As someone whose regular Starbucks order has always been strictly iced black coffee or a black cold brew, the "Starbucks' secret menu" gives me chills. I can only imagine ordering one of these secret concoctions and having the barista roll their eyes at me for holding up the line during peak business hours, not to mention the harsh judgments of the impatient customers behind me.

Despite the fact that I've always lacked the gall to order something on the secret menu, I can't lie: I've seen the photos on Instagram and have always felt a little jealous. Call me basic but the Starbucks secret menu drinks are certifiably prettier than me. So, on a whim of unabashed fearlessness, I decided to march over to the closest Starbucks, and order one myself.

chocolate, coke, soda, milkshake, milk, ice
Thomas Chou

I made up my mind to go balls-to-the-wall, and order the "Purple Pink Drink." If you've ever heard of either the Pink Drink or the Purple Drink from the secret menu, the "Purple Pink Drink", as the name suggests is the ultimate, love-child combination of the two.

Is this drink caffeinated? Does this drink even have coffee in it? How much will it cost? These questions raced through my head as I walked along the blustery NYC streets. But I pushed the thoughts away because there was no turning back now. I found a recipe for the Purple Pink Drink online and wrote it on a slip of paper to save myself the embarrassment of having to audibly say the order to the barista at the counter. 

tea, coffee, date, beer, wine
Alison Rao

Purple Pink Drink

  • Prep Time:0
  • Cook Time:0
  • Total Time:0
  • Servings:1
  • Medium


  • 1 part Pink Drink
  • 1 part Purple Drink
  • Step 1

    First, make the Pink Drink. It consists of Strawberry Acai Refresher, made with coconut milk instead of water.

  • Step 2

    Next, make the Purple Drink. It consists of: Passion Iced Tea made with coconut milk. It includes one pump of vanilla syrup and three scoops of strawberries/blackberries.

  • Step 3

    Last, pour equal parts Pink Drink and Purple Drink together. Pour the Pink Drink into a new cup, until about halfway full. Next, pour in the Purple Drink *slowly* into the cup in order not to let the colors mix too much. This will create the famous ombre effect.

I handed over my home-made recipe slip to the girl at the counter. She scratched her head as she peered at the elaborate drink. Just as I was about to apologize about offending her with my order, she rang everything up. In total, the drink came out to $6.04. I handed over the money.

beer, coffee, tea
Alison Rao

I was in awe. Right before my eyes, the barista started to make my drink. Like the recipe listed, he started by mixing together the Pink Drink, then made the Purple Drink—carefully pouring the Purple Drink over the Pink Drink in a venti-size cup, he topped the entire drink off with sliced strawberries and blackberries. As he handed the drink to me with a smile, I felt butterflies.

sweet, ice, cream, milk, juice, coffee, tea
Alison Rao

The ombre was everything. Starting with a lighter purple, into a pink, into a white, then into an orange-y pink, the drink was gorgeously layered.

The taste was oh, so sweet. If you've ever had the Japanese sports drink Pocari Sweat, the Purple Pink Drink was reminiscent of the same sweet flavor, but with a fruity twist. I could taste the coconut milk and the strawberry, although the vanilla syrup flavor was lost in the mix. For a beverage made completely out of other sugary drinks, I was surprised at how the Purple Pink Drink was not cloying or sickly sweet. 

 If your sweet tooth needs a little attention, the Purple Pink Drink is sure to hit the spot. A mix of sweet and fruity, the Purple Pink Drink feels much more like an indulgent dessert, not a drink you'd order at 7 am for a quick punch of caffeine in your system during midterms or finals week.

beer, juice, coffee, tea
Alison Rao

If you're interested in trying this drink out for yourself, I would recommend the recipe above. Although the drink is complicated, unusual, and takes longer than most drinks to make, with some good luck and good timing, I have faith the barista at your local Starbucks will make this drink for you just as flawlessly as they did for me!