Skip to content

The 25 Most Iconic Fast-Food Drinks of All Time

From Chick-fil-A's Frosted Lemonade to the Grimace Shake at McDonald's, how many of these special sippers have you had?

If there is anything to take away from multi-course menu pairings at fine dining establishments, it's that your drink should never be an afterthought. The right beverage matched perfectly with the right food item can completely elevate a meal. Think of a great steak dinner with red wine or a cheeseburger with an ice-cold beer. The same is true at fast-food restaurants. After all, Coca-Cola hits differently at McDonald's.

When you pull up to most fast-food drive-thrus, you can order any of the usual suspects: Coke, Sprite, lemonade, chocolate milkshake, etc. But most fast-food chains have at least one or two beverage options that have either stood the test of time or grabbed the public's attention in a way that makes them quasi-legendary. These drinks go viral on social media or have inventive ad campaigns that pique everyone's curiosity. Either way, many fast-food drinks have become iconic.

Most of these beverages are available today, so the next time you head to your favorite fast-food chain, remember these. You'll be sipping on fast-food royalty.

Black & White Shake at Shake Shack

Black & White shake at Shake Shack
Shake Shack
Nutrition: (Per Shake):
Calories: 770
Fat: 42 g (Saturated Fat: 26 g)
Sodium: 460 mg
Carbs: 80 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 76 g)
Protein: 19 g

Why choose between vanilla or chocolate when you can enjoy both? Shake Shack's menu is filled with fan-favorite milkshakes, but its Black & White Shake is perhaps the most memorable. It starts with Shake Shack's house-made vanilla frozen custard, which is then blended with chocolate fudge sauce.

 10 Best Secret Menu Options at Shake Shack

Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea at Popeyes

popeyes sweet tea
Popeyes / Facebook
Nutrition: (Per Drink):
Calories: 180
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 10 mg
Carbs: 16 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 45 g)
Protein: 0 g

Popeyes Cane Sweeeet Iced Tea is so sweet that the chain needed to throw in some extra e's for good measure. In the world of fast-food sweet teas, this is one of the most popular, with fans sharing recipes on Reddit to recreate the drink at home.

Cherry Limeade Slush at Sonic Drive-In

sonic cherry limeade slush
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 280
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 40 mg
Carbs: 74 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 72 g)
Protein: 0 g

Sonic Drive-In has an array of Slush beverages. Among the available flavors, Cherry Limeade has to be the most popular. Copycat recipes are abundant online, with fans chiming in and sharing their love for the iconic Sonic frozen drink.

 The 20 Best & Worst Menu Items at Sonic, According to Dietitians

Draft Root Beer at Shake Shack

shake shack menu root beer float
John M. / Yelp
Nutrition: (Per Large Drink):
Calories: 280
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 25 mg
Carbs: 69 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 59 g)
Protein: 0 g

Shake Shack is known for more than its house-made frozen custard blended into tasty milkshakes. The fast-food chain is also beloved for its draft root beer, made with real Louisiana cane sugar. Order a root beer float if you can't decide between a shake or a root beer.

Frosted Lemonade at Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A's Frosted Lemonade
Nutrition: (Per Drink):
Calories: 320
Fat: 6 g (Saturated Fat: 3.5 g)
Sodium: 120 mg
Carbs: 65 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 63 g)
Protein: 6 g

Chick-fil-A has made a name for itself with its sandwiches, dipping sauce, waffle fries, and iconic drinks like the Frosted Lemonade. It's a hand-spun combo of Chick-fil-A's popular lemonade and vanilla ice cream. Think of it as a lemon-flavored milkshake but more light and refreshing.

 14 Best Fast-Food Chicken Sandwiches In America

Frozen Coffee at Dunkin'

dunkin frozen coffee
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink With Whole Milk):
Calories: 410
Fat: 4.5 g (Saturated Fat: 2.5 g)
Sodium: 115 mg
Carbs: 88 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 84 g)
Protein: 0 g

Dunkin's bread and butter is coffee, but there are several ways to spice things up and add variety to your morning Dunkin' run. Instead of a plain iced coffee, go for gold and order the iconic Frozen Coffee. You can also add your favorite flavor swirl, like mocha, French vanilla, or caramel.

