Looking for a deliciously refreshing drink from Starbucks that's full of sweet fruity flavor? The Strawberry Acai Lemonade is perfect for you! This copycat recipe will show you how to make the drink so it tastes just like it does at Starbucks.
- 🥤 What is a Strawberry Acai Lemonade?
- ☕️ Does the drink have caffeine?
- ❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
- 🗒 Ingredients
- 👩🍳 How to make Refresher base
- 🍓 How to make Strawberry Acai Lemonade
- 🍋 Can I use homemade lemonade?
- 💡 Modifications
- 🥣 Other ways to use
- ⏲ How to store
- ❓ How many drinks does this recipe make?
- 🧋 More Starbucks copycat recipes
- 📖 Recipe
- 💬 Comments
I am a huge coffee lover, which is one of the main reasons I'm a Starbucks fan. But over the past couple years, I've also been very into the non-coffee drink items on the menu. Specifically, the Refreshers and the iced teas.
The Refreshers are so fun because they're fruity and, well, refreshing. Often in a way that even the coldest iced coffee can't be.
There's also a lot you can do with the Refresher bases and each flavor has multiple options, including mixing the base with water (for a standard Refresher), with coconut milk (for Pink Drink, Dragon Drink, and Paradise Drink), and with lemonade.
I already have recipes for the Strawberry Acai Refresher and the Pink Drink on my blog, so now I'm rounding it out with the third Strawberry Acai base option... the lemonade.
🥤 What is a Strawberry Acai Lemonade?
The Strawberry Acai Lemonade is essentially just the Refresher base mixed with lemonade. This is instead of mixing the base with water, which is how the standard Refresher comes.
Once I got the Strawberry Acai base recipe down, it was easy to make other drinks with it... And the lemonade may just be my favorite version for a hot day!
I also love the lemonade version of the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher!
☕️ Does the drink have caffeine?
Lots of people don't know that Refreshers DO have some caffeine in them. Contrary to what many think, they're not tea - they're listed on Starbucks' menu under "cold drinks." But the base does have green coffee bean extract in it, which contains caffeine.
According to the Starbucks website, the Strawberry Acai Lemonade has about 45 mg of caffeine in a grande.
When you're making this drink at home, you can leave out the green coffee extract if you want a caffeine-free drink!
❤️ Why you'll love this recipe
If you find yourself at Starbucks ordering the Strawberry Acai Lemonade way too often, you're going to want to make your own at home!
I did so much testing to come up with the base recipe to get it tasting as close to the version Starbucks makes as I possibly could. You'll find lots of shortcut recipes on the internet, but I think it's worth putting in a little more work to get a great copycat recipe.
You can make a big batch of the base, keep it in your fridge, and make yourself a Strawberry Acai Lemonade every day!
You don't need too many ingredients to make this drink, but there are a few specialty ingredients required in order to get it tasting as close to the original as possible.
I've linked to all the products I recommend... And remember, once you have them, you can make lots and lots of drinks with them! Here's what you need:
- White grape juice (I use Welch's)
- Fresh strawberries
- Acai berry powder
- Passion fruit extract powder
- Green coffee extract powder
- Lemon juice
- Freeze-Dried Strawberries
- Lemonade (I like Simply)
👩🍳 How to make Refresher base
Once you have all the ingredients, making the base for the Strawberry Acai Lemonade is easy!
You'll essentially make a syrup and then let it cool before using.
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.
Press down on strawberries with a wooden spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard strawberries or use them for something else.
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 you'll likely have some granules in your syrup no matter how long you stir since it's tough to get acai powder to totally dissolve. This is OK! But if you don't like it, you can try using acai extract instead.
Now you can remove the saucepan from the 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.
And once it's chilled, your base is ready to be used!
🍓 How to make Strawberry Acai Lemonade
Making the rest of the drink is SO easy. All you need to do it mix the base with lemonade and freeze-dried strawberries.
I recommend adding about ½ cup strawberry acai base, ½ cup lemonade, and ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well to combine.
