The Starbucks Pink Drink Is No Match for Our Rainbow
If you’ve spent any time on Instagram this week, you’ve probably spotted some images of a new, colorful food trend. It’s the Starbucks pink drink, a sweet concoction from the Starbucks secret menu that supposedly tastes like strawberry Pocky and undeniably looks delectable in photos and with a filter. But all this hype around the Starbucks secret menu and the #pinkdrink got me thinking: Could you combine two of the country’s most beloved Instagram food trends to create a whole rainbow of secret Starbucks drinks? Were there other colorful off-menu possibilities that the world didn’t yet appreciate? Maybe there was a secret red drink? What about a purple drink?
After doing some research into the secret menu, I set out to the nearest Starbucks to find out.
The main thing I learned about the secret menu at Starbucks is that it isn’t exactly a secret in the most technical use of the term. These so-called secret drinks are really just modifications to beverages that are already on the menu. You can’t just step up to the cashier and ask for a Barbie Pink Frappuccino or a Chunky Monkey Frappuccino unless what you’re really looking for is a blank stare. Instead, you have to tell the barista to add an extra flavor shot here, swap in a different type of milk there, and suddenly, you’ve got a pink drink.
I explained to my friendly and incredibly accommodating Starbucks barista that I wanted to make a rainbow of drinks, and handed her a list of recipes that I had pulled from the internet, specifically Starbucks Secret Menu, which seems to be an authority on the subject. She told me that people had been coming in asking about the pink drink, but that making a rainbow array of drinks was a first, and I hope for her sake that it was the last, since the whole process of ordering and making the six drinks took close to half an hour.
To be fair, the six drinks I got don’t make a perfect rainbow; the closest the barista and I could get to a true blue drink came out more like a blue-purple. But we did get most of it, and you can’t deny that it makes for a good Instagram post, and really, it wasn’t all that complicated. I’ll even tell you my secrets, about how I hacked the Starbucks menu to make a rainbow, so you can have a sick Instagram post, too. (Just be sure to tip your barista generously afterward, OK?)
Pink: The #pinkdrink
Ah, the Pink Drink. It’s the beverage that launched a thousand Instagram posts, and it is as pretty in person as it looks online. To get your own, ask for a strawberry açai refresher made with coconut milk instead of water with a couple scoops of strawberries.
Red: The Red Starburst
The Red Starburst is a blended strawberry lemonade with vanilla bean powder and raspberry syrup, and, as the same suggests, the drink has a bold red hue, just like a Starburst wrapper. The taste is also as aggressive as a red Starburst and surprisingly sour.
Orange: Fuzzy Peach Tea
If you love Haribo Peaches gummy rings, you’ll probably love the Fuzzy Peach Tea, which has a peachy-orange hue. Order a passion iced tea, made with half water and half orange-mango purée. Then, replace the classic syrup with peach syrup, and start feeling like you’re a kid all over again. Be warned that this one is definitely the sweetest of the bunch.
Yellow: Mango Milk Tea
This mango milk tea is a perfect yellow shade that tastes like bubble tea, except without the tapioca balls. It’s an iced mango black tea, made with half-and-half instead of water, with a couple pumps of mango syrup. And though the half-and-half and tea had some trouble mixing, initially, it all settled together after a few vigorous swirls.
Green: Skinny Mint
Take a green tea frappuccino with soy milk, sweeten with Splenda, and add peppermint syrup, and you’ve got a refreshing, and somehow delightfully green, Skinny Mint. My barista left out the extra Splenda, and the drink was still sweet.
Blue-Purple: Seahawks Frappuccino
The Seahawks Frappuccino was actually created by a Starbucks employee in Washington after the football team won the Super Bowl in 2015. It was offered in stores in the Pacific Northwest for a limited time, but you can still order the Seahawks Frappuccino if you want a blue or purple drink. It’s a vanilla bean creme frappuccino with added blueberries.