The Best Strawberry Acai Refresher Recipe - A Summertime Favorite!

Updated on: April 5, 2023
Author: Nick
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Strawberry Acai Refresher Recipe

This Strawberry Acai Refresher recipe will be sure to satisfy and quench your thirst on a hot summer day! Plus it's super healthy, so keep reading to learn more.

Who doesn’t enjoy a brilliant ruby-red strawberry? Combine the fruit with acai and other marvelous ingredients to create a delicious strawberry acai refresher drink right at home.

No wonder why this beverage is a summertime favorite!

Even the coffee house giant Starbucks has embraced the refresher drink trend with their own line of Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher drinks.

But don’t worry about spending $4 for the beverage because we have a copycat Starbucks strawberry acai refresher recipe that you can make for a fraction of the cost. 

So put on your apron and let's get refreshed!

What is a Strawberry Acai Refresher? 

A strawberry acai refresher is arguably one of the first and most popular refreshers that Starbucks created. It first came out in 2016 as a secret menu item, but gained so much popularity that they decided to bring it back permanently!

This Strawberry Acai Refresher recipe is something you can build upon to customize the drink to your own taste.

You can purchase a strawberry acai base that contains a mixture of sugar, water, white grape juice concentrate, natural green coffee flavors, rebaudioside A (a type of stevia), citric acid, and vegetable juice.

The strawberry acai refresher base ingredients can vary slightly depending on the brand, and unfortunately, we couldn't find one online that is worth sharing here.

Luckily, you can make the base yourself!

You can make the drink as sweet or tart as you want. The versatility of the beverage is ideal because it is fully customizable. 

Taste of a Strawberry Acai Refresher 

An overly sweet drink on a balmy day leaves you feeling thirsty. But the Starbucks strawberry acai refreshers combine the sweet and tart taste of strawberries to effectively satisfy your thirst. In a nutshell, the ice-cold strawberry flavor of the drink is completely refreshing just as its name suggests.

Some people don’t like an overly tart drink and prefer to add additional sugar to the beverage but others relish the tangy kick.

The drink is remarkably similar to a lemonade slushy. The fruit tastes tart on your tongue followed by a sweet rush as the sugar kicks in. The ice helps to dilute the flavors and actually makes each sip slightly different as the ice starts to melt and co-mingle with the fruit. 

Psssst… check out our list of the best Starbucks Refreshers!

What Does a Strawberry Acai Refresher Look Like?

The appearance of the strawberry acai refresher deserves its own section because it’s part of the experience when you enjoy this beverage. 

The sight of its ruby-red hue mixed with chunks of juicy strawberries (called inclusions) makes the drink intuitively appealing. You know it's going to taste cool and tart.

As the ice starts to melt and the juices blend, the drink looks almost like a beautiful sunset on a clear day!

Don’t Forget the Strawberries 

fresh strawberry slices

Starbucks refreshers come with inclusions, which are freeze-dried fruit. You can get these online, like the one below:

When making a copycat strawberry acai refresher, you can cut the strawberries large or small. As you drink the beverage you’ll probably want to spear one of the berries with your straw to enjoy or smash it into the drink for a quick additional flavor blast. 

There are many ways you can enjoy the strawberry-laden beverage and any little tweak you make to the recipe can add to its appearance. Put a sprig of mint on the glass rim to make it even more visually appealing or serve it in a frosted glass.

How to Make a Strawberry Acai Refresher 

If you are ready to make your own at-home strawberry acai refresher then here is a Starbucks copycat recipe that you can alter to better fit your taste. This recipe consists of two parts: 

  1. The Strawberry Acai base, which yields about 8 drinks and can be stored in the fridge for later
  2. The Strawberry Acai Refresher recipe, which yields one drink

The ingredients you’ll need to make the strawberry refresher include:

  • 2 cups fresh strawberries (sliced) 
  • 4 ½  cups white grape juice 
  • 1 teaspoon powdered green coffee bean extract (or finely ground loose leaf green tea or green tea extract)
  • 1 teaspoon acai berry powder 
  • ½ teaspoon passion fruit powder
  • Sprinkle of citric acid
  • Freeze dried strawberry slices

You can easily get these powders online from Amazon, see below:

Creating the Strawberry Acai Drink Base 

starbucks copycat recipes

The trick to making the drink is to create the base first. You can purchase the base, or you can make it yourself from scratch. After you make the base, you can store it in the refrigerator to use whenever you want.

  1. To make the base, add the white grape juice and the sliced fresh strawberries into a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally so the mixture does not burn. Once it starts to boil, turn the heat to low and let simmer for at least ten to fifteen minutes to turn the strawberries to mush.

  2. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain out the strawberry. Squeeze the strawberries using a fork or wooden spoon to make sure you get all the juices out from the berries. Discard the strawberries and pour the juice mixture back into the saucepan on low heat.

