Give me guava everything! Guava looks like it’s going to be the it flavor this spring and summer, and I’ve been using in everything from desserts to cocktails to this fancy non-alcoholic afternoon pick me up. I’ve become a big fan of Starbucks’ fun non-coffee drinks this pregnancy, and when I heard there was a new summer drink out called the Guava Passionfruit Drink, I was super excited to try it. But with an almost three year old in tow everywhere I go, Starbucks trips get expensive fast (I wanna cake pop! I wanna iced tea!), so of course I was also excited to try to recreate the recipe at home.
And it seems I’m not the only one enjoying re-making these drinks at home, since my Pineapple Matcha Drink Starbucks copycat recipe has quickly become one of the most popular recipes on my site! During self-isolation / quarantine especially, it’s nice to be able to whip up a special drink any time you want, rather than waiting in the endless drive thru lines.
An easy recipe that can handle substitutions
This recipe is very easy and uses a fairly common brand of juice blends – Ceres. You can absolutely try this with other brands, but I can’t guarantee the results. I recipe tested with both Ceres and Goya, and found the Goya to be significantly sweeter (it was a nectar, not a juice, by the way). So just keep this in mind when shopping around for guava or passion fruit juice, and you can always tweak the recipe to suit your own tastes if it ends up tasting a bit sweeter with a different brand. If the drink is way too sweet when you first make it, cut out the syrup. If it’s still too sweet after that, cut the guava juice back to 2 ounces.
Wait, where’s the passion fruit?
Something perplexed me a bit when working on this recipe. The ingredients list for the Starbucks Guava Passionfruit Drink does not actually appear to contain any passion fruit! Why? I haven’t a clue. BUT, I can say that there is a distinct sweet-sour, fruity sort of flavor present in the drink that could be considered “notes of passionfruit”, like their website describes. In case you’re interested, here’s the (slightly abbreviated, for clarity) Guava Passionfruit Drink ingredients list from the Starbucks site:
- Guava Flavored Juice Blend [Water, White Grape Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavors, Guava Juice Concentrate, Colored With Fruit And Vegetable Juice (Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Apple, Radish, Cherry), Citric Acid]
- Pineapple Ginger Syrup
I’m going to guess that the passion fruit flavor could be one of the “natural flavors” in the juice blend. Either way, it’s a tasty drink, and definitely not a one-note guava flavor. So this is what led me to create my own version of the recipe, which incorporates passion fruit juice. Passion fruit is an incredible flavor all on its own, but it’s also a great element within a sweet drink recipe, because it is both sweet and sour, which helps to balance things out. Fresh passion fruits especially can be intensely sour (which I personally love and find refreshing!)
How to get that gorgeous pink color
The next thing I had to tackle with re-creating this recipe was the color. Every guava juice, juice blend, or nectar I came across was a pale to deep orange. The Starbucks drink is a gorgeous, cool, pale pink – and by inspecting the ingredients, we can see that the color is likely from the blend of fruit and vegetable juices used in the guava juice blend (radish and cherry specifically). So this got me thinking that tart cherry juice might be an excellent addition, adding some color, some balancing tartness, as well as another fruity flavor element. And it was perfect! I taste-tested this recipe side by side with the original Starbucks beverage, and they were incredibly similar in flavor and color.
Sweet, or less sweet?
One thing that I will say about the original Starbucks drink is that it does lean pretty sweet. In general, I like my afternoon drinks less sweet than dessert-level, and this one was pretty close to milkshake sweet. Which could be why my daughter kept exclaiming “this is SO GOOD!” while sipping on hers. So although I worked this recipe out to be as close as possible to the original, I did tone down the sweet just a touch. If you want it sweeter, no problem – simply increase the amount of syrup the recipe calls for. Start by increasing the amount from ½ oz to ¾ oz and if you want more, go to 1 oz, and increase in 1/4 oz (1 teaspoon) measures from there.
Fruit juices vs. nectars
When looking for exotic fruit juices, it’s common to find a whole lot of cartons labeled “nectars”. So what exactly is a nectar? When talking fruit-based drinks, nectars are made from fruits that aren’t altogether very juicy and need to be muddled to produce juice, like peaches. The resulting product is thick, and not drinkable without adding sugar and water. In general, nectars can be quite sweet and viscous, so you’ll want to use them sparingly and make sure to water them down enough. I tested this recipe with the Goya Guava Nectar and found that it was just much too thick and too sweet to work here. The resulting texture of the drink felt more like a smoothie, and less like a cool, afternoon refreshment. Ultimately, I went with the Ceres Guava juice blend because it maintained the real guava flavor while having a light, smooth texture from the water and other juices in the blend.
Pineapple ginger syrup vs. simple syrup
Another interesting element of this drink is that like the Pineapple Matcha Drink, it calls for a pineapple ginger syrup. However, I really don’t taste any ginger, and maybe just minimal pineapple in the Guava Passionfruit Drink. So if you’re feeling unmotivated, or don’t have the ingredients on hand to make a pineapple ginger syrup, feel completely free to substitute with regular simple syrup and see what you think. Maybe it’s because of the additions of passion fruit and the tart cherry juices, but I didn’t miss the pineapple ginger syrup here. It tasted just as wonderful as the original (and it will save you about 45 minutes)!
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What’s in this version of the Guava Passionfruit Drink?
- Guava juice blend (I used Ceres)
- Coconut milk
- Passion fruit juice blend (I used Ceres)
- Tart cherry juice
- Simple syrup OR pineapple ginger syrup (find my recipe for that here)
This recipe is quick and easy, with the only prep required being making a small batch of simple syrup (full details in the recipe below). Don’t worry, simple syrup is just that – all you have to do is combine equal parts water and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Converting ounces to cups or tablespoons
I recognize that half of my readers use a bartender’s jigger every day for mixing cocktails, and the other half arrived here via a Google search looking for a fun and easy drink recipe and might not even know what a jigger is. That’s ok, and I want anyone to be able to easily make these drinks at home! In fact, I recently wrote a book all about simple cocktails anyone can make at home, no matter your skill level. You can read more about that here. So here’s a breakdown of measurement conversions for convenience:
- 2.5 oz = .31 cups (so juuuuuust under ⅓ cup)
- 2 oz = ¼ cup
- 1 oz = 2 tablespoons (or ⅛ cup)
- .75 oz = 1 ½ tablespoons
- .5 oz = 1 tablespoon
If you like fruity or tropical drinks, you may also enjoy my:
Guava Passionfruit Drink (Starbucks Copycat)
- 2.5 oz guava juice blend (I used Ceres)
- 2 oz coconut milk
- .75 oz passion fruit juice blend (I used Ceres)
- .75 oz tart cherry juice
- .5 oz simple syrup OR pineapple ginger syrup (see Notes below for syrup recipes)
- Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker (you could also use a mason jar with a screw-on lid!)
- Fill the shaker 3/4 with ice and shake until chilled, about 12 seconds.
- Strain the liquid into a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with seasonal edible flowers, if desired. I used apple blossom and lilacs from my yard for their beautiful aromas.
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water