Starbucks Drops a Pink 'Dragon Drink' Just in Time for Summer—But Is It Healthy?

Starbucks has a constantly evolving menu, with seasonal favorites (hello, pumpkin spice and chestnut praline lattes), and newcomers like the Pink Drink, which was added to the permanent menu in 2017.

Just last month, the coffee chain also debuted a brand new macchiato—dubbed the Cloud Macchiato—which comes in caramel and cinnamon flavors, and uses cold foam mixed with meringue powder and rice starch to create a fluffy, cloud-like topping. With warmer weather on the way, Starbucks isn’t slowing down anytime soon—the summer menu, which launches today, includes new drinks, sandwiches, and returning favorites.

The big drink news is the Dragon Drink, which comes in a bright, summery shade of bubblegum pink—and while you might expect a cotton candy or strawberry flavor, it’s actually infused with flavors from mango and dragon fruit. It’s a creamier version of the Mango Dragonfruit Refresher, made opaque with coconut milk and will be on the menu for the long haul.

We got to try the refresher for reference, and found it to have a sweet, almost berry-like flavor. The pieces of dragon fruit and seeds were a nice textural touch, and overall, it got a thumbs-up from our editors. “The combination of the mango and the dragon fruit almost gives it a hibiscus tea vibe,” one said.

Is it Healthy?

Sort of. A grande Dragon Drink has 130 calories, 3g of fat, 2.5g of sat fat, 26g of carbs, 23g of sugar, and 1g of protein. It also has between 45-55mg of caffeine (a little less than a cup of coffee.) At first glance, the nutrition doesn’t look too bad, but it’s a little alarming that almost all of the sugar is added (read: it’s not from real fruit). And for reference, the USDA recommends most women limit themselves to about 25 grams (or 10% of their daily calories) of added sugar per day—so this drink would take up all of them. 

All that sugar isn’t surprising. The Mango Dragonfruit Refresher Base’s first two ingredients are sugar and white grape juice concentrate, while the coconut milk also has cane sugar added. Not to mention there’s quite a bit of sat fat from the coconut milk. If you upgrade to a venti, you’re looking at 4g of sat fat from one drink. 

While you could certainly enjoy a Dragon Drink as an occasional treat, you’d be better off ordering a Teavana Shaken Iced Passion Tango Tea—it has all of the gorgeous pink color, refreshing taste, and fruity flavor… but with half the sugar.

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