What Are Refreshers At Starbucks? + Recipe Cheatsheet

Coffee is always a good idea, but sometimes we feel a little bit more adventurous. Exploring the vast menu at Starbucks is reserved for those days. Some of our best finds are the refreshers. So what are refreshers at Starbucks?

They are an iced combo of fruit and caffeine. But it has something major in common with the regular brew.

Read on to find out the unexpected ingredient!

Topics Explored

  1. What Are Refreshers?
  2. What’s In A Starbucks Refresher?
  3. Types of Starbucks Refreshers
  4. Summary: What Are Refreshers At Starbucks
  5. FAQs

What Are Refreshers?

Refreshers might seem like iced fruity lemonades, but they’re a bit more special(1). They provide an additional boost of energy. The iced drinks are made with real fruit, green coffee extract, and sometimes tea.

Refreshers are available in big coffee chains and fast-food restaurants. Starbucks introduced the first refresher flavors Very Berry Hibiscus and Cool Lime, back in 2012.

Strawberry Acai Cold Foam

What’s In A Starbucks Refresher?

The foundation of a Starbucks Refresher is the flavored base. The base is mixed with ice and freeze-dried fruit of the same flavor.

The flavor base is made with water, green unroasted arabica beans, sugar, and white grape juice.

Each flavor has a coconut milk version, lemonade version, and juice option. There are 13 refresher flavors but check which are available at your location.


Types of Starbucks Refreshers

The amount of choices is overwhelming – especially if you’ve never had a refresher. Here’s what each includes and what you can expect. By grouping them by flavoring base, we’ll show you how one base can deliver several unique drinks when mixed with different liquids.

Pink Drink Decaf

Kiwi Starfruit

The Kiwi Starfruit refresher base is a mildly tropical flavor. If you’re a fan of kiwi, you’ll find the pieces of real fruit delightful. This is a summer base included in the Star Drink, Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers, and Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Lemonade.

1. Star Drink

Star-Drink
Photo by Starbucks

Star Drink combines Kiwi Refresher base with coconut milk ending up in a tropical milkshake. It’s finished with a scoop of freeze-dried kiwi.

Flavor:

The flavor is sweet, smooth, with hints of candy. At first sip, it’s slightly tart, but the coconut milk rounds it out nicely.

How It’s Made:

  • Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Coconut Milk: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Kiwi: 1 scoop

2. Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers

Kiwi Refresher

The Kiwi Starfruit refresher pairs the base with water for a less caloric and more refreshing option. Without any additions, the base has its time to shine.

Flavor:

This option is more refreshing, less sweet, and you can taste the sourness of the starfruit. But at the same time, it leaves you longing for a punchier flavor.

How It’s Made:

  • Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Water: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Kiwi: 1 scoop

3. Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Lemonade

Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Lemonade

Pairing the Kiwi Starfruit base with lemonade is the most enjoyable combo. The lemonade adds more freshness resulting in the best drink in this group.

Flavor:

Think of green Jolly Rancher, yellow Starburst, and watermelon gummies- combined! It’s tart, sweet, sharp, and has you reaching for another sip.

How It’s Made:

  • Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Lemonade: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Kiwi: 1 scoop

Mango Dragonfruit

The Mango Dragonfruit base gained popularity because of its aesthetics, but the taste is nothing less attractive. It’s the base of the three most photographed beverages Dragon Drink, Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers, and Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Lemonade.

1. Dragon Drink

Dragon Drink Starbucks

For the Dragon Drink, the Mango dragonfruit base is cut with coconut milk. The rich, pink drink is finished with a scoop of freeze-dried dragonfruit.

Flavor:

The mango flavor is dominating while you can barely taste the dragonfruit. It reminds us of fruit-flavored yogurt, especially with the crunchy pieces of dragonfruit.

How It’s Made:

  • Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Coconut Milk: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Dragonfruit: 1 scoop

2. Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers

Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers

The Mango Dragonfruit refresher combines the base with water. This lowers the calorie count and sweetness, bringing you only the original fruit flavors.

Flavor:

The original, unaltered base is not too sweet, tastes tropical with hints of berry. It’s like no other refresher we’ve tried, and the color is spot on!

How It’s Made:

  • Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Water: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Dragonfruit: 1 scoop

3. Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Lemonade

Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Lemonade

Pairing lemonade with the Mango Dragonfruit refresher base makes the perfect lemonade. Adding a dose of sour yet sweet lemonade to the fruit-packed flavor is a winning combination.

Flavor:

The lemonades give the tropical flavor precisely what it was missing in the previous variations. Sweet, tangy, fruity, and oddly satisfying as a hot summer day pick me up.

How It’s Made:

  • Mango Dragonfruit Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Lemonade: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Dragonfruit: 1 scoop

Strawberry Acai

Strawberry Acai is one of the most requested bases, whether as a Pink Drink, Strawberry Acai Refreshers, or Strawberry Acai Refreshers Lemonade. It’s widely popular as an ingredient in many secret menu drinks.

