Skip the coffee shop and try this homemade pink drink recipe instead. This ultra-hydrating beverage is as easy and delicious as it is beautiful to look at! My homemade version is low in sugar and made with fresh fruit.
Don’t tell anyone but…. this is a copycat of the Starbucks pink drink that you can order off of the secret menu, if you’re the kind of person who does things like walk into Starbucks and order off of the secret menu.
(Wait. Am I allowed to say Starbucks here, or will the trademark police come scoop me up, tall, refreshing pink drink still in hand?)
I normally avoid the secret menu like the plague
Anyway, I most certainly was not the kind of person who ordered off of the secret menu, until I heard about this drink. In fact, the secret menu is – in my mind, anyway – infamous for being stocked with super high sugar and high-empty-calorie drinks that don’t appeal to me at all.
And the whole concept of the secret menu is kind of nausea-inducing. If you make drinks, just list them on the menu, thankyouverymuch.
But I tried this pink drink for one reason in particular…
This drink was appealing enough to put aside my disdain for the secret menu in general, and it wasn’t because of the (admittedly tempting) vibrant color.
Actually, in certain circles, this drink has a bit of lore behind it. One very specific circle, in fact, of nursing moms who are constantly worried about their supply – and who, via Facebook groups devoted solely to these sorts of things – pass along anecdotes of the super hydrating Starbucks pink drink that supposedly boosted their supply like crazy.
Yeah, I’m talking about breastmilk. Any moms who are or have nursed totally know what I’m talking about and are likely nodding their heads vigorously at the screen right now. The rest of you are probably super skeeved out right now, and for that, I’m sorry.
Pink drink = mega hydration
The rest of the story is that I tried the original version and it is WAY too sweet (like cough syrup) sweet and does nothing for…. certain functions that will henceforth remain unnamed, but it was incredibly hydrating.
In this season of bone dry outside air and whatever-is-dryer-than-bone overheated indoor air, I don’t know about you, but I need all the hydration I can get.
As you may have expected, this homemade pink drink is a heavily edited version of the original, leaving out most of the sugar and relying on real (not freeze dried) fruit to sweeten. You can also add a bit of honey (or agave, if you want to keep it vegan), if you want.
The result is a vibrant glass of not-too-sweet, refreshing and mega hydrating deliciousness. And, yes, I hate when people use the word deliciousness as a noun (or, really, anything) too – but this time it is worth it. Try a homemade pink drink; you’ll see!
- What kind of tea should I use? I used Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea, but you can also use Tazo Passion Tea for this drink. You can use any hibiscus tea you prefer, but I recommend one of these two, if you can find them.
- Can I make this caffeinated? Probably, but that’s not really its intent. If you’d like this drink to give you a little caffeine boost, you may be able to find hibiscus green tea, or you can brew your tea with both a hibiscus tea bag and a green tea bag, if you can’t find that flavor of green tea.
- How to I make this less filling? The recipe calls for full fat coconut milk, but if you want this to be lighter, you can use light (lower fat) coconut milk for this. Either way, make sure the can of milk is very well mixed before measuring.
- Strawberries: Fresh or dried? The Starbucks version of this drink uses freeze-dried strawberries, which I think really leaves something to be desired. I use sliced strawberries (fresh, that is), because they’re prettier in the drink, and more fun to eat when you’re done with the drink. No one wants to eat soggy freeze-dried strawberries!
- Can I make this ahead? I don’t recommend making the drink ahead of time, because it separates quickly (which doesn’t affect the flavor of the drink). But you can brew the tea ahead of time; in fact, it’s better if you do brew it ahead. For best results, steep the tea bags in boiling water until very strong, then chill the tea either to room temperature, or in the fridge, before using it in the recipe. You can make the tea up to a few days in advance.
Add ice to two glasses. Set aside.
Add the coconut water, tea, coconut milk, and honey to the jar of a blender, and blend for a few moments to combine.
Add the strawberries, and blend for just a second (if you want them to remain chunky in the drink, like the original), or several seconds (if you want them to be pureed, more like a milkshake or smoothie) until you get the consistency you prefer.
Divide the drink between the two prepared glasses. Garnish with additional strawberry slices, and enjoy!
PS: you can see from the pictures that this drink quickly separates and starts to look a little… funny? Don’t worry, the flavor and mouthfeel are not affected. It just stops looking smooth almost immediately after blending. Since it’s just tea and coconut products, I’m not sure what causes this!