Starbucks employee adding vanilla vodka to strawberry refresher with caption 'Vanilla vodka' (l) Starbucks employee with caption 'Spiked strawberry acai' with Starbucks logo at bottom (c) Starbucks employee making drink with caption 'don't let corporate see this... I think I'm gonna be just fine' (r)

@thesavagesagittarius/TikTok @thesavagesagittarius/TikTok Unknown author/Wikimedia Commons

‘Don’t let corporate see this’: Starbucks barista makes spiked Strawberry Acai refresher, sparking debate

'I think I'm gonna be just fine.'


Phil West


Posted on Feb 23, 2023   Updated on Feb 25, 2023, 8:33 am CST

A TikToker showed how to make a Strawberry Acai refresher with a little kick to it in a viral video—leading to both delight and alarm among commenters that alcohol and Starbucks are crossing streams.

The video comes from creator Simone Gardner, who appears to work out of San Antonio’s Crockett Hotel—which serves Starbucks products but also has a license to serve alcohol, allowing for the innovation she highlighted in her video.

In the initial video, which has accumulated more than 45,000 likes since going up on the platform Sunday, Gardner shows herself making a Strawberry Acai refresher that includes lemonade, strawberries, and a healthy glug of vanilla vodka.

@thesavagesagittarius #starbucks #strawberryacairefresher #vodka #foryoupage #secretmenu ♬ Hey, Mickey! – Baby Tate

Once she has everything together, she shakes it up and then suggests to the audience via on-screen caption, “Enjoy.”

In a follow-up video, she responds to a commenter who cracked, “Don’t let corporate see this.” She shows the business’s liquor license before beginning to make a Starbucks coffee drink with Kahlua to. The caption reads, “I think I’m gonna be just fine” with a thumbs-up emoji.

@thesavagesagittarius Replying to @pleasetouchgrass69 #starbucks #fyp #spikedcoffee #secretmenu ♬ Hey, Mickey! – Baby Tate

Both the original video and follow-up attracted commenters who were amazed there was a Starbucks out there that had alcohol as an option.

One heated exchange on the platform began with a commenter inquiring, “Why TF do you have vodka at work?”

The creator responded, “Cuz it’s a fucking bar, genius.”

The commenter, charging on, answered, “Babe, that is a Starbucks.”

She then replied, “I’m not your babe. And this is Alamo Plaza Coffee Bar.”

Others chimed in to note that they too had seen Starbucks and alcohol together out in the wild.

“Her store is a licensed store not owned by Starbucks but has Starbucks products soo she’s fine – for everyone,” one user wrote.

Gardner appreciated the backup, saying, “Thanks lol. All these people tagging Starbucks and snitching on me.”

Others were concerned that the vodka might interfere with other non-alcoholic drinks that people would order after. As one groused, “Really hope you completely washed out that pitcher and didn’t straight put it back bc wtf … thats not right at all.”

That led her to respond, “Wow, you need to calm down. It’s vodka, not toxic waste.”

Still, some were enthusiastic about the possibilities.

One noted, “They need these in Vegas. I have to spike my own coffee when I go there.”

Another had a simple message for the haters as well as the creator: “All these comments are trash and uneducated. KEEP POURING US UP BABE.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Starbucks for comment.

Update Feb. 25, 8:30 a.m. CT: Gardner returned our request for comment, confirming the location revealed in the video and noting, “I made that video after I closed down the bar.. I was waiting on my manager so I could leave but I didn’t expect the video to go viral lol.” She also noted that the “Proudly Serving Starbucks” designation may not last for long, revealing, “My general manager just told me that he’s getting rid of the Starbucks products starting March 1.”

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*First Published: Feb 23, 2023, 12:35 pm CST