Make Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher at home using this copycat recipe. All it takes is two syrups, white grape juice, and your favorite mixer to make the Strawbery acai refresher, lemonade, or pink drink!
Starbucks strawberry acai is my new guilty pleasure. This spring, I enjoyed this drink at least three times a week. I wanted to go to Bux the other four days and order another one.
I am truly addicted. However, generally, it's fair to say my love for saving money ranks higher than my love for Starbucks. So, I started making Starbucks copycat drinks at home.
I found that by using flavored syrups, I can recreate my favorite refreshers at home. It takes a small investment upfront, but I recoup the money quickly! Plus, I can have the drink as many times a week as I want!
Keep reading to learn how to make Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher at home!
Table of contents
What Is a Starbucks Refresher?
A Starbucks Refresher is a line of light, usually fruit-flavored, non-coffee beverages. They are known for their vibrant colors and fruity taste, which makes them especially popular in the spring and summer.
Some popular flavors in the Starbucks Refreshers lineup include Strawberry Acai, Very Berry Hibiscus, and Mango Dragonfruit. Each drink is offered in three variations. A typical refresher is sweet, with lemonade for a tart flavor or coconut milk for a tropical flair.
What Is a Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher?
The Strawberry Acai Refresher is an iced drink that combines the flavors of strawberry and acai, or sweet and tart. I tried many ways to recreate this drink but found one that was perfect.
You can recreate this drink at home by using strawberry and passion fruit syrups. Better yet, after the initial investment, the drink costs pennies!!!
If you want to take it a step further, I have included several secret menu drinks made using the strawberry acai base.
What does this Drink Taste Like?
The Starbucks Strawberry Refresher has a predominantly strawberry flavor with a mild tart flavor on the finish. When I drink it, I taste a strong strawberry syrup flavor that is different from fresh berries.
The slightly sour finish comes from the passionfruit and citric acid. I did try this recipe in many combinations. However, each time, I felt a touch of passionfruit and citric acid was needed.
Finally, the original drink is topped with freeze-dried strawberries. I like to use strawberries instead. You can easily use freeze-dried strawberries or skip berries altogether.
Is This the Pink Drink?
The Pink Drink is the Strawberry acai Refresher-based, mixed with coconut milk and a small scoop of freeze-dried or fresh strawberries. The coconut milk balances out the sweetness, making the pink drink a perfect combination of sweet and tropical.
How I Developed This Recipe
I spent a lot of time taste testing and reading the nutritional label. I did try to make this drink with fresh strawberries, but the flavor was not the same.
I then turned to strawberry syrup, which was the exact flavor of the drink. The next step was to find a flavor to mimic the sour finish. The acai berry powder did not replicate the same flavor.
I checked all three refresher labels and noticed something: not one listed acai berry powder directly! However, The Pink Drink listed "accents of passion fruit." It turns out passion fruit was the missing ingredient! I added a touch of passion fruit, and I had it! It has the exact same flavor as Starbucks!!!
Ingredients for this Acai Recipe
Strawberry Syrup - I use Torani Strawberry Syrup, Strawberry and it has the same flavor. I love this syrup so much that I use it to make milkshakes!
Passion Fruit Syrup - There are very few passion fruit syrups to choose from. The Torani version was too expensive, so I chose Monin - Passion Fruit Syrup. It worked like a charm!
White Grape Juice - Use a simple white grape juice found at the store. I opted for the generic Kroger brand.
Critic Acid - I tested this recipe with and without the critic acid. I found that it adds a zing flavor to the drink, which matches the flavor at Starbucks.
Green Coffee Bean Extract Powder - The Starbucks base has green coffee powder. However, the flavor is very mild. Add this if you want caffeine in your drink.
Each Starbucks refresher comes in three varieties. For this recipe, you will add one cup of your preferred flavor. They are:
|Refresher||Water (one cup)|
|Lemonade||Lemonade (one cup)|
|Pink Drink||Coconut Milk* (one cup)|
*Use the coconut milk found in the dairy case by the milk at your grocery store.
Step One: Mix the base ingredients in a large glass or jar.
Step Two: Add your preferred flavor to the jar and combine.
Step Three: Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add a handful of fresh strawberries and pour the drink over the ice.
Strawberry Acai Variations (Starbucks secret menu)
|Gummy Bear Drink||Mix 2 cups of peach juice with the strawberry refresher base and add two pumps of raspberry syrup. Top with your favorite gummy bears.|
|Sour Patch Kids||Mix strawberry refresher base with lemonade, three pumps of classic syrup*, three pumps of raspberry syrup, and a splash of tango passion tea.|
|Strawberries and Cream Refresher||Mix the strawberry refresher base with strawberry puree and top with sweet cream.|
|Strawberry Shortcake Refresher||Make a strawberry refresher with lemonade. Add one scoop of strawberry puree and top with vanilla sweet cream cold foam.|
|WandaVision Refresher||Mix the strawberry refresher base with two cups of guava juice blend and three scoops of strawberries, and top with vanilla sweet cream cold foam.|
*Note: Classic syrup (simple syrup) is a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. Place the ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over low heat until the sugar dissolves into the water. Once it is cooled, you have classic syrup (simple syrup)
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, strawberry acai refresher contains caffeine. Typically, a 16 oz. The refresher will have 45 mg of caffeine in the base. This means that you cannot order the drink caffeine-free at Starbucks. However, you can make it caffeine-free at home by omitting the green tea extract.
While it depends on the size and your location, generally, a Starbucks refresher is between $4.00 and $6.00 dollars.
Are you in the mood for another Starbucks copycat recipe?
Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher: Copycat Recipe
- 1 glass or mason jar
Strawberry Acai Refresher Base
- 2 tablespoons Strawberry syrup
- ½ teaspoon Passion fruit syrup
- ½ cup White grape juice
- ⅛ teaspoon Critic acid
- ½ teaspoon Green coffee bean extract powder (optional)
Flavor Mixer - Choose One of the three opoins below
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup lemonaide
- 1 cup coconut milk Use the coconut milk found in the dairy section.
- Step One: Mix the base ingredients in a large glass or jar.2 tablespoons Strawberry syrup, ½ teaspoon Passion fruit syrup, ½ cup White grape juice, ⅛ teaspoon Critic acid, ½ teaspoon Green coffee bean extract powder (optional)
- Step Two: Add your preferred flavor to the jar and combine (water, lemonade or coconut milk,)
- Step Three: Fill a tall glass with ice cubes. Add a handful of fresh strawberries and pour the drink over the ice.