New Addiction: Starbucks Refreshers

It's been awhile since a {non-alcoholic} drink called my name at various times of the day. Not to say I'm a raging alcoholic, but it's summer and the kids are home and I will admit that a nice, cool chardonnay starts sounding real good about 1 PM.

My go-to summer Starbucks drink for the past 5 years has always been an iced skinny vanilla latte. This is SO my usual that when I recently ordered a Cool Lime Refresher, Jason actually gave me an inquisitive look and noted "But Beth never has a Starbucks refresher at home!" Well, now he can't say that anymore. 

The new Refreshers have "green coffee extract" - before a coffee bean is roasted to make it dark, the bean is green. According to Starbucks, this gives you the caffeine, without the flavor. Regardless, both the Cool Lime and Very Berry Hibiscus flavors are delicious. 

Starbucks canned versions as well as the "VIA" (single serving, make at home) versions. While not cheap at $6 a 5/pack, the VIAs are still a cheaper way to feed the addiction than daily trips the Green Mermaid.

Over the weekend I experimented with the VIA flavor packs and my other favorite indulgence, Le Croix flavored sparkling waters. I say "indulgence" because those too are not as cheap as other canned soda waters, but for some reason there is something infinitely better tasting about them. 

While it's not exactly what you will find from your local barista, here is how I've been making myself an afternoon treat. 

- 16 oz Bottled water (or plastic bottle with refilled water or a cocktail shaker with water - whatever you choose)

- Le Croix Sparkling Water (lime or lemon flavored)

- Ice

- Refresher VIA of your choice

1) Drink about a quarter of the bottle of water (or pour it into a cup if you are making this for someone else). Pour the VIA mix into the water and shake very, very well. The mix will not dissolve if not shaken very well)

2) Pour it over ice into a big cup, then fill the rest of it with the sparkling water. 

3) Drink

Yup - rocket science, I know

But if you just use the bottled water it's missing a little something. If you just use sparkling water, then it's just flavored sparkling water. Mixing the two is the key. 

And hey, if it's been a particularly rough day with the kids, I won't fault you for adding a shot of vodka.