I was enjoying the hot summer Florida afternoon the other day when Mr. Beet asked me if I had ever heard of the Pink Drink at Starbucks. I had not. It is part of the Starbucks secret menu and not only is it trending on Twitter, there are also over 100,000 posts with the hashtag #PinkDrink on Instagram. And as far as I could see every single #PinkDrink picture was that of a drink at Starbucks. I was intrigued. It seems that somewhere some how some way this pink drink has exploded on social media. I had to make a Starbucks Pink Drink recipe copycat.
So what’s a blogger to do? Hop in the car, go buy one and figure out how to make it home. I am all about trying to copycat Starbucks drinks (check out my copycat Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher). Here is how the Pink Drink has been explained to me – it is the Strawberry Acai Refresher made with Coconut Milk instead of water. Many say this is on the Starbucks Secret Menu but I am here to break it to you- Starbucks does not have an official secret menu. What they have are drinks that people have custom ordered and shared. So if you go to ask for the Pink Drink, please do not get upset if your barista does not know what it is. Simply let them know you want the Strawberry Refresher with Coconut Milk instead of water.
My local Starbucks is next door to both a Publix Supermarket and a Trader Joe’s, which made shopping for ingredients easy. I know all the refreshers are made with white grape juice and green coffee bean extract as a base. For the coffee extract I bought a bottle of green coffee bean extract in capsule form and just popped open the capsules, using the powder inside. I found mine at a health food store but Amazon sells them here and here as well.
I started by making a strawberry simple syrup. I made two batches, one using fresh strawberries, the second using freeze dried strawberries. The freeze dried version made a frothy more concentrated syrup which I prefer, but using fresh berries will work as well. (Just double the amount of syrup)
In looking at pictures online, I learned that most Starbucks garnish the Pink Drink with freeze dried strawberries, and some stores used blackberries. I like it both ways, but I prefer adding fresh strawberries. (I have been told by some baristas at Starbucks that no stores use fresh strawberries, just the freeze dried)
I found it fairly easy to recreate the Starbucks version and I think my version is pretty close to the real thing. And it is delicious. Sound off in the comments below and tell me what you think!
- 1 cup Freeze Dried Strawberries, or fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup sugar, I prefer coconut sugar
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp Green Bean coffee powder, the powder of about two capsules broken open
- 1 cup white grape juice
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1/2 cup fresh sliced strawberries, for garnish
- blackberries, for garnish
Add the freeze dried strawberries, sugar, white grape juice and green coffee bean powder to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and simmer for ten minutes, stirring occasionally so the liquid does not burn.
Pour the strawberry mixture through a fine mesh strainer, capturing the liquid into a wide lipped cup or bowl. Gently push the liquid out of the strawberries. **
Allow the liquid to cool. Using freeze dried strawberries should yield about 1/4 cup of syrup, fresh strawberries will make about 1/2 cup. (You can speed up the process by placing the liquid in the refridgerator or freezer, just do not use a glass container as it will crack)
Add a few strawberry slices to the bottom of a serving glass and fill glass with ice. Add the cooled syrup, then add the coconut milk. (Using the fresh strawberry syrup will have less room for the coconut milk so adjust the milk amount accordingly)
To be even more Starbucks authentic, add everything to a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously before pouring back into your serving glass.
Top with the fresh strawberries reserved for the garnish and/or blackberries, if using.
*Use more or less green coffee bean powder depending on how much caffeine you want in the drink.
**You can use the strawberries left in the strainer for a topping for toast, biscuits, pancakes, etc.
***The Starbucks version also has Acai in it- you can add 2 tsp of Acai powder to the tea process- add to the white grape juice.
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Check out my other Starbucks copycat recipes- just click on any image for the recipe.