Every Starbucks Refresher, Ranked Worst To Best

Given that Starbucks is primarily a coffee house, you probably expect that there will be an abundance of popular drinks like iced coffees, cold brew, and the iconic Starbucks Frappuccinos. You may have even enjoyed some of the iced teas Starbucks has created — but have you tried any of the Refreshers? In the blistering heat, they may be just what you need to cool off with a fruity pick-me-up.

If you haven't heard of or experienced any of the Starbucks Refreshers, here's the rundown: They're essentially fruit drinks that are a bit lighter and more delicate than fruit juice. Like an agua fresca, but fancy. There are currently three flavors: Mango Dragonfruit, Strawberry Acai, and Kiwi Starfruit. Each of these flavors is made with a similar "base" of water, sugar, white grape juice concentrate, and natural flavors and colors. While these drinks don't pack as strong of a caffeinated punch as a nitro cold brew, they all include green coffee extract, so some caffeine is present. From there, your base flavor of choice can be mixed with one of three different drinks: water, lemonade, or coconut milk, for a total of nine flavor combinations. There are also plenty of additional combinations you can make, and there are even some secret menu options created by some clever Starbucks connoisseurs. Out of every Refresher we tried, we genuinely thought they were all tasty. But, to give you an idea of what to order, here's every current Starbucks Refresher, ranked worst to best.

9. Kiwi Starfruit Lemonade

We tasted the Kiwi Starfruit Refresher and the Kiwi Starfruit Lemonade side-by-side because we weren't sure how much of a difference the lemonade would make to the drink as a whole. We'll get to the plain version of it in a moment, but our first sip of the Kiwi Starfruit Lemonade was intense. Not necessarily in a bad way, just in a strong citrusy kind of way. The kiwi flavor is both sweet and tart, but the entire sweet-tart experience was amplified by the inclusion of the lemonade. Starfruit is naturally acidic as well, but any starfruit flavor was overpowered by the lemonade. The bit of kiwi floating in the drink was a fun touch, but also added another hit of acidity when you bite into them. With all of that said, we didn't dislike this version of the drink. Next time we order it, we'd probably ask the barista to cut the lemonade with either half water or half green tea to bring it down a notch while keeping that sweet and sour flavor action going.

We ordered a tall (12-ounce) version of this drink, which cost us $4.95. Like most of the other Refreshers, the calorie count is relatively low, especially compared to some of the other beverage options. The versions of these drinks that include lemonade tend to have the most calories, but this one was 110 calories — which we thought was reasonable for a drink that's got so much going on.

8. Dragon Drink

For each of the three Refreshers flavors, one of the drink mix options is coconut milk, and each of the coconut milk-based Refreshers has a special name that differs a little bit from the rest of the Refreshers. The Dragon Drink is made with the mango dragonfruit base, the Pink Drink is made with the strawberry açaí base, and the Star Drink is made with the kiwi starfruit base. Can that be a little bit confusing when it's your first time ordering? Yes, especially since all the current refreshers are listed on the Starbucks website, but not necessarily on the drink board at your particular coffee shop — it might feel like a lot of guesswork. But rest assured that you're not getting an entirely different drink.

It almost pains us to rank the Dragon Drink so low because the mango dragonfruit flavor is a delight. But with the coconut milk base, we just thought it was the most boring version of this particular flavor. And it was the most boring of the coconut-based Refreshers. We still drank the entire thing, and it was nice, but not impressive. The vibrant fuchsia color is appealing to look at, though. The coconut milk doesn't overwhelm the tropical flavors and blends nicely into the dragonfruit and mango. And, honestly, if you try some of the other variations and they're all too much for you, maybe come back to this one for a more subtle option.

7. Kiwi Starfruit

Kiwi has an enzyme in it called actinidin, notes the National Library of Medicine, that's also found in pineapple and papaya. Some people may notice a tingling sensation in their mouths when eating those fruits, which is partially due to this particular enzyme, as well as the acid content. Given that kiwi and starfruit already lean slightly towards the acidic end of the spectrum, we thought the water drink mix-in for this flavor is a nice choice. It almost tastes like a kiwi green tea, even though we know there's no tea in it. It's lightly tropical and easy to drink. The freeze-dried kiwi bits have a nice crunch and pop of flavor to them whenever you manage to snag one.

The color of this particular drink is hilariously bright green on par with one of the lime-flavored ice pops you had as a kid. The nutrition information for this particular refresher lists watermelon and huito fruit juices for color, along with turmeric. Huito fruit provides a blue hue, says ADM, which is likely turned green with the help of the yellow-pigmented turmeric. Given that the color is naturally-derived and playfully bright, we couldn't help but think it contributed to the enjoyment of the drink a little bit. One 12-ounce Kiwi Starfruit Refresher was 70 calories, which is great for those who want a fun summer drink but are calorie-conscious.

6. Star Drink

As we've mentioned, the Star Drink is just the Kiwi Starfruit flavor base mixed with coconut milk. Interestingly, where we thought the addition of coconut milk to the Dragon Drink diluted the flavors (making it a bit boring), the addition of the coconut milk to the Star Drink seems to bring a nice balance to the Kiwi Starfruit flavor, which we appreciated. It's still plenty sweet and acidic, but some of the greener vegetal notes are toned down by the coconut, and that neon green color becomes a pleasant pastel. It's also worth pointing out that the coconut milk in it isn't heavy or especially creamy like traditional dairy. It keeps the entire drink light and easy to drink with a well-rounded finish. Of all of the kiwi starfruit drinks, we think the coconut drink mix-in is the best.

