If you are looking for a relatively healthy, sweet, energy-boosting, and refreshing drink, then the Starbucks key lime refresher may be the one for you.
One thing I adore about Starbucks is the endless choices and customizations of the drinks. It can be a bit overwhelming to make a choice, but I see it as an opportunity to be creative and try new things beyond my comfort zone. I had recently gone for dinner with friends and they served Key Lime Pie for dessert. It was my first time having it, and from the first bite, I was in love. As soon as I got home, I looked up recipes online and to my surprise, I found a Starbucks drink recipe customized to bring that key lime pie flavor. The next time I passed by Starbucks, I ordered this drink and it literally tasted just like a key lime pie. In this article, I will tell you all about this delightful drink and I’ll share my recipe that you could follow to make this drink at home.
Brief History of The Drink
Before we talk about the history of this particular drink, let’s explore the history of Starbucks refreshers.
Starbucks refreshers debuted in July 2012. Starbucks refreshers are drinks made of green coffee extract, which are 100% Arabica unroasted coffee beans and real fruit juice. These drinks offer a much-needed refreshment during the summer, plus a natural energy boost from the caffeine in the green coffee extract and the sugar from the fruit juices. They also have fewer calories than most Starbucks drinks, making them relatively healthy. During the debut, two flavors were available, namely the Very Berry Hibiscus and The Cool Lime flavors.
The key lime refresher drink is a customized drink from the Starbucks secret menu that has the Kiwi Starfruit refresher as its base. This particular refresher debuted in August 2020 and it contains star-fruit flavored juice, real freeze-dried kiwi pieces, and ice.
Most refresher drinks are used as the base for several items in the Starbucks secret menu, and the Kiwi Starfruit refresher is no exception.
Is Starbucks key lime refresher still available at Starbucks?
Yes, it is. This drink is part of the secret menu, and you’ll need to share the recipe with the barista if you’d like to order it.
It is important to note that not all Starbucks stores will have all the ingredients available to make this drink, therefore it is important to share the recipe so that the barista can ensure they have all the ingredients available and then proceed to make the drink for you.
Starbucks key lime refresher (Ingredients, Taste, Variations, Sizes, Caffeine, Calories)
What’s in a Starbucks key lime refresher – (ingredients)
The Starbucks Key Lime Refresher is made of the Venti Kiwi Starfruit Refresher with no inclusions, light coconut milk, vanilla sweet cream cold foam with one pump of funnel cake syrup. It is then topped off with caramel crunch topping. Let’s elaborate on each ingredient.
- The Kiwi Starfruit Refresher – This is the base of the drink and is made of star-fruit flavored juice, freeze-dried real kiwi pieces, and ice. The recipe dictates no inclusions, therefore no freeze-dried kiwi pieces will be added to this drink.
- Light coconut milk – This is simply coconut milk, that brings out more of that key lime pie flavor.
- Vanilla sweet cream cold foam – This is a topping, that adds sweetness, creaminess, and a hint of vanilla, a staple in pies and literally any baked good.
- Funnel Cake Syrup – Funnel cakes are popular at festivals and are sweet. This syrup gives the drink the sweetness it needs.
- Caramel crunch topping – this topping adds sweetness and texture. It could be compared to the texture of a key lime pie crust, which blends well will the rest of the ingredients.
Starbucks key lime refresher: Sizes, nutrition, Caffeine & Calories
What sizes are available
The recipe for this secret menu item dictates using a Venti cup, which is 20 ounces.
The other cup sizes available at Starbucks include short, tall, and grande, which are 8, 12, and 16 ounces respectively.
|Calorie count (out of 2,000 calories daily intake)||90|
|Nutrient Content (per Grande serving)||% of Daily Value|
|Total Fat (0g)
Trans Fat (0g)
Saturated Fat (0g)
|Total carbohydrates (22g)
Dietary Fiber (1g)
This drink has 45 mg of caffeine. It is not as much as normal coffee, but enough to give you an extra boost of energy.
So, what does Starbucks key lime refresher taste like?
It tastes just like a key lime pie, but in a cup, and drink form. It brings out the perfect combination of zest and sweetness that a key lime pie would. The zest flavor comes from the kiwi starfruit refresher and the sweetness comes from the vanilla sweet cream cold foam and the funnel cake syrup. The caramel crunch toppings offer the same texture that a key lime pie crust would. It’s delicious.