Frozen Fanta Blue Raspberry at McDonald's

mcdonalds frozen fanta
McDonald's / Facebook
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 80
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 35 mg
Carbs: 20 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 20 g)
Protein: 0 g

McDonald's has had its fair share of iconic menu items, from Big Macs to the Filet-O-Fish Sandwich. When it comes to beverages, few can hold a candle to the Frozen Fanta Blue Raspberry. Ordering a refreshing Fanta with your McDonald's meal seems like a no-brainer, but fans have kicked it up a notch over the years to cement the Frozen Blue Raspberry variety into the McDonald's Hall of Fame.

 25 Best Limited-Time Fast-Food Items of All Time

Grimace Shake at McDonald's

McDonalds Grimace shake and birthday meal
Courtesy of McDonald's
Nutrition (Per Medium Shake):
Calories: 580
Fat: 15 g (Saturated Fat: 9 g, Trans Fat: 0.5 g)
Sodium: 170 mg
Carbs: 97 g carbs (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 75 g)
Protein: 12 g

If you grew up eating at McDonald's, you probably know about its classic original characters, like Ronald McDonald and Grimace, the purple, round-shaped entity. To celebrate Grimace's birthday in the summer of 2023, McDonald's launched the Grimace Shake, which took social media by storm. It may have only been a limited-time offer, but the reaction was so viral that it solidified the drink's place as a legendary McDonald's menu item.

Legendary Iced Tea at Bojangles

bojangles legendary ice tea drink on a white background.
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 240
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 62 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 60 g)
Protein: 0 g

Customers cannot get enough of the iced tea at Bojangles, sweetened or unsweetened. The beverage is so popular that it picked up the "legendary" moniker on the menu. It's made with real cane sugar, giving it that quintessential and unmistakable Southern iced tea flavor.

 8 Most Delicious Coffee Drinks at Starbucks, According to Baristas

Lemonade at Wendy's

Wendys blueberry pomegranate lemonade
Photo: Meaghan Cameron, Eat This, Not That!
Strawberry Lemonade (Per Small Serving):
Calories: 230
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 25 mg
Carbs: 58 g carbs (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 54 g)
Protein: 0 g

Lemonade may seem simple, but the variety of lemonades offered at Wendy's makes it legendary among customers. In particular, the strawberry lemonade and the blueberry pomegranate lemonade are menu standouts.

Milkshakes at Five Guys

Milkshake with straw outside a Five Guys restaurant
Five Guys/Facebook
Vanilla Shake Base (Per Order):
Calories: 670
Fat: 32 g (Saturated Fat: 21 g)
Sodium: 360 mg
Carbs: 84 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 82 g)
Protein: 13 g

A milkshake from Five Guys is tasty enough, but that's not why it made this roundup of iconic fast-food beverages. What makes the shakes at Five Guys stand out from the crowd are the mix-ins you can order. From Oreos and peanut butter to bananas and bacon, there are several tantalizing ingredients you can blend into your shake that make it unlike most other fast-food frozen beverages.

 8 Fast-Food Milkshakes That Are Made With Real Ice Cream

Mountain Dew Baja Blast at Taco Bell

taco bell mountain dew baja blast
Taco Bell
Nutrition: (Per Small Drink):
Calories: 220
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 65 mg
Carbs: 59 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 59 g)
Protein: 0 g

Not many drinks are linked to a specific fast-food entity, but over the years, Taco Bell and Mountain Dew Baja Blast have become nearly synonymous. Though you can now purchase the beverage elsewhere, there is something special about ordering it with your Crunchwrap Supreme. On those extra-hot days, a Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze comes in handy even more.

