolest food!
- 16 oz. (2 cups) brewed Teavana Iced Passion Tango Tea (or similar)
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 16 oz. (2 cups) watermelon juice (from about a pound of watermelon)
- 3 oz. freshly squeezed lime juice
- In a heat-proof pitcher, mix sugar into brewed tea and place in fridge to cool.
- Once cool, stir watermelon juice and lime juice into pitcher.
- Fill four glasses with crushed ice. Pour watermelon tea into glasses and garnish with lime and watermelon slice.