There's no denying that the Dragon Drink, Starbucks' new Instagram-ready beverage of the season, is a sight to behold. It's magenta pink and slightly foamy, so you might start craving it even before you know what it's supposed to taste like — or what exactly is inside.
The drink is a spinoff of the popular Mango Dragonfruit Refresher from last year, containing the same mango-dragonfruit flavors and a scoop of real diced dragonfruit on top. There's one key difference between the two, though: the Dragon Drink contains coconut milk, which provides three grams of fat and one gram of protein that the juice-only version didn't have. It's higher in calories and sugar, too.
If you plan to add this foamy fuchsia beverage to your Summer menu, here's what you can expect to get from a Grande (16 ounces), nutrition-wise.
- Calories: 130
- Fat: 3 grams
- Sodium: 60 milligrams
- Carbohydrates: 26 grams
- Sugar: 23 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Caffeine: 45-55 milligrams
The sugar is what most people are curious about, and 23 grams isn't negligible; for the average woman, the American Heart Association recommends consuming just 25 grams of added sugar a day. (If you're looking to lose weight, it gets even trickier; read more on sugar and weight loss with this guide.) One Grande Dragon Drink is pretty much a full day's amount, while a Tall (18 grams of sugar) is only slightly less. Similar drink options, such as the Violet Drink and the viral Pink Drink, give you about the same sugar content (24 grams and 19 grams for Grande, respectively), while the original Mango Dragonfruit Refresher has 19 grams.
Still, all three are healthier options than a typical Frappuccino. The Matcha Green Tea Creme Frappuccino, for example, has (brace yourself) a whopping 65 grams of sugar, while the Strawberry Blended Creme version contains 57 grams. Frappuccinos are also higher in calories; the Matcha flavor has 430, while the Strawberry comes in at 390, compared to the Dragon Drink's 130.
Bearing that all that mind, the Dragon Drink seems like a sweet, every-once-in-a-while treat. It's not exactly healthy, but as long as you don't indulge too often, you could definitely do worse.