Neapolitan Milkshake at In-N-Out Burger

Neapolitan shake from In-n-Out with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors
Photo: Kaley Roberts, Eat This, Not That!
Nutrition: (Per Drink):
Calories: 610
Fat: 30 g (Saturated Fat: 19 g)
Sodium: 350 mg
Carbs: 74 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 63 g)
Protein: 15 g

Although In-N-Out Burger's menu may be small, it offers a seemingly endless list of customization options. Many of those, including famous items like Animal-style fries, can be found on the chain's not-so-secret menu. Also on the "secret" menu is the Neapolitan milkshake, a layered concoction of In-N-Out's chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry shakes.

 11 Fascinating Facts About In-N-Out Burger

Orange Julius at Orange Julius

orange julius
Courtesy of Dairy Queen
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 260
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 45 mg
Carbs: 65 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 62 g)
Protein: 1 g

If you grew up near a shopping mall in the 1990s, you probably had an Orange Julius in the food court. The fast food beverage is iconic if only because it was in sight every time the family went shopping. This classic creamy, frothy, orange-flavored beverage has a place in many mall-goers' hearts.

Peach Milkshake at Chick-fil-A

chick-fil-a peach milkshake
Courtesy of Chick-fil-A
Nutrition (Per Serving):
Calories: 620
Fat: 20 g (Saturated Fat: 13 g)
Sodium: 400 mg
Carbs: 101 g carbs (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 98 g)
Protein: 11 g

If Chick-fil-A fans had their way, summer would never end. That way, the limited-time peach milkshake would always be available. The milkshake, available only in summer, blends the chain's classic ice cream with peaches. Perhaps it is the scarcity of this beverage that makes it so iconic, but customers will also tell you it's the unique, fresh taste.

 12 Discontinued Fast-Food Sauces You'll Never See Again

Peppermint Mocha at Starbucks

starbucks peppermint mocha latte
Courtesy of Starbucks
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 440
Fat: 16 g (Saturated Fat: 10 g)
Sodium: 140 mg
Carbs: 63 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 54 g)
Protein: 13 g

When the holiday season begins, all eyes turn to Starbucks for the launch of its seasonal menu items. The return of the fan-favorite red cups is joined by a lineup of classic Starbucks drinks, led by the popular peppermint mocha. The drink's biggest fans know, however, that the peppermint mocha is not as exclusive as one might think. Starbucks stocks mocha and peppermint year-round, though the special holiday toppings will be M.I.A. in the off-season.

Protein Berry Workout at Jamba Juice

jamba juice protein berry workout
Jamba Juice
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink With Soy Milk):
Calories: 390
Fat: 1 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 130 mg
Carbs: 76 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 61 g)
Protein: 19 g

It's hard to stand out as an iconic fast-food drink when the menu is full of drinks, but that's what the Protein Berry Workout achieved at Jamba Juice. The smoothie chain has an array of tasty fruit-forward drink options. The Protein Berry beverage goes the extra mile compared to other Jamba drinks thanks to its extra protein boost in each cup, serving as a great post-workout treat.

RELATED What Happens to Your Body When You Drink a Smoothie Every Day

Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks

Starbucks PSL
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 390
Fat: 14 g (Saturated Fat: 9 g)
Sodium: 230 mg
Carbs: 52 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 50 g)
Protein: 14 g

In the world of fast food beverages, few may be as iconic as the pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. It dominates the news media cycle when it returns each year, signaling the transition from summer to fall. You might not even enjoy pumpkin spice, but when the classic PSL shows its face, an autumnal excitement permeates social media.

Root Beer Float at A&W

root beer float in glass mug
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 340
Fat: 5 g (Saturated Fat: 3 g)
Sodium: 190 mg
Carbs: 68 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 66 g)
Protein: 4 g

Simply put, A&W is root beer, and root beer is A&W. Separating the two would be akin to separating Jell-O from gelatin—the brand is nearly synonymous with the food it represents. Root beer is abundant at A&W fast food restaurants, but perhaps the root beer float stands out most on the menu. The root beer is made fresh in-house and topped with vanilla soft-serve ice cream.

