Starbucks is one of the most popular chains of coffee shops in the United States and now has a prominent global presence.
If you’ve ever gone into a Starbucks before, you’ve likely been overwhelmed by the number of Starbucks drinks and menu options to choose from. So, the notion of having a “Starbucks secret menu,“ may seem not only unnecessary but perhaps even unfathomable.
Of course, it’s true that the official Starbucks drink menu is indeed robust and likely has an option that works for most people, but the secret Starbucks drinks are super popular.
In this guide, we will discuss what the Starbucks secret menu is, the best Starbucks drinks on the secret menu, and how to make some of the best Starbucks Secret Menu 2023 drinks at home.
We will look at:
- What Is the Starbucks Secret Menu?
- How Are Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks Created?
- How to Order from the Starbucks Secret Menu 2023
- DIY Secret Menu Starbucks Drink Recipes
Let’s jump in!
What Is the Starbucks Secret Menu?
Some fast food establishments have a secret menu that has food and drinks that most of the baristas or food service workers know how to prepare but that are not overtly advertised on the regular menu.
With such a wide list of Starbucks coffees, teas, and drinks to choose from on the official 2023 Starbucks drinks menu, you may wonder, how could there be even more Starbucks drinks to choose from?
The Starbucks secret menu is an ever-evolving list of drinks, so there isn’t necessarily an “official” 2023 Starbucks secret menu nor will there be an official secret Starbucks menu 2024.
This is because by nature, the Starbucks secret menu drinks aren’t uniform across all Starbucks locations and not every barista will even be aware of the drink or how to make Starbucks secret drinks.It’s not only fun to feel like you have “insider knowledge” by ordering an unpublished drink from a Starbucks secret menu, but most of the Starbucks secret drinks are creative recipes that most people end up loving.
Many of the best Starbucks secret drinks come out around the holidays or are creative spins on some of the best Starbucks seasonal drinks and Starbucks holiday drinks, so you won’t necessarily be able to get every secret Starbucks menu drink all year long.
How Are Starbucks Secret Menu Drinks Created?
So, how does a drink land itself on the Starbucks secret menu?
Most of the Starbucks secret menu drinks are either former Starbucks drinks that customers loved but were phased off of the official Starbucks menu or the Starbucks app.
Long-time customers might still want these items and request them by name, or know how to describe how to modify a current official Starbucks menu drink to the secret Starbucks drink.
For example, the Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea is a popular secret Starbucks menu drink that once was on the menu. However, the Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea now goes by the name Starbucks Honey Citrus Mint Tea.
Other Starbucks secret menu drinks are created by baristas, customers, trending TikTokers, and hybrids of current or former popular Starbucks drinks.
The Starbucks secret menu drinks aren’t listed on the regular Starbucks menu board presented when you go into your local Starbucks chain or if you use the Starbucks app for ordering.
However, if you use one of the secret Starbucks drink names, there’s a good chance that the Starbucks barista will know what you are talking about and how to prepare the secret Starbucks menu drink you have requested.
How to Order from the Starbucks Secret Menu 2023
Because Starbucks secret menu drinks are not part of the regular rotating Starbucks menu or Starbucks app drinks, not every barista will know what you are asking for and you cannot request Starbucks secret menu items directly from the app.
Instead, you will need to modify an existing Starbucks drink to your liking and try to replicate that secret Starbucks drink by starting with whatever the closest Starbucks drink is that you can find on the menu.
If you are using the Starbucks app to order a secret Starbucks drink, you will need to find the closest drink or the best drink on the menu and then provide the substitutions for the Starbucks secret drink recipe.
In person, you can try to request the secret Starbucks menu item.
However, if the barista is unfamiliar, you will need to order using the secret Starbucks drink base drink, the substitution that makes it a Starbucks secret drink vs menu drink, and then any other customizations that you want for the final prepared beverage.
Here are some of the best Starbucks secret menu drinks in 2023:
#1: White Christmas Frappuccino
The Starbucks holiday drinks are among the most popular, so it’s no surprise that some of the top 2023 Starbucks secret menu holiday drinks are ones that you should try out.
One of the most popular ones is the Starbucks White Christmas Frappuccino, which is a sweet take on the Starbucks Vanilla Bean Frappuccino that adds White mocha syrup and peppermint syrup to give you all of the Christmas flavors.
