Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit Refresher is known for its bright pink color and tropical fruit flavor. The sweet mango and tart dragonfruit flavors are perfectly balanced. This drink is light and refreshing, making it a popular choice for hot summer days or as an alternative to coffee or tea. On the downside, it is expensive. Keep reading; I have a Starbucks mango dragonfruit refresher copycat recipe where you can make a drink for as low as .81 cents and save $3.44 simultaneously!
It is well known that I love Starbucks; after all, I have made many Starbucks copycat recipes to save money. I needed to do this when I realized I was spending nearly $500 monthly at Starbucks. YIKES that is a lot of money!
I started by recreating my favorite blueberry scones and petite vanilla scones. Then it was on to the drinks. I started with this recipe, the mango dragon fruit refresher. This was my favorite afternoon drink. The flavor was light and sweet, and I could not get enough of the tropical flavors.
Creating the Recipe
This recipe was a challenging recipe to crack! I tried every combination of natural fruits, tropical fruits, and mango puree possible. I read, reread, and kept rereading the nutrition label to see what I was missing.
Then it occurred to me Starbucks base is a concentrated clear liquid with no fresh fruit. Because of this, the Starbucks recipe cannot be recreated using all-natural ingredients. In fact, the label says 'natural fruit flavor.' Not mango juice, not dragonfruit flavors, but only 'natural fruit flavor.' The beverage equivalent of 'froot,' the official name of the fruit flavor in Fruity Pebbles.
I went back to the store and scoured the isles. I came home with just about every artificially flavored drink packet. Hands down, the mango passion fruit by Crystal Light was the closest in flavor to the Starbucks version.
What I like about Crystal Light is its artificial flavor that matches Starbucks without artificial colors or aftertaste. The taste was also as close as I could get to the original drink.
Three Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers
Each Starbucks refresher line uses the same base. Additional flavor is added by mixing the base with water, lemonade, or milk. Each has its own unique taste.
- Mango Dragonfruit Refresher: This is the classic version of the drink, featuring a blend of mango and dragonfruit flavors mixed with water and ice. It's a refreshing and fruity beverage perfect for hot summer days.
- Dragonfruit Lemonade Refresher: This version replaces water with lemonade. The lemonade balances out the sweetness and provides a tartness. This version is perfect for those who love sour flavors and sour candy.
- Dragon Drink: The Dragon Drink variation replaces water with creamy coconut milk. This gives the drink a creamier texture and tastes like a poolside tropical drink.
To replicate this drink at home, you will need the following ingredients:
Freeze Dried Dragonfruit Powder - ¼ teaspoon - Known for its vibrant magenta color; however, the flavor is neutral. I add it because I love the bright color, but for the taste, it is optional. The powder can be purchased on Amazon.
White Grape Juice - 1 teaspoon - This is a popular fruit juice used in most Starbucks refreshers. I found that a little goes a long way, adding to the overall flavor. Too much, and the drink tastes like grape juice. That is why there is only one teaspoon used in this recipe.
Simple Syrup - 2 tablespoons - This is a blend of equal parts white sugar and water cooked on the stove until the sugar dissolves. For less sugar, add less simple syrup when mixing the drink.
Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit - 1 teaspoon - While an artificial flavor, it does not leave an artificial aftertaste. I used a teaspoon because a little goes a long way. I also purchased this at my local grocery store. It is also available on Amazon.
Flavor Mixer - You will need an alternative mixer, depending on your choice of drink.
- Refresher = 2 cups of water.
- Lemonade = 2 cups of lemonade.
- Dragon Drink = 2 cups of coconut milk. I recommend using unsweetened coconut milk to control the sugar content. You can also use almond milk or oat milk.
Green Coffee Extract Powder - 1 teaspoon - Starbucks uses "natural green coffee flavor" in their base, which are unroasted coffee beans that add little flavor while adding caffeine. If you want to add caffeine, start with one-teaspoon increments until you reach the desired amount.
Freeze-Dried Dragon Fruit - - 1 handful - The refresher sold at Starbucks comes with 4 ounces of freeze-dried dragon fruit cubes. I did find the cubes on Amazon. However, the price was $100 for a bag. An affordable option is freeze-dried pieces (chips), which are the same, just in a different shape. Soak the chips in water for five minutes before mixing.
