Do you love Starbucks' Pink Drink? It's made by combining their Strawberry Acai Refresher base and coconut milk... And now you can use this copycat recipe to make your own Pink Drink at home!
(this recipe was originally published in 2016, but has been modified in 2022. The new recipe is much more authentic to the original)
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, 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.
I just want all my options laid out on the wall over the counter so I can point to one and have it made for me. But I guess there is just so much going on at Starbucks these days, it's not possible.
Especially when you add in all the "secret menu" drinks. The Starbucks secret menu baffles me to no end! The Pink Drink used to be on the secret menu... But then it got so popular that Starbucks decided to add it to the regular menu!
🤫 What is the Starbucks secret menu?
You may be wondering... what exactly is the Starbucks secret menu?
The secret menu isn't actually an official Starbucks thing. It's just various drinks customers have come up with that are possible to make with Starbucks ingredients. For a list of the various drinks you can order that aren't on the actual menu, check out this secret menu.
It's important to note that baristas may not know secret menu drinks by name, so you need to order them by the ingredients. When I first ordered the "Pink Drink," the barista looked a me like I was crazy and said, "you mean, you want the Strawberry Acai Refresher with coconut milk?" Oops.
Luckily, these days you can just ask for the Pink Drink because it's now on the official menu!
Or? You can try your hand at making it at home!
💓 Why you'll love this recipe
This Pink Drink recipe has gone through a lot of testing on my part. When I first provided a recipe in 2016, it was my best guess and the closest I could get to an authentic drink.
Now that close to 6 years have passed, there's a lot more official information available about the ingredients involved in Starbucks' drink. This has made it much easier for me to make an authentic drink that tastes as close as possible to an actual Pink Drink you'd order in a coffee shop!
If you love ordering the Pink Drink at Starbucks, but want to get an as-close-as-possible version you can make at home, you'll love this recipe!
🥤 What is the Pink Drink?
First of all, let's talk about what a Pink Drink isn't. Pink Drink isn't made with tea. SO many of the copycat recipes online are made with tea... Mine originally was! So many are also made with hibiscus flavor, which isn't in the actual drink at all.
But if you look at Starbucks' website, they describe the drink as, "Our crisp, Strawberry Açaí Refreshers® Beverage, with its accents of passion fruit, is combined with creamy coconutmilk."
And if you look at the actual ingredients, you can see that the Pink Drink is essentially just Strawberry Acai Refresher base combined with coconut milk.
I already have a recipe on my website for a Strawberry Acai Refresher, which includes the base. So, we simply need to mix the base with coconut milk (instead of water) to get the pink drink!
☕️ Does the Pink Drink have caffeine?
Yes, it does. Though the Pink Drink isn't made with coffee or tea, it does have green coffee extract in it, which adds caffeine (about 45 mg).
If you don't want caffeine in your make-at-home drink, you can leave the green coffee extract out as it doesn't affect the flavor of the drink at all.
To make your own Starbucks Pink Drink at home, you just need to make the strawberry acai base and mix it with coconut. Here's everything you need:
- White grape juice (I use Welch's)
- Acai berry powder
- Passion fruit extract powder
- Green coffee extract powder
- Lemon juice
- Freeze-dried strawberries
- Sweetened coconut milk (the kind in a carton)
🍓How to Make Strawberry Acai Base
I have a full detailed post on how to make the Strawberry Acai Refresher base on my site already, but I'll also detail how to make it here (be sure to check out my post for even more details!).
To start, combine white grape juice and sliced strawberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
Lower to a simmer and let mixture simmer for 10 minutes, until strawberries are broken down.
Remove saucepan from heat and strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. And pour syrup back into saucepan and return to low heat.
Stir in acai powder, green coffee extract powder, and passion fruit powder until powders have dissolved as much as possible (note that most acai powders won't fully dissolve, so you will likely have some granules in your mixture).
Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
And pour mixture back into heat-proof bowl or into a large mason jar. Place in the fridge until it's cooled.
Now your strawberry acai base is ready to be turned into a deliciously creamy Pink Drink!
Be sure to store this strawberry acai base in your fridge in an airtight container (I recommend a large mason jar). When stored properly, it should last about 2 weeks.
🥤How to Make Pink Drink
With your base chilled and ready, it's so quick and easy to make the Pink Drink at home.
Add some freeze-dried strawberries to the bottom of a cup and fill cup with ice.
Add about ½ cup strawberry acai base and ½ cup sweetened coconut milk to an ice-filled shaker and shake well to combine.