1. Pink Drink

Starbucks Pink Drink

The Pink Drink combines the refresher base plus coconut milk for a milky strawberry drink. It has a light but creamy texture with pieces of freeze-dried strawberries around.

Flavor:

Love pink Starbursts? You’ll love the Pink Drink. Each sip comes with hints of passion fruit, strawberries, light sweetness, and the coconut milk balances with a neutral aftertaste.

How It’s Made:

2. Strawberry Acai Refreshers

Strawberry Açaí Refresher
Photo by Starbucks

Mixing the Strawberry Acai base with water gives you the Strawberry Acai Refresher. It’s very light with a watery texture and more pronounced caffeine flavor.

Flavor:

 Strawberry Acai Refresher is very refreshing with pronounced strawberry flavor and hints of passion fruit. As it’s coupled with water, you can feel the sharpness of the green coffee extract.

How It’s Made:

  • Strawberry Acai Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Water: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberry: 1 scoop

3. Strawberry Acai Lemonade

Strawberry Acai Lemonade

Sweet strawberries pair well with lemon juice in the Strawberry Acai Lemonade. The base is accompanied by sugary and sour lemonade making the ultimate summer drink.

Flavor:

This luscious lemonade takes the prime. It’s rich with a tangy kick. With mild hints of caffeine, this drink tastes refreshing, energizing, and delicious.

How It’s Made:

  • Strawberry Acai Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Lemonade: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Strawberry: 1 scoop scoop

Berry Hibiscus

Blackberry fans have their go-to base too! The Berry Hibiscus base brings together hibiscus flowers and blackberries making the Violet Drink, Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers, and Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers Lemonade.

1. Violet Drink

Violet Drink Starbucks

The Violet Drink started as a campaign with Lady Gaga back in 2017. It combines the Berry Hibiscus base with coconut milk producing a pale violet drink.

Flavor:

Think of a forest fruit smoothie but light and a little biting. You can definitely taste the hibiscus, but the pieces of blackberry and creamy coconut milk make up for the sourness.

How It’s Made:

  • Berry Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Coconut Milk: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Blackberries: 1 scoop

2. Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers

Very Berry Hibiscus Refreshers
Photo by Starbucks

Pair the Berry Refresher base with water, and you get the pure flavor. It’s very low in calories with a good amount of caffeine.

Flavor:

If you love sweet drinks, this is not the drink for you. If you’re looking for a well-balanced refreshers, go for this one! Sharp but very refreshing with delicious muddled berries.

How It’s Made:

  • Berry Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Water: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Blackberries: 1 scoop

3. Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade

Very Berry Hibiscus Lemonade

Combining the Berry Refresher base with lemonade makes a strong drink. The fruit juice, rich lemonade, and caffeine can boost your energy more than a cup of coffee.

Flavor:

It’s much sweeter than the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher, yet with more dominant tanginess. However, the blackberries balance the sharp taste to an extent.

How It’s Made:

  • Berry Refreshers Base: 1 part
  • Lemonade: 1 part
  • Ice: 2 parts
  • Freeze-Dried Blackberries: 1 scoop

Summary: What Are Refreshers At Starbucks

What Are Refreshers At Starbucks

If you don’t like the taste of coffee but love coffee shop strolls, the refreshers are an excellent choice.

What are refreshers at Starbucks? Sweet, fruity iced drinks with a substantial amount of caffeine coming from green arabica beans.

You have a vast selection of flavors and can combine them with coconut milk for creaminess or lemonade for sweetness. Or pair the base with water to cut on the calories!


FAQ

What is a Starbucks Refresher?

A Starbucks Refresher is a drink made with a refresher base, ice, and scoops of real fruit. The refresher base includes fruit juice, sugar, water, fruit flavoring, and green coffee extract. It’s cut with water, coconut milk, or lemonade, creating different refreshers. Then the refresher is shaken with ice and topped with freeze-dried fruit.

Is there caffeine in Starbucks Refreshers?

Each Starbucks refresher contains caffeine(2). The base is made with green coffee extract, delivered from unroasted green arabica beans. However, refreshers are not as strong as coffee. A grande size contains 45 mg, while a venti has 70 mg of caffeine. But beware if you’re caffeine-sensitive or you’re watching your intake.

Are Starbucks Refreshers being discontinued?

Refreshers are far from being discontinued. In fact, they’re at their peak of popularity because of social media. Thousands of Instagrammers and TikTokers rave about the refreshers. If you find some of the drinks unavailable at your nearest location, it’s because of ingredients shortage. Each season new refresher flavors are added and rotated.

Verified Sources

Wondering where your info comes from? We totally understand. Hey Joe only obtains our information from reputable sources. Contents from this article are sourced from the following publications:

  1. Eater: https://www.eater.com/2012/3/22/6603061/starbucks-launches-a-fruity-energy-drink-refreshers
  2. Caffeine Informer: https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-content/starbucks-refreshers