Nothing satisfies your coffee cravings and quenches your thirst in sultry summer days like Starbucks Frappuccinos; they’re decadently sweet, creamy and Instagrammable. The caramel ice-blended drink is amongst the most popular because you might not like chocolate or strawberries, but everyone loves caramel.
How about making ourselves a home-made caramel ice-blended coffee, Starbucks-style, and enjoy this decadent treat in the comfort of home? It might look tricky, but it’s actually quite easy if you have the right ingredients.
Starbucks uses their famous caramel sauce, and you can, too, the chain has been selling it for some time now, but there are plenty of other caramel sauces on the market. Remember, you get what you pay for, so get a nice caramel sauce and not an artificially flavored syrup.
Then we have the coffee, and here’s where all those years of trying different roasts and coffee blends come in handy. Caramel’s flavor pairs nicely with medium roast coffee, also found labeled as city roast, because the coffee beans, having just reached their ‘first crack,’ are nutty and, yes, caramel-scented.
We also need dairy. Honestly, you can use anything from almond milk to whole milk, but I like my coffee creamy, so I bring out the big guns with half and half. Remember all that blended ice melts and dilutes your drink, so you better have a thick consistency from the start.
Here’s a rule of thumb. Pair chocolate with dark roasts like a French roast, and pair caramel, vanilla and other subtler flavors with medium roasted coffee beans. You can’t go wrong. Make yourself a shot of espresso in a machine or a stovetop coffee maker and let it cool — we don’t want hot coffee diluting our iced drink.
If you feel like it, add an extra shot of espresso to your drink to strengthen it and add a little less half and half to the blender.
Finally, I love adding a splash of vanilla to my caramel coffee frappe, but you can totally skip it. What you can’t miss is drizzling caramel sauce all around your transparent glass or mug to achieve the beautiful patterns that make this style of blended coffee unique.
There’s one more thing; I’m recommending adding a pinch of salt because it livens the flavors, but you could equally use salted caramel sauce instead of regular for the same effect (This makes your caramel coffee taste even better than store-bought.)
In a blender, add half and half, the espresso, the caramel sauce, salt, and the vanilla extract. Add one cup of ice and blend until frothy.
Drizzle caramel sauce inside the glass.
Pour your caramel blended coffee.
Top with whipped cream if desired.