Sugary-Sweet Savings: 10 Recipes for your favorite cool treats
It’s getting warmer outside, and you’ve stopped ordering french vanilla lattes in favor of cooler, iced drinks. Those mocha frapps and iced sugary teas are probably biting into your budget already. Save some cash this summer by making your favorite drinks at home with these easy recipes!
Starbucks: Iced Passion Tea Lemonade
1 cup Tazo-brand passion tea, brewed and chilled
¼ cup store-bought lemonade
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup granulated sugar, or sweetener
1 cup water
Combine the tea and lemonade and 1 ½ tbsp of simple syrup (see below) in a sealable container or jar. Shake, and serve over plenty of ice.
Make the simple syrup by boiling the sugar and water on medium-high, stirring until the sugar dissolves. At that point, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the vanilla, remove the mixture from heat, and let cool. Store your simple syrup in the fridge for next time.
Caribou: Caramel Cooler, Starbucks: Caramel Frappuccino
2/3 cup chilled espresso or triple-strength coffee
2/3 cup milk
2 cups ice
2 tbsp sugar
¼ cup store-bought caramel ice cream topping
Blend all ingredients in a mixer until smooth. Top with whipped cream and caramel sauce.
McDonald’s: Mocha Frappe
1 ½ cups cold coffee
2 cups milk
½ cup chocolate syrup
¼ cup sugar
Pour cold coffee into an ice cube tray, and let freeze. Once frozen, blend the cubes, milk, sugar and chocolate syrup until smooth. This recipe makes about two frappes, so halve it for just one serving.
Starbucks: Iced Coffee
Although this can be as simple as pouring old coffee over ice, we’ve found a fancier recipe from The Pioneer Woman. Be prepared, it’s makes a lot!
1 lb of strong, ground coffee
2 gallons cold water
1 fine mesh strainer
Several sheets of cheesecloth or paper towel
Two large, re-sealable containers, about 12 quarts
Pour the coffee and cold water into a container—let it sit for at least 8 hours. With the cheesecloth over the strainer, slowly pour your steeped coffee through the strainer and into the container. Refrigerate until cold.
Fill a glass of ice halfway with your concentrated coffee, and add water the rest of the way. If you’d like it sweet, add some simple syrup to the mix. For a creamy, sugary treat, use milk in place of the water and sugar or syrup for sweetness.
Jamba Juice: Orange Dream Machine
This orange dessert smoothie is similar to an Orange Julius, and a fan favorite at Jamba Juice.
2 scoops of frozen vanilla yogurt
2 scoops orange sherbet
½ cup milk
½ cup orange juice
1/8 to ½ cup ice (you don’t need much)
Blend all ingredients together and serve!
McDonald’s: Vanilla Iced Coffee
A variation on the basic iced coffee, this sweet recipe makes the fairly cheap drink even more affordable.
1 cup cold coffee
½ cup Torani vanilla syrup
½ cup half and half
In an ice-filled 16oz cup, pour in the vanilla syrup, half and half, and cold coffee (in that order). That’s it! Use less Torani or simple syrup made with artificial sweetener to cut down on sugar content.
Starbucks: Grande Iced Caramel Macchiato
You may know that instead of logical measurements, Starbucks baristas tend to go by imaginary lines in their cups. This recipe was tricky to come by, but pretty close to the real thing.
2 shots of espresso (or the super strong coffee from above)
2 tbsp vanilla syrup
Caramel ice cream topping
Fill your glass halfway with ice, and then add the vanilla syrup. Add milk until the glass is 2/3 full, and then add each shot of espresso. Drizzle with caramel topping. Traditionally, this drink is left unmixed!
Iced Chai Latte
Any coffee shop worth mentioning has an iced chai latte on the menu. And most of them use some Oregon Chai, cold milk and ice, and charge you through the nose for it. This recipe is a teensy bit more complicated, but lighter on the wallet (you probably already have the ingredients in your pantry!)
2 chai tea bags
½ cup water
Boil the water, and steep the chai tea bags for about 5 minutes. Remove the bags and stir in your “sweet stuff” to taste (sugar, simple syrup, honey, or sweetener). With a glass half full of ice, you can pour your chai tea over ice while still hot, or after cooling to room temperature. Top it off with milk.
Jamba Juice: Strawberries Wild
The most popular smoothie of all has been sweeping the nation for ages. Strawberries Wild is the Jamba Juice version of your regular ol’ strawberry-banana smoothie.
1 cup apple juice
1 cup frozen strawberry
½ cup frozen banana
1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
½ cup ice
Add the apple juice to the blender first, then the strawberries, bananas, frozen yogurt and ice cubes. Blend until smooth. This yields about 3 cups, or a 24oz smoothie.
McDonald’s Shamrock Shake
2 cups vanilla ice cream
¼ to ½ cup half and half
4 to 6 drops mint oil or mint flavored extract
2 to 3 drops green food coloring
After leaving the ice cream out to soften, add it to your blender with the half and half, mint oil, and food coloring. Puree for 30 seconds, top with whipped cream, and serve.
McDonald’s Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
2 cups prepared lemonade
2 cups ice
2 tbsp strawberry ice cream topping
Prepare the lemonade, preferably a drink mix like Country Time. Pour 2 cups of prepared lemonade and 2 cups of ice in a blender. Blend until the ice is crushed completely and smooth. Drizzle the strawberry topping in the bottom of a glass, and pour the frozen lemonade over it.
What’s that? You need these to be fat-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free? Instead of paying extra, substitute in your favorite soy milk and sugar alternatives to our recipes. Have some favorite cool treats we’ve missed? Let us know!
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