 7 Fast-Food Chains With the Best Soft-Serve Ice Cream

Shakes at Culver's

culvers milkshakes
Culver's / Facebook
Vanilla Shake (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 740
Fat: 45 g (Saturated Fat: 26 g)
Sodium: 220 mg
Carbs: 74 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 67 g)
Protein: 15 g

One of Culver's menu highlights is its hand-churned frozen custard, made in small batches throughout the day for freshness. When the occasion calls for a shake, customers can enjoy the same custard in drink form at Culver's. The menu also includes malts and floats to give diners more options to enjoy the custard as a drink.

Shamrock Shake at McDonald's

shamrock shake and oreo shamrock mcflurry
Courtesy of McDonald's
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 540
Fat: 15 g (Saturated Fat: 9 g)
Sodium: 180 mg
Carbs: 68 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 68 g)
Protein: 12 g

When the Shamrock Shake triumphantly returns to the McDonald's menu, you know spring can't be too far away. The classic vanilla milkshake is blended with a minty Shamrock syrup each March for St. Patrick's Day and has grown into a cult phenomenon.

 6 Fast-Food Milkshakes That Aren't Made With Real Ice Cream

Strawberry Coolatta at Dunkin'

cup of Dunkin' Strawberry flavored Coolatta drink
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 350
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 15 mg
Carbs: 86 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 83 g)
Protein: 0 g

For someone looking for an ice-cold beverage at Dunkin' without the coffee coffee, there's the Coolatta. The frozen drink comes in several different flavors, including strawberry. Whether you enjoyed it as a kid before you started to drink coffee, or it's the afternoon, and you don't want that late-day jolt of caffeine, the strawberry Coolatta is perfect for Dunkin' fans of all ages.

Sunjoy at Chick-fil-A

chick fila sunjoy
Chick fil-A / Facebook
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 180
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 0 mg
Carbs: 45 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 43 g)
Protein: 0 g

Choosing between sweet tea or lemonade can be a tough decision. Thankfully, Chick-fil-A did everyone a solid by making it so they don't have to choose. Enjoy both by ordering its Sunjoy drink, a 50-50 blend of the two menu items. It is beloved so much by customers that the fast food chain sells it by the gallon.

 6 Best Immune-Boosting Drinks to Fight Off Sickness

Sweet Lightning Mountain Dew at KFC

kfc sweet lightning
KFC / Facebook
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 120
Fat: 0 g (Saturated Fat: 10 g)
Sodium: 190 mg
Carbs: 32 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 25 g)
Protein: 0 g

Kentucky Fried Chicken began serving an exclusive Mountain Dew flavor as part of its permanent lineup of drinks in 2019. Sweet Lightning Mountain Dew is made "with a punch of peach and a touch of honey flavors." It is the second time Mountain Dew has partnered with a fast-food restaurant, the first being the cult classic Baja Blast at KFC's sister restaurant Taco Bell.

Vanilla Bean Frappuccino at Starbucks

vanilla bean creme frappuccino
Courtesy of Starbucks
Nutrition: (Per Medium Drink):
Calories: 380
Fat: 16 g (Saturated Fat: 10 g)
Sodium: 250 mg
Carbs: 53 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 52 g)
Protein: 5 g

The caffeine-free Frappuccinos served as the gateway drug for many into the world of Starbucks beverages. Before anyone was allowed to drink coffee as a child, afternoons after school were spent in line waiting to order the vanilla bean Frappuccino (or the double chocolate chip for all you chocolate fans). It's as popular as ever, with its thick and creamy consistency and super-sweet taste that makes this more of a dessert than a drink.

Carly Neil
Carly Neil is a freelance writer specializing in all things food, travel, Disney, and theme parks. Read more about Carly