  3. Add the green coffee extract powder, acai powder, and passion fruit powder to the solution. Acai powder might not completely dissolve, and that’s fine.

  4. Stir in the citric acid to taste. Remove the base from the heat and pour it into a mason jar. Let it cool down to room temperature, then refrigerate it. 

This is the base for your refresher. Many people prefer this DIY recipe instead of buying a commercial base. 

Acai powder to make a strawberry acai lemonade drink
Acai Powder

Strawberry Acai Refresher Recipe

  1. To make a strawberry acai refresher take a scoop of freeze-dried strawberries (to taste) and place them in a cup. Then fill the cup with ice (also to taste).

  2. Place ½ a cup of the base you made with ½ cup of water and ice in a shaker. Shake the mixture well and pour it (without the ice) into the glass with the ice and freeze-dried strawberries. You’ll want to take a sip of the drink to see if it tastes sweet enough. 

Usually, a 50/50 ratio of water and base is acceptable but if it tastes too tart then you can always add water or if the refresher is too weak then you can add more of the base to the drink.  

Modification Considerations

You can modify your refresher so it tastes just the way you want it!

starbucks strawberry acai refresher

Skip the Caffeine 

If you are looking for a caffeine free drink because you cannot drink it due to health reasons or simply because you don’t like the jittery feeling.

Also, if you are making this drink for children then you might want to skip adding the green coffee bean powder to the solution. You won’t notice that it's missing in the drink because it provides very little flavor to it.

It's mostly for the caffeine kick!

natural green coffee flavor

Add a Hint of Mint

Make the strawberry acai refresher even more refreshing by adding fresh mint to the drink. Crush some mint at the bottom of the glass before adding the strawberry acai base and the water, and finish it off as garnish too!

Forego the Powders

Forego the acai powder or passion fruit powder. Both powders produce a great depth of flavor but if you don’t have them readily available then you can still enjoy a tasty refresher without them.

Sweeten the Refresher 

Add ½ a cup of sugar to the strawberry acai base if you like a sweeter drink, or better yet try adding some strawberry syrup for extra flavor.

You can even sweeten the drink using honey or agave!

Add honey for a delicious drink

Health Benefits of the Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refresher

Benefits of drinking these starbucks drinks

The refresher not only tastes fantastic but it can also be healthy.

Research has shown that strawberries contain high levels of vitamin C and antioxidants which can prevent cellular damage, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer (1). 

The juicy red berries can even keep you looking younger by helping the body continue to build collagen and elastin, according to researchers (2).

Acai contains ample antioxidants which may help in cellular repair, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the immune system (3)(4). Studies have also found that these berries can lower cholesterol (5)(6). 

Even the white grape juice used in the drink’s base recipe is loaded with health benefits, such as potassium which helps improve heart health (7). Grape juice may also reduce inflammation given its high anthocyanin content (8) and may support digestive health (9). 

white grape juice

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a lot of caffeine in the strawberry acai refresher?

The refresher does not contain a lot of caffeine but it does contain some due to the green coffee powder. A 16 oz (473 mL) size usually has around 45 mg of caffeine which is considerably less than a Starbucks iced coffee of the same size which can contain up to 200 mg of caffeine.

When making the refresher yourself with a DIY recipe you can forego the green coffee extract if you want it to be caffeine-free. However, at Starbucks it is not possible to have a caffeine-free Refresher.

What should I add to my strawberry acai refresher?

You can fully customize your refresher by adding coconut milk, lemonade, sweetened coconut milk, strawberry lemonade, passion fruit puree, acai juice, and passionfruit juice.

Can you get a strawberry acai refresher without sugar?

The fruits used in the creation of the strawberry acai refresher naturally contain sugars but you can avoid added sugars. However, you cannot obtain a completely sugar-free refresher drink due to the fruit’s natural sugars.

What's the difference between the Pink Drink and strawberry acai?

The famous Starbucks Pink Drink found on the Starbucks Refreshers menu lineup contains coconut milk in place of water and that is the only difference between it and the strawberry acai refresher. When creating refreshers at home you can always add varying amounts of coconut milk to tailor the drink to meet your taste preference.

How long does the strawberry acai refresher base last?

The base will last in the refrigerator for around two weeks, but you should check the smell, color, and taste before using it if it’s close to the expiration date. Always store the base in a sealed container. You should not leave a strawberry acai refresher in the refrigerator for longer than two or three days or the strawberries might spoil and the taste will change.

Strawberry Acai Refresher Recipe

Bottom Line

If you are seeking a refreshing, healthy beverage on a summertime day then you must try this strawberry acai refresher recipe!

Make the base and enjoy the drink any time you feel the urge. Tweak the recipe so it fits your tastebuds.

Nick loves coffee... Actually, he NEEDS coffee! So, he has dedicated his time to learning all he can about this magical bean. He can make a mean latte, is obsessed with flat whites, and is always up for a cup of java!

This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.

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