How to Order a Pink Drink at Starbucks, According to a Former Starbucks Barista

It’s popular for a reason

how to order pink drink at starbucks: starbucks pink drink
Starbucks Facebook Page

As a former Starbucks barista, I can tell you for a fact that the secret menu is…not a secret. It’s a collection of unofficial drinks fans have come up with and shared online, but they’ve become so popular that if you work for the chain, you need to know how to make them, in addition to all the coffee drinks, teas and frozen bevs on the menu. (I made countless cotton candy Frappuccinos in my day—do the kids still like those?) Sometimes, a secret menu drink becomes so popular that it makes it onto the lineup for good. Such was the case with the Starbucks Pink Drink, which joined the roster in 2017. Wondering how to order a Pink Drink at Starbucks so you can see what all the fuss is about? Read on for details, plus a few tasty customizations worth trying.

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how to order pink drink at starbucks: starbucks pink drink

How Is the Starbucks Pink Drink Made?

The strawberry açai Refresher base (which has notes of passion fruit and mainly consists of water, sugar, white grape juice concentrate and green coffee extract, which gives it its caffeine) is shaken over ice with coconut milk and freeze-dried strawberries to create the Pink Drink. The results are a blush-colored, opaque drink that’s as Insta-worthy as it is appetizing.

It’s also never been easier to order one, since it’s officially on the menu nowadays. Simply ask for a Pink Drink in the size of your choice.

how to order pink drink at starbucks: strawberry açai refresher and a starbucks pink drink side by side

What Does the Starbucks Pink Drink Taste Like?

If you’re already a fan of the strawberry açai Refresher, odds are you’ll love the Pink Drink—as long as you also like coconut. The sweet-tart quality of the Refresher is tamed by tropical coconut milk, which gives the drink a richer, creamier mouthfeel.

The beverage has a devout cult following, and arguably for good reason. Personally, I think it’s thirst-quenching and tasty, although I generally prefer Starbucks’s espresso beverages (and when it comes to non-coffee drinks, I’m an unsweetened green or passion tea lemonade girl).

PureWow Editor Abby Hepworth also liked it but wasn’t blown away. “I had it once and thought it was yummy, but not worth the hype,” she explains. “I don’t get the rabid fandom over it.”

how to order pink drink at starbucks: starbucks pink drink

Is the Starbucks Pink Drink Healthy?

A grande Pink Drink only contains 140 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, but it also has a whopping 25 grams of sugar. (For the record, it also has 45 milligrams of caffeine, about half the amount in a cup of coffee.) While there’s no exact recommended daily intake for added sugar, experts agree that we should keep it minimal. According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, no more than 10 percent of your daily caloric intake should come from added sugars (so, 200 calories or 50 grams of sugar per day on a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet). Alternatively, the American Heart Association recommends an upper limit of 100 calories or 24 grams of added sugar per day for most women.

The TLDR? It’s not particularly healthy and has no real nutritional value. But compared to some other drinks on the Starbucks menu, it’s not the sugariest option out there.

What Are the Best Ways to Enjoy the Starbucks Pink Drink?

The Pink Drink doesn’t need help to be delicious, but there are a few noteworthy tweaks worth trying if you’re craving a twist on the O.G.:

  • To make it creamier and sweeter, top it with Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Foam.
  • Similarly, ask for a pump or two of white mocha sauce for a richer consistency and sweeter flavor.
  • For a fruity twist, add raspberry or peach syrup to your Starbucks Pink Drink.
  • For a more intense strawberry flavor, ask for a glug of strawberry purée. This will pair well with a pump of vanilla syrup too, if you want to try @safespacewithsariah’s viral Creme Saver-inspired spin on the Pink Drink.
  • For a sourer final product, ask for a splash of lemonade.
  • To make it frozen, ask for it blended.
  • If you want to try the rest of the coconut milk collection, go for the Dragon Drink or Paradise Drink, made with Mango Dragonfruit and Pineapple Passionfruit Refreshers Bases, respectively. (You can even get them with olive oil-infused Oleato Golden Foam, if you’re feeling adventurous.)

taryn pire

Food Editor

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s food editor and has been writing about all things delicious since 2016. She’s developed recipes, reviewed restaurants and investigated food trends at...