Fresh or Frozen Dragonfruit - 1 handful - Fresh dragonfruit is always an alternative. It is easily found at most grocery stores. If it is your first time buying this funky-looking fruit, follow these instructions on how to cut dragonfruit. Frozen dragonfruit is also a good choice. Look for it next to the frozen fruit section at your grocery store.
Interested in A Different Copycat Recipe?
- Starbucks Blueberry Scone
- Starbucks Crisp Apple Macchiato - Iced and Hot
- Starbucks Cold Foam Recipe
- Starbucks Pineapple Passionfruit Refreshers - All 3!
- Starbucks Petite Vanilla Scones
Below are instructions for all three drinks. Start by making the simple syrup and the base, then follow the instructions for your desired version.
Step One: Make the Simple Syrup -
Simple syrup is really sweetened water that blends the sugars into the drink better than mixing sugar directly. Place a small saucepan over low heat to make simple syrup, and combine water and white sugar. Stir periodically until the sugar dissolves—about five minutes. Set aside and let cool.
Step Two: Make the Base -
Combine dragon fruit powder, freeze-dried dragon fruit, grape juice, simple syrup, and Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit Liquid Water Enhancer in a mason jar or a cocktail shaker. Place the lid on top and shake well. You want to ensure to combine all the ingredients. If the powder is dry and clumped together, let it soak in the mixture for five minutes before shaking.
Step Three: Select your Flavor -
Once the base has been made, add ¼ cup of the base + 2 cups of the variations (water, lemonade, or coconut milk). If you would like a sweeter drink, add more simple syrup.
|Mango Dragonfruit Refresher||¼ cup base + 2 cups water|
|Mango Dragonfruit Lemonaide||¼ cup base + 2 cups lemonade|
|Dragon Drink||¼ cup base + 2 cups coconut milk|
Step Four: Finish and top -
In a tall glass, pour the drink over ice cubes, then top each drink with 4 ounces (a small handful) of freeze-dried dragon fruit pieces or fresh dragon fruit cut into cubes.
Substitutions and Variations
Fresh Kiwis: Kiwis are the perfect substitute. They have the same seeds, texture, and mild flavor. Substitute at a 1:1 ratio.
Kiwi Fruit Powder: Kiwi fruit powder is fun, but t will alter the taste. However, this is the most comparable substitution.
Mango Juice - The natural flavors of mango is hard to beat. If you prefer natural fruit, I recommend starting with a tablespoon and increasing it in small increments until you reach the desired flavor. One bit of warning, a little goes a long way.
Apple Juice - Apple juice can be used instead of white grape juice concentrate.
Caffeinated - The recipe in this post is decaffeinated. For a caffeine boost, add one teaspoon of green coffee extract. Another option is to make a cup of hot green tea. Allow the tea to cool and use that in place of water at a 1:1 ratio.
Boozy - I recommend using vodkas; the flavor is neutral and does not alter the taste of the overall drink. When mixing a drink, I use ¼ cup per 24 ounces. I prefer a lighter ratio of alcohol and then altering the amount according to personal tastes.
Mango Dragonfruit Secret Menu Recipes
As Starbucks lovers know, there is always a secret menu. This menu is variations that have become popular, usually through word of mouth or TikTok. Here is a quick rundown of popular mango dragonfruit secret menu drinks. Use this as a recipe guide to make these drinks at home.
|Firecracker||Base: Refresher base|
Variation: No dragonfruit inclusions. Add a pump of raspberry syrup and top with unsweetened Passion Tango.
|Fuzzy Peach||Base: Refresher base|
Variation: No dragonfruit inclusions. Two pumps of vanilla syrup, peach juice, and light coconut milk.
|Luna Lovegood||Base: Lemonade refresher base|
Variation: Add light kiwi inclusions and light strawberry puree. Top with vanilla sweet cream cold foam with strawberry puree drizzled on top.
|Rose Gold||Base: Refresher base |
Variation: No dragonfruit inclusions and no water. Substitute water with peach juice, and add two pumps of classic sweetener and three pumps of raspberry syrup.
|Sunset Drink||Base: Lemonaid Refresher base|
Variation: No dragonfruit inclusions; add a splash of peach juice blend and Iced Passion Tango Tea.
Please leave the information in the comments if other drinks are on the secret menu. I will add to the table above, and together; we can create a super-sized secret menu for drinks to make at home.
