The secret menu item to order at Starbucks this summer seems to be a Keto version of its beloved Pink Drink. When we heard the news, we knew we had to try it. But is it worth the hype?? Short answer: no. We’re sorry. It’s internet lies! Here’s the longer version of the story…

First, we tried the OG Pink Drink to know what the Keto version is up against. The original is a blend of coconut milk, Strawberry Acai Starbucks Refreshers (a caffeinated juice basically), and freeze-dried strawberry slices. One sip and OMFG. We get the craze. This drink tastes like a pink Starburst and also a party in your mouth. It was really an explosion of sweet and tangy strawberry flavor.

When it came to make the Keto version, our barista was not super enthusiastic about this tall order and was almost confused. To order this Keto Pink Drink, ask for the following:

  • iced sugar-free passion iced tea (or a sugar-free strawberry green tea infusion)
  • a pump of sugar-free vanilla
  • heavy cream
  • freeze-dried strawberries

My barista accidentally made me two drinks one with the sugar-free passion iced tea and the other with the sugar-free strawberry green tea infusion. I do not recommend the one with the sugar-free passion iced tea base. While the color is still that perfect millennial pink, the flavor is lacking. It tastes like a semi-sweet iced tea with cream, which tastes as weird as it sounds. The sugar-free strawberry green tea infusion is much better. It’s more like a strawberry shortcake but not as sweet. The drink’s hint of green tea balances the flavors plus offers a caffeine boost (passion fruit iced tea is herbal and noncaffeinated). All this said, compared to the OG Pink Drink, the sugar-free, Keto version is disappointing. It tastes nothing like a pink Starburst, and even the strawberry flavor was pretty subtle.

The original Pink Drink still wins our hearts as it’s much sweeter than the other drinks (because of the sugar, duh), but also has a lot more flavor. Ultimately, we learned that the diet versions of our favorite beverages never taste as good as we expect them to, so be open-minded. If you’re not comparing the the Keto Pink Drink to the OG Pink Drink, you might enjoy the Keto version for what it is: a refreshing, slightly sweet, and creamy pink beverage, ideal for hot summer days.

Have you tried the Starbucks Keto Pink Drink? Does it hit the spot like the OG? Hit us up on @BritandCo on twitter and let us know.

(Photo via Gabi Conti / Brit + Co)