Ask for a grande Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with 2 pumps of white mocha syrup and 2 pumps of peppermint syrup, with whipped cream and peppermint mocha curls on top.
You can even make this hot by ordering a Starbucks Vanilla Bean steamer as the base instead of a Frappuccino.
#2: Purple Drink
If coffee isn’t really your thing, one of the best Starbucks secret tea drinks is the not-so-secret (because it’s so beloved) Starbucks Purple Drink.
The Starbucks Secret Purple Drink tea is a tangy passion fruit tea with a lemonade base and coconut milk creaminess.
Ask for an iced passion tango tea lemonade made with coconut milk instead of regular water. Request a pump of vanilla syrup.
#3: Squid Game Frappuccino
One of the popular 2023 Starbucks secret drinks is the Squid Game Frappuccino, named after the Netflix show.
It’s basically a tasty upgrade of the Starbucks Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino that has white mocha syrup as a substitution for classic syrup with the options of adding dragon fruit, whipped cream, and a chocolate drizzle.
So, if you are trying to figure out how to order this secret Starbucks drink in the app or in person, you would just say:
“Can I please have a grande Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino with two pumps of white mocha, no classic, dragon fruit inclusions, whipped cream, and chocolate drizzle?”
DIY Secret Menu Starbucks Drink Recipes
Starbucks Purple Drink Recipe
Here is a DIY recipe for the Starbucks Purple Drink tea:
- Steep a bag of passion fruit tea in coconut milk instead of water. Add lemonade at about a 50-50 ratio to the volume of passion fruit tea and coconut milk.
- Add a pump of vanilla syrup.
- Serve iced if you want to best replicate the Starbucks secret purple drink, though some people also like to drink this warm.
The Whistling Kettle Purple Punch tea is an antioxidant-packed, herbal tea that is as vibrant and bright in color (purple!) as it is in tropical flavor. It blends juicy passion fruit, sweet lemongrass, and crisp apple with a hint of hibiscus.
If you prefer a caffeinated black tea for your copycat Starbucks Purple Drink, I’d try The Whistling Kettle Mango Passionfruit tea.
What I like about this tea for the secret Starbucks purple drink recipe is that it has real chunks of mango, papaya, and pineapple with a really bold flavor.
It can stand up well to being steeped in coconut milk, mixed with lemonade, and sweetened with vanilla syrup without getting lost in the other flavors.
A lot of the other passion fruit teas I have tried from other companies are too subtle in the flavors so the balance gets off when you try to brew the tea with coconut milk and lemonade.
Both of these teas from The Whistling Kettle have such a robust flavor profile and roundness to the taste that they not only replicate the Purple Drink from Starbucks well, but they actually improve upon it in many ways because there are even more nuanced flavor notes that come through.
Starbucks Medicine Ball Tea Recipe
Here is a Starbucks Medicine Ball tea recipe to make your own:
- Fill a small kettle or mug with half lemonade and half water and bring it to a boil on the stove or in the microwave (for the mug).
- Add a bag of Peach tea and a bag of Jade Citrus Mint tea.
- Adding honey to taste.
I highly recommend the Lemon Ginger tea from Partners Coffee instead of the “Peach Tranquility” tea from Starbucks.
It is almost a close replica of the types of flavors you will find in the blends of tea used for the secret Starbucks Medicine Ball tea recipe, but the quality is actually much higher.
First of all, I love that the tea is sustainably sourced.
However, most importantly in terms of trying to make a good copycat Starbucks Cold Buster tea, the Partners’ Coffee Lemon Ginger tea has a base of antioxidant-packed sweet green tea with a balanced blend of immunity-boosting ginger and a burst of zingy citrus.
It’s super lively and bright, with a full-bodied flavor. Since I like to have a strong lemon flavor in the Medicine Ball tea, using this Lemon Ginger green tea as the base is a great way to amplify the notes of lemon without adding a ton of sugary lemonade.
You can then add a bag of the Partners’ Coffee Moroccan Mint Green Tea if you want to have the closest Starbucks Medicine Ball copycat recipe. This antioxidant-rich tea is like the Jade Mint green tea from Starbucks, only with an even bolder and deeper flavor and sustainably sourced tea leaves.