And then pour entire contents of the shaker (including ice) into a cup.
You can garnish it with a lemon if you want. Or more freeze-dried strawberries.
Take a nice cold refreshing sip! And, of course, feel free to make alterations based on your sweetness preferences. Add more of the base for a sweeter drink and less for a more tart (but still sweet!) drink.
This is what summer is all about and I'm so excited I can make and enjoy this drink at home!
🍋 Can I use homemade lemonade?
Yes, of course! Since the base takes some time to make and a good copycat can't be found in stores, I wanted to keep the rest easy with store-bought lemonade. But you can certainly make your own!
For a big batch, I like this homemade lemonade recipe.
If you really want to make your own Strawberry Acai Lemonade at home, but can't get all the ingredients or want to take some shortcuts, here are some recommendations for you:
- f you don't want or don't care about having caffeine in the drink, skip the green coffee extract. It doesn't add any flavor, so you won't be missing anything except the little buzz.
- 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 delicious 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 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've already made the base, but once you mix it, you want it to be sweeter without adding more base, add in a little simple syrup or another liquid sweetener like agave or honey.
🥣 Other ways to use
Like I mentioned, once you have the base recipe down, there are lots of different drinks you can make with it!
The most common would be the Strawberry Acai Refresher, which is just the base mixed with water.
But you can also make a Pink Drink with the strawberry acai base. All you have to do is replace the water with sweetened coconut milk. This was once a secret menu item at Starbucks, but is now on the regular menu!
If you're not a fan of lemonade, but like the idea of adding sweetness and tartness to the Refresher base, try using limeade instead! Strawberry and lime is such a great combination.
⏲ How to store
I recommend storing the Refresher base in a large mason jar in your fridge. When stored properly, it should last about 2 weeks.
For the best results, I'd wait to mix the base with the lemonade and freeze-dried strawberries until just before you want to drink it.
❓ How many drinks does this recipe make?
The base recipe I provide makes about 4 drinks if you're using the recommended ½ cup per drink.
However, it's super easy to make more by simply doubling or tripling the base ingredients! Just store them properly and you can have a Strawberry Acai Lemonade every day!
🧋 More Starbucks copycat recipes
I absolutely love finding favorite drinks and food at Starbucks and then heading home to try to recreate them. Sometimes it takes me attempt after attempt until I have the best possible copycat recipe to share with you.
Here are some of my favorite make-at-home Starbucks recipes:
- Strawberry Acai Refresher
- Pink Drink
- Mango Dragonfruit Refresher
- Dragon Drink
- Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade
- Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher
- Paradise Drink
- Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade
- Grilled Cheese
- Iced White Chocolate Mocha
- Iced Toasted Vanilla Oat Milk Shaken Espresso
You can see all my Starbucks recipes here.
If you're a fan of ordering Starbucks' Strawberry Acai Lemonade, I hope you'll try this recipe at home... Please comment below and let me know if you enjoyed it!
Strawberry Acai Lemonade
- ½ cup Strawberry Acai Base (recipe below)
- ½ cup lemonade (store-bought or homemade)
- ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries
Strawberry Acai Base
- 2 ¼ cups white grape jucie
- 1 cup hulled and sliced strawberries
- ½ tsp acai powder
- ½ tsp green coffee bean extract
- ¼ tsp passionfruit powder
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Add about ½ cup strawberry acai base, ½ cup lemonade, and ¼ cup freeze-dried strawberries to an ice-filled shaker. Shake well to combine.
- Pour entire contents of shaker (including ice) into a cup.
- Feel free to make alterations based on your sweetness preferences. Add more of the base for a sweeter drink and less for a more tart (but still 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 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!
- Mix strawberry acai base with water for a Strawberry Acai Refresher or mix with sweetened coconut milk for a pink drink.
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Awesome! This recipe is a bit more complicated than others that I've tried but buying the products and going through the process was worth it for the end result. I made this following the exact directions (but left out the caffeine) and it was just what I was hoping for!