The biggest problem with the Kiwi Starfruit Refresher is that it was often out of stock. After a quick chat with our barista, we found that some locations receive a smaller quantity of the Kiwi Starfruit flavor than the other flavors. The Kiwi Starfruit Refreshers weren't listed on any of the menu boards we looked at, although they are listed online and in the app. But even though the online menu may say the Kiwi Starfruit is out of stock, it doesn't hurt to ask your barista in-store. Sometimes if the mix is low, it's removed from the online ordering system to keep from completely selling out.

5. Strawberry Açaí

So many strawberry drinks have a synthetic strawberry flavor that never quite tastes like the real thing. The Strawberry Açaí Refresher, on the other hand, tastes about as close to fresh strawberries as you're going to achieve without getting your own strawberries and making this drink yourself. Not only were we pleasantly surprised, but we were instantly in love. Considering this is the lowest-ranked strawberry açaí drink on this list, that's saying a lot for the variations yet to come.

When we think of an essential Mexican agua fresca, the Strawberry Açaí Refresher is basically what we've got in mind — a delicately sweet, ultra-hydrating, and satisfyingly fruity drink. The strawberry isn't overly syrupy or thick like a drink made with strawberry puree can be, and the açaí isn't overstated. We were a little surprised by how easygoing the flavors are, based on the vibrant color of the drink. While it's not quite as intense as the Mango Dragonfruit color, it's still a bold reddish pink. At this point, we realize that Starbucks knew exactly what they were doing by creating refreshing drinks in fun summer colors, and we're here for it. The freeze-dried strawberry pieces floating in the drink rehydrate quickly and add nice little bites of strawberry to the experience. The 12-ounce tall version of this drink cost us $4.45 before tax, although we kind of wish they sold it by the gallon for especially hot days.

4. Mango Dragonfruit

It's easy to get excited just by looking at the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher. It's a gorgeous fuchsia color, with cubes of dragonfruit floating around that look like tiny reddish-purple dice. The mango and dragonfruit flavors marry perfectly to bring a luscious and tropical flavor to the drink. The freeze-dried dragonfruit bits are slightly crunchy and sweet, and the seeds blend into the fruit pieces without being annoying. It might turn your tongue a little bit pink, but if you're as into it as we are, you probably won't mind.

We like the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher just the way it is, but we're also tempted to try the secret menu variation of it, called the Rose Gold Refresher. The drink is made with the mango dragonfruit base but without the dried fruit inclusions. Instead of water, ask for it to be mixed with peach juice, and then add one pump each of vanilla and raspberry syrup. The resulting jewel-toned drink is hard not to love, and the customizations are also very easy to make online or in the Starbucks app if you're worried you might forget part of the recipe when you get to the register.

3. Pink Drink

It was hard to choose which of the remaining Strawberry Açaí Refreshers we liked best. Both the Pink Drink and the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade were delectable, but for completely different reasons. But for now, we're going to start with the Pink Drink, even though our opinion may swing back and forth depending on what day it is.

Think back to your first bite of strawberry ice cream. Or rather, your first sip of a perfect strawberry milkshake. If that memory brings you joy, but the thought of drinking a rich and dense strawberry milkshake in the 95-degree heat is unappealing, you're absolutely going to want to grab a Pink Drink instead. The fresh and sweet strawberry flavor of the strawberry açaí base pairs beautifully with the delicate creaminess of coconut milk. It's a lighter version of a great strawberry milkshake — and it's so satisfying that we stunned ourselves by how fast we drank it. If you're looking for a smooth and light refreshment that still tastes like a beloved summertime indulgence, this is the Refresher for you. A 12-ounce Pink Drink also has 110 calories, which you're probably not going to find with any milkshake.

2. Strawberry Acai Lemonade

Tasting the regular Strawberry Açaí Refresher side-by-side with the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade almost isn't fair. The regular version of the drink is perfect in its simplicity, whereas the lemonade variation is perfect in its boldness. If you've ever had a strawberry or pink lemonade that you thought was awesome, just wait until you try the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade. It's bright and bold, but not overly sweet or painfully lemony. The strawberry pieces floating in the drink really give it an authentically homemade summer feel, assuming your homemade lemonade is fresh-squeezed and floating with ripe strawberries. It doesn't matter what age you are, a cup of this will go down easy as you consider calling your friends over for an impromptu kickball game in the backyard.

Now, depending on how much you like lemonade, this might actually be too much. We think this drink also tastes great by cutting the lemonade with water, or even a tea (a strawberry Arnold Palmer sounds delicious to us). Given how popular these drinks are, it's no surprise that the Strawberry Açaí flavor has also gotten the secret menu treatment. The recipe that caught our eye is called the Gummy Bear Refresher. It's made with peach juice instead of lemonade and includes two pumps of raspberry syrup. We ordered the tall, but trust us when we tell you that you'll want to order a venti.

1. Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade

At this point, you may be wondering how each drink just keeps getting better, but we think once you try them you'll understand. Although it should be known that once you have the Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade, you may never drink another Refresher flavor combination again. There's no other way to put this other than, it's just so tropical. The mango and dragonfruit flavors are already such a winning combination, but the addition of lemonade brightens the combo to a whole new level of juicy and invigorating. While each of the flavors is nice on its own, together they're more than the sum of their parts.

The 12-ounce size of the Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade is 110 calories, and the 30-ounce size is 280 calories. Of course, there are a few secret menu variations of this Refresher, but one of the most popular versions floating around TikTok seems to be the Sunset Drink. According to Coffee at Three, the Sunset Drink is made with Mango Dragonfruit Lemonade (excluding the fruit inclusions) and peach juice, which goes into the cup first. After the peach juice and flavored lemonade, Starbucks' Iced Passion Tango Tea is poured on top, creating a gorgeous sunset effect.

As we said, there isn't a wrong choice when it comes to the Starbucks Refreshers. Just go with whatever sounds the best to you and stay hydrated.