If you like key lime pie, you’ll enjoy this drink for sure.
Ways to Customize Starbucks key lime refresher – Starbucks key lime refresher Variations
Starbucks has never failed to offer a wide variety of ways to customize your drink, and this refresher has not been left behind.
The recipe to make this drink is specific, but there are ways you could modify and customize it to your liking.
The recipe dictates that the kiwi starfruit refresher has no inclusions. The inclusions available in this case are dragon fruit pieces, kiwi fruit pieces, or strawberries. You could choose to add these to your drink or omit them, just as the recipe says. You also have the option of adding strawberry puree.
Despite this drink being a refresher, and all refreshers have ice, you could also choose to omit the ice if you prefer something a bit warmer.
Instead of using light coconut milk as the recipe dictates, you could choose whole milk, non-fat milk, skimmed milk, or other vegan options like almond milk or oat milk.
You could also change the syrup. Instead of funnel cake syrup, you could choose caramel, vanilla, or brown sugar syrup. You could also choose to have more pumps of syrup for added sweetness.
For toppings, you could choose other toppings instead of the vanilla sweet cream cold foam, such as chocolate or caramel cold foam.
The recipe also uses a venti cup size which is 20 ounces. You could choose a smaller cup size to make the drink less sweet, or if you’re trying it out for the first time and prefer to start small.
It is important to note that any adjustments or customizations to the drink might change its original flavor. However, do not be afraid to adjust and customize the drink to suit your particular taste and flavor preferences.
How to make Starbucks key lime refresher at home – Starbucks key lime refresher Recipe
In case you may not be able to make a trip to the Starbucks store, want to save money or your Starbucks store does not serve the Key Lime Refresher drink, you can try this recipe at home. The result is quite close to the original drink and you can add your unique twist to it.
Equipment needed to make Starbucks Key Lime Refresher at Home
- Tall Glass
- Milk frother
Ingredients needed to make Starbucks Key Lime Refresher at Home
- 4 small Kiwi fruits
- 1 ½ cups of ice
- 1 ½ cups of water
- 3 tablespoons of Vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole milk
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- Hard Caramel Candy (optional)
How to Make Starbucks Key Lime Refresher at Home – Directions
- Cut the Kiwi fruits into small pieces. Add them into the blender with the water and part of the ice, about half a cup, and blend thoroughly. Set aside.
- Combine the vanilla extract, heavy cream, and powdered sugar. Use the milk frother to froth it until a light, fluffy foam forms and set aside.
- Get a tall glass and add a few ice cubes. Pour in the blended kiwi juice then pour in the vanilla foam carefully.
- Crush the caramel candy into small pieces and sprinkle on top.
- Serve and enjoy.
- You could reserve a few pieces of the kiwi fruit and add them as the first step when assembling your drink.
- You could also freeze your kiwi fruits for some time before cutting them up and blending them to make the drink more refreshing.
How do you order a Starbucks key lime refresher?
Since it is part of the secret menu, you’d need to share the recipe with the barista. If they have all the ingredients available in that particular store, then they should make it for you.
Secret menu items are always shared on social media, therefore when you see any you like, take a screenshot or bookmark it so you could show it to the barista when ordering.
You could order either by visiting the Starbucks store in person or using the drive-thru if you are in your car. When using the drive-thru, you’d have to tell the barista what your drink recipe consists of in case they don’t have it. Ensure you know the recipe and not just the name of the drink so that you can be served promptly.
Is the Starbucks key lime refresher good?
Yes, it is. It is like having a key lime pie dessert as a drink.
What is the Starbucks key lime refresher Price?
It costs about $8 to $9.
Is the Starbucks Key Lime Refresher available all year?
Yes, it is. The Kiwi Starfruit refresher was added to the permanent menu, therefore you can get it all year round. However, not all stores have the ingredients it needs, since it is a drink on the secret menu. As you make your order, confirm its availability with the barista.
Is the Starbucks Key Lime Refresher healthy?
It has 90 calories and 19 grams of sugar which are less than most Starbucks drinks, but still quite high. It could make a nice occasional sweet treat, but it is not the healthiest drink to have frequently.