Starbucks’ popular Pink Drink and Paradise Drink are the latest beverages to be bottled and sold on shelves. As a fan of both, I was excited to give them a try to find out how they stack up to those made by a barista.
Both ready-to-drink beverages have less than 5 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce bottle, which is a fraction of the 35-45 milligrams in the Tall-sized (12 ounces) versions offered at Starbucks locations. Not sure why, but it’s worth a note.
Paradise Drink is the latest addition to the Refreshers menu (June 2022). I wasn’t shocked to see it get the bottled treatment this quickly because when it hit locations last year, it was selling like crazy as it captured a “summer in a cup” flavor thanks to its use of pineapple and passion fruit. I generally enjoyed the drink when I got it in the cafes but found the pineapple overpowering. I know the freeze dried fruit chunks contributed to that, but even trying the drink without them, I sometimes found the pineapple to be a little too much. Thankfully, the bottled version offers a much more balanced experience.
Getting a taste of the passion fruit made for a more complex flavor as opposed to the cafe version that made my tongue feel like it was being slapped by a pineapple. It’s not overly sweet and has a nice tartness. The coconut milk cuts down on the drink’s acidity and makes for a smoother sipping experience. It’s enjoyable straight from a chilled bottle and certainly is “summer in a bottle.”
It was only a matter of time before Starbucks would release a ready-to-drink version of its famous Pink Drink. Hundreds of TikTok videos swear by their copycat recipes, but none have ever really scratched the itch. Thankfully, this bottled Pink Drink is a dead ringer for the cafe version. The taste of the sweet strawberry is very present, with the coconut milk bringing a slight nutty creaminess. I know there is supposed to be acai, but it is overshadowed by the intense strawberry flavors, just like the cafe version. Unlike the Paradise Drink, I found this much more concentrated with its taste and quite a bit sweeter.
It was fine straight from the bottle but shined when poured over ice, and doing so allowed for the more concentrated flavors to mellow. Much like the Paradise Drink, the lack of freeze dried fruit didn’t take away from the experience or taste. It will be worth keeping some on hand to bridge the gap between Starbucks visits. I enjoyed it, and I think it will be fairly popular.
Purchased Price: $3.18 each
Purchased at: Walmart Neighborhood Market
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Paradise Drink), 9 out of 10 (Pink Drink)
Nutrition Facts: (1 bottle) Paradise Drink – 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein. Pink Drink – 150 calories, 2 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 15 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 0 grams of protein.