Pour mixture into prepared glass and you're ready to sip away!
Once you taste it, feel free to make alterations based on your sweetness/flavor preferences. Add more of the base for a sweeter drink and less for a less sweet drink.
Hooray! I'm so excited to have a Pink Drink copycat recipe that's much closer to any I've tasted over the years. It's a little bit sweet, a little bit fruity, and a little bit creamy. Basically, the perfect afternoon pick-me-up drink!
I actually considered setting up a lemonade-style pink drink stand outside my house, but then I worried I live too close to Starbucks and if they saw me, they'd sue me.
I think this Pink Drink recipe is pretty close to the original, but there's lots you can do to make it suit your tastes more. In fact, lots of people who order Pink Drinks at Starbucks order them with modifications! Here are a few ideas:
- If you don't care about adding caffeine into the Refresher, you can skip the green coffee extract. It doesn't add any flavor, so it's really just a way to add caffeine.
- If you don't have acai powder or passion fruit powder, this drink will still be delicious. In my opinion, both powders add some depth of flavor and make it closer to the original, but you can still make a pretty tasty drink without them.
- The freeze-dried strawberries do add a bit of an extra tart and fruity flavor to the drink, but just add some sliced fresh strawberries if you don't have any.
- If you want a less sweet drink, use unsweetened coconut milk instead.
- Try using sweetened vanilla coconut milk for an even yummier drink. I actually always think Pink Drinks have a bit of a vanilla flavor to them even though I know Starbucks doesn't actually add anything vanilla.
- If you want a sweeter drink, include ½ cup sugar in your white grape juice and strawberry mixture. This will turn the base into a thicker syrup and it will be sweet and delicious!
- If you want a sweeter drink AND added flavor, consider adding a couple pumps of vanilla, strawberry, or raspberry syrup. Lots of people like the Pink Drink with a splash of peach juice, too.
Basically, once you have the basic Pink Drink recipe down, you can totally make it your own.
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, don't you think it would be absolutely perfect for Valentine's Day?
☕️ More Starbucks Copycat Recipes
I would probably drink a Pink Drink every day if I could, but I love trying all of the drinks at Starbucks! I also love going home and recreating them as closely as I possibly can. Here are some of my favorite Starbucks copycat recipes:
- Strawberry Acai Refresher
- Iced Toasted Vanilla Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Pistachio Latte
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Frappuccino
- Apple Crisp Macchiato
- Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte
- Shaken Watermelon and Passion Tea
- Strawberry Puppuccino (for dogs!)
- Blueberry Muffins (from Lil' Cookie)
I'll continue adding to this list as I experiment in the kitchen and make more copycat drinks!
For now, I'm going to be sipping on this new and improved homemade Pink Drink every day for my afternoon treat!
What's your favorite iced Starbucks drink?
Homemade Starbucks Pink Drink
- ½ cup Strawberry Acai Base (recipe below)
- ½ cup sweetened coconut milk (the kind in a carton)
- Freeze-dried strawberries
Strawberry Acai Base
- 2 ¼ cup white grape juice
- 1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
- ½ tsp acai powder
- ½ tsp green coffee extract powder
- ¼ tsp passionfruit powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Add about ½ cup strawberry acai base and ½ cup sweetened coconut milk to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well to combine.
- Pour mixture into an ice-filled glass with freeze-dried strawberries.
- Feel free to make alterations based on your sweetness preferences. Add more of the base for a sweeter drink and less for a less sweet drink.
Strawberry Acai Base
- Combine white grape juice and sliced strawberries in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Lower to a simmer and let mixture simmer for 10 minutes, until strawberries are breaking down.
- Remove from heat and strain mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Press down on strawberries with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard strawberries.
- Pour mixture back into saucepan and return to low heat. Stir in acai powder, green coffee extract powder, and passionfruit powder until powders have dissolved as much as possible (acai powder is tough to fully dissolve, so there will be some granules remaining).
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Return to heatproof bowl or pour into large mason jar and put in fridge to cool completely.
- This recipe for Strawberry Acai Base makes enough for about 4 full drinks if using ½ cup of base per drink.
- The base should keep in your fridge for about 2 weeks.
- If you don't want caffeine in your Pink Drink, you can leave out the green coffee extract as it doesn't change the flavor.
- If you don't have acai powder or passion fruit powder, the drink will still be delicious!
- Use this recipe to learn how to make base into Strawberry Acai Refresher.