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What Flavor Is Starbucks' Violet Drink?

Aug 15, 2023

The Starbucks Pink Drink made waves when it joined the chain's menu in 2017 and again when it debuted a bottled version in stores in the spring of 2023. But about a month after the rosy refreshment was originally sold, its lesser-known (but no less pretty) cousin showed up: the Violet Drink. Unlike the former, which clearly takes after its name with its carnation-pink hue, the violet version is slightly more subtle. You'll get a somewhat pink beverage, but it's peppered with purple chunks of fruit and has a mauve tint — which begs the question, what exactly is in it?

Since it's a cold beverage, it starts with ice and coconut milk before sweet blackberries and a tart hibiscus flavor that comes from the chain's Very Berry Hibiscus Starbucks Refreshers beverage are added. The berry refresher base is made with water, sugar, white grape juice concentrate, and green coffee extract, and the ingredient list also includes natural flavors, citric acid, ascorbic acid, and a purified form of stevia known as rebaudioside-A. The blackberries, which help to create that purple shade when the drink is stirred up, are freeze-dried. The drink has a creamy character from the coconut milk, a sweetness from the fruit and sugar, and a slight sourness from the hibiscus base.

As of 2023, both the Starbucks Violet Drink and Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher have been discontinued — the former folks have speculated was due to supply chain issues and the latter because it was selling poorly relative to the other refreshers. Without the berry refresher base, it may even be difficult to get a custom order of the Violet Drink these days, and the only bases you can add through the app are the mango dragonfruit, pineapple passionfruit, and strawberry açai options.

However, if you're determined to try the tasty purple concoction, you can still whip it up at home. It's easier than it sounds — all you need is coconut milk, ice, blackberries, hibiscus tea, and white grape juice. After brewing the tea and cooling it, pour it into an ice-filled glass with the other liquid ingredients, stir, and then top with the blackberries. You can use fresh, frozen, or freeze-dried fruit — and if you'd like a little extra sweetness to copy the sugar and stevia derivative from the original drink, add some simple syrup. You'll still get all the flavors of the original, just in the comfort of your own kitchen.