Frequently Asked Questions
This drink has a sweet, fruity taste with tropical fruit notes. It has a bright, vibrant pink color. I especially love the dragon drink on days by the pool.
Yes, this drink is vegan-friendly and contains no dairy products.
The list of customizations is forever growing, thanks to dedicated Starbucks fans and Tiktokers. See my chart above for Starbucks' "secret menu recipes." I will continue to add to the list as I learn about more customizations.
The regional drink at Starbucks contains green coffee extract. There is no way to remove the caffeine from the drink as it is part of the base. Do not include the green coffee extract if you want to remove the caffeine from the homemade version.
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment or take a picture and tag me on social media.
Note: This post does contain affiliate links to products used in this recipe.
Starbucks Mango Dragonfruit Refresher - Copycat Recipe
- 1 Mason jar or other lid tight mixing glass/jar/etc.
- ½ cup (100g) white sugar
- ½ cup (118g) water
- 1 teaspoon (4g) freeze-dried dragonfruit powder
- 1 tablespoon (15g) freeze-dried dragon fruit chips
- 2 tablespoons simple syrup
- 1 teaspoon (5g) white grape juice
- 1 teaspoon (5g) Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit Liquid Water Enhancer
- ½ cup (118g) ice
- 2 cups (330g) water (mango dragonfruit refresher)
- ¼ cup base
- 2 cups (472g) water
- ¼ cup base
- 2 cups lemonade
- ¼ cup base
- 2 cups coconut milk from the dairy case
- Simple Syrup: In a small saucepan over low heat, combine water and white sugar. Stir periodically until the sugar dissolves—about five minutes. Allow to cool before mixing.½ cup (100g) white sugar, ½ cup (118g) water
- Mango Dragonfruit Refresher: Add freeze-dried dragon fruit powder, freeze-dried dragon fruit chips, water, grape juice, simple syrup, and Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit Liquid Enhancer to a mason jar. Place the lid on top and shake well enough to break up the powder. Pour over ice.Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade Variation: Add dragon fruit powder, freeze-dried dragon fruit, lemonade, grape juice, simple syrup, and Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit Liquid Water Enhancer to a mason jar. Place the lid on top and shake well enough to break up the powder. Pour over ice.Dragon Drink Variation: Add dragon fruit powder, freeze-dried dragon fruit, coconut milk, grape juice, simple syrup, and Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit Liquid Water Enhancer to a mason jar. Place the lid on top and shake well enough to break up the powder. Pour over ice.1 teaspoon (4g) freeze-dried dragonfruit powder, 1 tablespoon (15g) freeze-dried dragon fruit chips, 1 teaspoon (5g) white grape juice, 1 teaspoon (5g) Crystal Light Mango Passion Fruit Liquid Water Enhancer, ½ cup (118g) ice, 2 cups (330g) water (mango dragonfruit refresher), ¼ cup base, 2 cups (472g) water
Giving you 5 stars cause it sounds spot on. I have tried a few others, I have even pureed my own fruit to see if that works.
When I go to starbucks and buy the drink. I order the following (it has no name)
Mango Dragonfruit refresher, no fruit, add strawberry puree.
I do ask for it with little water, no ice so when I get it home I can make 2 drinks out of it by adding water. But the strawberry gives it a pop (as in nice tasting kiss)
Thank you! You are so right. I tried making it with fresh fruit that had been purred and cooked down and it never tasted the same. No matter the combination, fresh fruit tastes nothing like Starbucks. I kept trying and trying and then I realized they use a clear base! It's all sugar with a little flavor. It totally changed how I went back and recreated the recipe.
I love the no ice and little water! It is a great way to get two for the price of one.
Hi, I'd love to try your recipe, but I couldn't find the Crystal Light Mango Passionfruit anywhere for $1.75 or even $3. One bottle in Amazon costs almost $9.
Are you still able to buy it anywhere for $2? Thanks
Hi Aly, that is a big difference from when I wrote the recipe. Do you live near a Kroger or a Safeway? I am showing it in stock at both my local stores. Kroger is 3.49 and Safeway is 2 for 5.00. The easiest way I have found to check what is in stock is via instacart. If you go to instacart and type in crystal mango passionfruit it will show you where it is in stock near you. Does this help?