The Truth About TikTok's 'Forbidden' Blue Starbucks Drink

One of the best things about Starbucks' impressive market reach is that there is never-ending inspiration when it comes to what to order. People are always talking about their favorite drinks, reviewing new items, and sharing their favorite ways to spice up classic recipes. And thanks to the so-called "secret menu" — which isn't actually a secret, but more specific customer-created customizations — if you're ever in a rut when thinking of what you might like to drink, you can tap into fellow Starbucks fans' creativity.

In part because of the internet, and the fact that so many people have access to a local Starbucks through the company's countless locations, social media has become a hub for Starbucks' drinks and creations. The downside of this collective resource is that some people use this as a way to play jokes on impressionable others.

This came to light recently with a new TikTok and Facebook prank where "customers" order a new "blue drink" and rave about the delicious new option at the coffee chain. These videos and photos have even prompted others to head to their local Starbucks to order the fun-looking drink. The only problem? It doesn't actually exist.

The blue drink is a prank

Known by Starbucks baristas as "the forbidden blue drink," it appears to be a social media prank that a lot of customers are falling for. In a TikTok video featuring the fake drink, the video's creator described the flavor as "the very berry hibiscus mixed with cotton candy."

This video, which isn't the only one, has been liked nearly 50,000 times and currently has over 500 comments, many of which seem to indicate people's interest in the supposed drink. "Should I try the blue drink? Do I just say blue drink?" one person asked.

According to an article in Insider, some baristas said "customers had shown them TikTok videos of the drinks. Three others said that customers hadn't requested the drinks, but that they'd heard about them through social media."

On the same TikTok, one user even shared that they'd tried to order it. "I asked for that one time, and they said 'sorry, I don't think that drink exists,'" they commented.

This commenter was informed correctly because the reality is that Starbucks doesn't have anything on the menu — or even ingredients in the store — that would make this brightly colored beverage. "This is not a real drink and not available in our stores," a spokesperson for the company said, per the Insider article.

So where does the blue coloring come from?

According to the Insider article, the drink likely started as a joke in a private Facebook group for Starbucks employees and was originally created with Urex, the chemical used for cleaning the coffee urns and brewers, mixed with water.

One barista told Insider it was "just a joke that happened on one of the Starbucks Facebook pages." The joke stems from some of the lengthy and complicated concoctions Starbucks customers like to order that often start on social media. Another barista told Insider, "The posts in the Facebook group are just inside jokes among baristas, [none] of us are trying to promote these things to customers." In the past, similar jokes have popped up in Starbucks Reddit threads.

However, there is some confusion about the TikTok videos, as one Starbucks barista told Insider that they weren't sure if TikTokers were purposefully trying to trick potential customers. One barista in New York suggested the coloring could come from Gatorade, another possible explanation for the internet prank.