Make your own Starbuck's strawberry acai lemonade refresher right at home with this simple recipe! This version uses easy to find ingredients and makes for a much healthier and cheaper refreshing drink than the store-bought one.
From all of the summer drinks on my site, this might be my new favorite! My pineapple slush is definitively a close second, but who can resist a homemade lemonade that's bright red with a nice tang and filled with fresh summer fruit flavors?
This recipe is also another pursuit to copycat some of the Starbuck's popular refreshing drinks. Just like this dragon fruit lemonade, I got inspired by one of their summer beverages, but also decided to give it a healthy twist with ingredients that are easier to find.
And what's so great about preparing this lemonade yourself is that you can make it as fruity, sweet and lemony as you wish! Once you have the freeze dried acai powder, then you are just a blend away from making your own Starbuck's strawberry acai lemonade drink right at home!
What's to love about this drink
- Healthy and free of refined sugar, simple syrup or juice
- Easy and quick
- Only 4 ingredients!
- Can be made ahead
- Super refreshing and flavorful
- Easy to customize to your taste
- Tastes just like the Starbuck's strawberry acai lemonade, but at a fraction of the cost!
Starbuck's strawberry acai lemonade refresher copycat recipe
The Starbuck's strawberry acai lemonade drink is made with sugar, white grape juice (which means more sugar), freeze dried strawberries, green coffee flavor and natural flavor. It does make for a fun refreshing drink, but definitively could be made much healthier. So, I changed up slightly the ingredients when I made it at home and realized how much the flavors were still very similar to the drink from the store.
So instead of sugar and concentrated juice, I added just enough maple syrup (or use agave nectar if you don't want any maple flavor) to sweeten it slightly. Also, I think that using fresh strawberries in place of freeze dried fruits boosts the flavor, adds volume and enhances the color of your drink.
It is not clear online what ingredient brings the acai flavor, but I found that freeze dried acai powder was amazing in that drink!
What is Acai
Acai berry is a small dark-blue fruit the size of a small grape that comes from the acai palm tree growing in countries like Brasil, Ecuador and Venezuela (native to the rainforests of South America). This small fruit recently got more popular for its much praised health benefits, including powerful antioxidant effects (although the studies are not yet conclusive).
What kind of acai to use for this recipe
To help keep the nutritional values from the fruit as intact as possible during exportation, the acai berries are usually either sent freeze dried (powder form) or frozen into a purée (the fresh fruit tend to go bad with long distance traveling).
I find the acai powder to be more convenient and easy to store then the frozen one. I add spoonfuls of it into in my smoothies, oatmeal bowls and desserts and don't need to add much of it to turn anything into a beautiful purple with a nice fruity flavor. The frozen acai purée works great too for smoothies and is better to make the popular frozen acai bowl.
I tested this lemonade with the freeze dried acai powder from FGO organic and loved how well it blended into the drink. If a frozen purée is all you have, then I believe it would work well too, just make sure nothing else was added to it, especially sugar.
Ingredients to make this strawberry acai lemonade refresher
- Fresh strawberries
- Freeze dried acai powder
- Fresh lemon
- Sweetener, like maple syrup or agave
How to make this strawberry acai lemonade refresher
Step 1: Blend
Clean and hull the strawberries, then transfer to a blender along with the acai powder and ½ cup of water. Blend until very smooth, it should give you a thin purée.
Step 2: Strain
Place a fine mesh colander over a bowl and pour the strawberry over. Use the back of a spoon to help the fruit purée drain into the bowl and discard the remaining tiny seeds and thick pulp stuck in the colander.
Step 3: Combine
In a pitcher, combine the filtered strawberry purée with the remaining 2 ½ cups of water, lemon juice and sweetener. Stir well and taste so you can adjust the sweetener to your liking. Feel free to add more lemon juice too if you enjoy tart flavors. I recommend to transfer the lemonade to the fridge until ready to serve so it has some time to chill first.
Watch how to make it
Tips when preparing this strawberry acai lemonade refresher
- Straining the strawberry purée can be skipped, but I found the texture of the lemonade slightly better when doing so (most of the tiny seeds are removed during that simple step).
- I highly recommend to chill your lemonade until ice cold before serving for best refreshing effect. If you want to serve it right away after making it, then pour over a glass filled with ice cubes.
- If you have lemonade, then use it instead of the water and skip on the freshly squeezed lemon juice (might want to skip of the sweetener too if your lemonade is already sweetened).
- You can make a pink drink by adding some coconut milk to it (yum!).
Can I use frozen strawberries?
Yes, you can. If doing so, then completely thaw the fruit first to make sure it blends well (no need for draining the extra water). Also, add a few more strawberries if using frozen (soft fresh fruits will fill a measuring cup better than hard frozen ones).
Can I make this drink caffeinated?
If you are looking for a fun afternoon pick me up, then you can add some caffeine to your lemonade without changing much of the taste. To do so, brew some green tea in about 1 cup of warm water (make it as concentrated as you wish), then swap 1 cup of the water you add to the pitcher for that green tea. Be sure to chill the lemonade before serving.
Serving suggestion and storage
Keep the lemonade in the fridge for up to 5 days. Stir well before serving.
When serving, pour the lemonade over a glass filled with ice cubes and add some fresh strawberries and lemon slices for a nice look too.
If you like fizzy drinks, then pour some sparkling water into your lemonade as well.
Other refreshing drinks
- Dragon fruit lemonade
- Chia seed tea
- Coconut milkshake
- Pineapple slush
- Vegan horchata
- Virgin strawberry mojito
- Ginger turmeric glowing juice
- Oolong peach iced tea
I hope you enjoy this strawberry acai lemonade refresher as much as we do! If you try it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let me know how it was. Your feedback is so helpful!
Strawberry Açai Lemonade Refresher
- 1 cup fresh strawberries - cleaned and hulled
- 2 tsp açai powder
- 1 lemon - juiced
- ¼ cup maple syrup or agave - or to taste
- 3 cups water - separated
- Blend together the strawberries and acai powder with ½ cup of water until smooth. You should end up with a thin purée.
- Then, strain the mixture through a fine mesh colander (use a spoon to help to straining process).
- Transfer the strained strawberry purée to a pitcher and add the remaining 2 ½ cup of water, squeezed lemon juice and sweetener. Stir and taste to adjust the flavor. Chill before serving or serve over a glass filled with ice cubes.