Like many other people around the world, I love Starbucks. Many hate Starbucks, but I can tell by the long lines at the many Starbucks that many people still do love their daily fix. When things get tight financially, though, it’s very hard to justify spending over $3 for a beverage – no matter how good it is. My weakness is an iced mocha. It can be freezing cold in the dead of winter and I’ll pick an iced mocha over anything else. So a few months ago I decided to play around in my kitchen to see if I could come up with a decent alternative to Starbucks. After a few failures I finally got it right and ended up with a very good version. It’s not quite as good as Starbucks, but for only pennies a cup it’s a small sacrifice to make.
Start off by brewing strong coffee. I eyeball it (like everything else I cook) but it’s about a heaping tablespoon for every cup. Once the coffee is made, I take it off the coffee machine and put it on the counter to cool for a little while. After 20-30 minutes, I start assembling the drink. You don’t have to wait… I’m a busy mom with 3 young children so I rarely have time to wait like this… I just think it’s a bit better when I do. Anyways… after letting the coffee cool a little bit, pour 1 cup into a shaker container or small pitcher. You could use a tall glass, too. Add 3/4 cup of milk (I use skim milk) and 1/4 cup of liquid coffee creamer. I prefer French Vanilla but I’ve also used other, including plain, and they turned out alright, too. I really enjoy the Peppermint Mocha flavor the stores carry this time of year. Then I add a few tablespoons of chocolate syrup. I just eyeball it “until it looks right” so I can’t give an exact measurement here. Start by adding a little because you can always just add more until you get the taste you desire. After mixing it up very good, I pour it over ice in a tall glass or 4-in-1 5 cup and enjoy! And guess what, it was one of the best I have ever tried!
You can always adjust the milk/creamer ratio if you’d like. There have been times I’ve left out the creamer completely because we ran out and it still tasted good. I’ve also used whole milk and soy milk. It’s a very forgiving recipe so just change it up depending on your tastes and what you have. I like experimenting with the different flavors of coffee creamers, too. Even if you end up not liking your creation, you can always start again — and it’ll still be cheaper than a fancy coffee house!