Have you tried Starbucks’ off-the-menu rainbow colored drinks that have been trending this summer? I couldn’t resist– I had to try them. I’ve documented my obsession with secret menu items before and these are just so pretty! I did some fairly thorough research on the drinks before trying them out, so if haven’t tried them yet and want to, I’m sharing my experience and some tips.
There are five rainbow drinks: pink drink, purple drink, orange drink, green drink and blue drink. The pink drink was the first one and after it became very popular, the other colors were created. The drinks start with either a tea or a juice and they are mixed with coconut milk or soy milk instead of water, creating these soft summer colors.
Know the Ingredients The first thing to keep in mind is that these are off-the-menu drinks. Just like any other “secret menu” Starbucks drinks you may have heard of, you need to order them by the ingredients and you can’t just ask for “the pink drink.” Interestingly though, Starbucks has given some official recognition to the drinks. If you follow them on Instagram, they’ve shared several photos of the drinks and list the ingredients for ordering them. If you go in knowing your drink order, you shouldn’t have any issues ordering your desired drink. If you don’t know it, that’s when you run into issues.
Cost Difference When I initially saw the drinks, I was worried the order for one of them would be very complicated and expensive–I mean some of the drinks have fruit in them! But it’s not actually that complicated or more expensive. Most of the drinks just require you to order a tea/juice and then substitute coconut/soy milk for water and add a syrup. The cost difference is also pretty minimal too. Of course they are slightly higher for the add-ins, but it’s not a significant price increase. The ones that have fruit (pink and purple) actually already include fruit in the original drink.
Avoid Busy Times If you’re just ordering one drink, you should be able to order it with no problems at any time. However, if you plan on ordering all five drinks at once, you may want to visit at a less busy time. We went in the afternoon on a Saturday at our local Starbucks when I know things are usually pretty quiet. The staff was relaxed and chatted with us about our drinks, checking which ones we had and didn’t have and trying their best to recreate orange.
Orange is Not at all Locations Unfortunately, you may not be able to find orange. Orange Drink starts with an orange mango juice base, which has been discontinued at some of the Starbucks locations. Our barista tried to find something else to recreate the orange drink, but wasn’t able to.
You can get the drinks in any size The default for these drinks seems to be the venti size, but you can choose any size. We went for something smaller since we were ordering so many drinks at once.
The Taste Even though I love sharing photos of pretty food, I also want to make sure it actually tastes good. Of course, taste is very subjective, but I really enjoyed these drinks and I think whoever came up with this idea is a marketing genius. I don’t normally ever think to order the iced teas or Starbucks Refreshers, but these pretty drinks convinced me to try them. Adding the milk makes them basically like tea lattes, which I do enjoy and the pretty colors are just an added bonus. My favorite one was the pink, followed by green and finally purple and blue. I definitely think they are worth trying out.
How to Order: All the drinks are listed on Starbucks’ Instagram account, but here is how I ordered them.
Pink Drink: Order a Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers, but ask them to substitute with coconut milk instead of water. The Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refereshers should already come with a scoop of strawberries.
Purple Drink: Order an Iced Passion Tango Tea and substitute soy milk for water. Add vanilla syrup. The blackberries should already be included, but you may want to double check to make sure.
Blue Drink: This is basically the same as the purple, but leave out the blackberries. I also recommend you ask for extra milk to get a more blue color rather than purple. If there’s no one behind you in line, you might want to explain to the barista that you are attempting to get the blue drink to provide them more context.
Green Drink: Order an Iced Black Tea and substitute coconut milk (or soy milk) instead of water and add matcha powder.
Orange Drink: Order the Orange mango juice, add vanilla bean powder and a splash of coconut milk (per Starbucks Instagram. I didn’t actually try this one).