REVIEW: Starbucks Summer Skies Drink

There is a morning every year that I walk out of my house, and I can feel the very beginning of summer. A new warmness in the breeze takes me back to those mornings heading to school and knowing the year was nearing its end. Starbucks, hoping to capture that summer feeling, introduced a new line of Refreshers, anticipating them to be 2024’s drinks of the summer. One of the three new offerings, Summer Skies Drink, takes the Summer-Berry base (raspberry, blueberry and blackberry flavors), shakes it with coconut milk and ice, and serves it over raspberry flavored pearls.

Don’t let the name “raspberry flavored pearls” make you think they are anything new. They are nothing more than popping boba that has been on the menu at chains like Dunkin’ and Sonic. I was confused by the use of “pearls” instead of popping boba, as the term (at least to me) invokes the more traditional, chewy boba. Regardless, I was surprised to see Starbucks coming to this trend a little late.

Like most Refreshers, the drink has a nice pop of color. Reminiscent of a Bomb Pop, its visuals scream “summer.” Using the included boba straw, I took my first sip. As expected, I got a mouthful of the raspberry-flavored pearls, which overshadowed the base’s flavor. With the slightest bit of pressure, they popped, and the generic somewhat sweet raspberry taste filled my mouth.

Going back in, I made sure to try the base to get a better idea of its flavor. Without the pearls’ influence, it was a mildly sweet, berry delight. The coconut milk added a smooth creaminess and allowed the Summer-Berry base to shine. Trying the whole thing together (drink & pearls), I found the spherical additions almost unnecessary. They added the unique texture of popping boba, but I didn’t find they enhanced the drink’s taste. It was this nice, light, creamy beverage with a fake raspberry flavor at the end. Another thing of note, I was left with a large amount of pearls by the end. The size I got (grande) came with two scoops, which I felt made the drink-to-pearl ratio uneven.

Starbucks’ Summer Skies Drink is a refreshing summer option, but it doesn’t quite hit all the high notes. The real star is the Summer-Berry and coconut milk base; it offers a light, fruity, creamy sip that feels like summer. However, the boba pearls feel a bit like a trendy afterthought. They add texture, but their strong flavor clashes with the base. I might tinker with it (blended? or less pearls?) to see if it elevates the experience. For now, though, the Pink Drink will likely remain my go-to for a fruity, caffeinated summer pick-me-up.

Purchased Price: $6.45
Size: Grande
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 150 calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 29 grams of sugar, 0 grams of protein, and 50 milligrams of caffeine.

One thought to “REVIEW: Starbucks Summer Skies Drink”

  1. I thought it needed more pearls, since their raspberry flavor was my favorite! I’ve been asking for 3 scoops instead of the standard 2.

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