It has become increasingly clear over the past month or two that coffee enthusiasts love nothing so much as pairing our favorite fictional characters with whatever drink we believe best represents their personalities. As such, it comes as no surprise that there’s a sort of “secret Friends drink menu” at Starbucks — or, perhaps more accurately, that there’s a Starbucks drink for every Friends character. As Totally The Bomb recently reported, photos and other posts have begun popping up on social media lately featuring various Friends-oriented suggested offered at some Starbucks locations — and while these drinks are by no means “official” in any way, shape, or form, they should provided at least a few moments’ amusement to Friends fans and Starbucks lovers alike.
According to social media posts dug up by Totally The Bomb, as well as a few others I located myself, these Friends-themed menus have mostly emerged over the past month or so, largely to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary. (The very first episode of Friends aired on NBC on Sept. 22, 1994.) They’re usually specific to individual stores — that is, they’re not official Starbucks offerings — and advertised at locations offering them with hand-drawn chalkboard signs. But hey, guess what? Because Starbucks’ menu allows for a certain amount of adjustments to each drink, once you know what the Friends-themed ideas dreamed up by baristas at some stores, you can easily order those same drinks at other stores — as long as you know what to ask for.
As is always the case with “secret” items, you can’t order these drinks by asking for them by name. However, in a twist that should make beleaguered baristas pleased, the Friends drinks are all less ultra-creative, off-menu orders that require a ton of customizations to make and more just match-ups between existing drinks. Because of their relative simplicity, that also means that these drinks can easily be ordered via the Starbucks mobile app or online — something which often isn’t the case with the more complicated customized recipes we’ve seen lately.
So, if you want to get a Friends drink at Starbucks, here’s what to order:
- The Ross: A Flat White — or, if you’re feeling ambitious, a Blonde Flat White. As both the drinks and Ross might be described, the orders are “predictable, yet sophisticated.”
- The Monica: Nitro Cold Brew if you like your coffee iced, or black coffee with an added espresso shot if you like it hot. In the app or online, you can add the shot in the “Espresso & Shot Options” menu
- The Joey: A Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino — or, to make it a tad fancier, a Pumpkin Spice Frappuccino with White Chocolate Mocha Sauce. The second option is essentially a Cinderella Latte in Frappuccino form. For what it’s worth, I’ve also seen at least one sign that paired Joey with a “Cap’n Crunch Frappuccino,” which can be found at the unofficial Starbucks Secret Menu website; it’s a Strawberries and Crème Frappuccino with caramel, toffee, and hazelnut syrups, plus some optional Frappuccino chips if you want an actual crunch in the drink. If you feel like getting a little more elaborate, you can find that complete recipe here.
- The Chandler: A Starbucks Doubleshot, or a Salted Caramel Mocha. The Double Shot is more commonly referred to as a Doubleshot On Ice; it consists of two (or more, depending on the size of the drink) shots of iced espresso with a splash of milk and a couple of pumps of Classic Syrup served over ice.
- The Phoebe: A Coconutmilk Green Tea Latte or a Pumpkin Spice Latte. To order the former in the app or online, select “Coconut” under the “Milk Choices” submenu of the “Milk” menu. (The latter doesn’t require any special customizations, although obviously it does have to be Pumpkin Spice Season for you to be able to get it.)
- The Rachel: A Caramel Macchiato with an added espresso shot if you want to go simple-ish — or, if you want to go all-out, an Iced Caramel Macchiato with skim milk, upside down and with extra caramel. Per Starbucks Melody, ordering an Iced Caramel Macchiato “upside down” results in quite a different beverage than a standard Iced Caramel Macchiato: Whereas the regular version of the drink starts with vanilla syrup at the bottom of the cup, milk and ice going into thecup next, two shots of espresso getting added after that, and a caramel drizzle on top adding the finishing touch, the “upside down” version starts with caramel going at the bottom of the cup, then the espresso going on top of that, the milk and ice coming next, and the vanilla syrup being pumped on top as the last step.
If those ideas aren’t enough for you, though, you can get yourself an ultra-customized Friends-themed drink that actually is complicated enough to classify as a “secret menu” item. You see, in addition to the character-oriented drinks, Totally The Bomb also found a social media post featuring a sign at a Starbucks store in Belleville, Ontario boasting a straight-up “Friends Frappuccino.”
At the time of writing, it wasn’t totally clear what was in the Frapp — but the manager of the Belleville store who actually created the drink later commented on the article, revealing what exactly went into making the Frapp. Per the manager, the drink was “inspired by the purple of Monica’s apartment” and the opening credits' iconic orange couch; you can order it by asking for “Raspberry Crème Frappuccino” blended with a scoop of dragonfruit, with a ring of Pumpkin Sauce added to the inside of the cup before the Frapp gets poured into it.
It’s worth noting that “Raspberry Crème Frappuccinos” aren’t typically on the menu in the United States (what’s more, it’s not currently listed on the Starbucks Canada online menu either); however, you can probably mock up something similar by ordering a Vanilla Bean Crème Frappuccino and adding raspberry syrup, a handful of actual raspberries, or both.
So, there you have: A variety of Starbucks treats that will allow you to hang out with your favorite Friends at Central Perk, even if you can’t actually hang out with your favorite Friends at Central Perk. I’ll drink to that!