Lets get our toddy, milk or half and half (heavy cream if you have no desire to ever fit into your clothes again) and something to sweeten it up. I use Hershey's sauces and Torani syrups. They work perfectly for this. Your grocery store may have Torani sauces and syrups (they may be found around ice cream toppings and/or coffee). Some coffee shops do sell bottles of syrup. You can still support your local cafe without bankrupting yourself. I will warn you, it takes a good amount of flavor to get it sweet enough for most people (2oz per 16 oz drink).
When you have your toddy, milk, and flavor you're ready to go. The recipe is basically equal parts toddy to flavoring(but start with about half the amount of flavoring, you can always add more), topped with milk. Everyone has a different tolerance of sweet in their drink, so take it easy at first.
I have been obsessed with blended drinks this summer. The trick with blended drinks to get just the right amount is to fill the cup you will be using with ice and putting it in the blender. Add your toddy, flavoring, and milk until there is a slight jiggle with the ice. I use milk(2%) and half and half to get the effect of whole milk. Try what you normally use and adjust it if you would like. I buy 2% for my son and the half and half I keep on hand for hubby's morning coffee. He drinks drip in the morning. He just doesn't have any desire to learn to make a latte.
Iced drinks are very similar. Add your toddy, flavoring, and a splash of milk to a cup. Stir til its mixed up. Add desired amount ice, top with milk and stir just a bit.
Hot drinks are the most difficult to replicate because of the nice big espresso machines, with their wonderful high pressure boiler systems, made to froth and steam milk. the difference isn't great enough to keep me from making them in my microwave anytime the high of the day is under 80. Put your toddy and milk in a microwaveable cup. Don't fill it all the way, leave about 2 inches. It will be easier to sir and you have to leave room for the flavor. Microwave for 2-3 minutes on high. Stir it every 45-60 seconds.
If your drink tastes thin, you may need more fat in your milk. That is what gives it a creamy thickness. Add a dash of cream or use higher fat milk.
You can use a splash of creamer's like coffeemate or international delight if you like it. Just don't use it as your only "milk" source. Its really sweet.
When you make a blended drink (frappe) pulse the ice crush button for 10-15 seconds, then turn it onto its highest setting until its smooth. It can take a minute or two depending on the blender.
Don't be afraid to pull stuff out of your pantry to add into your frappe's. Mini chocolate chips are awesome in blended drinks(I blended them in, but also garnished with a few). They also make hot mocha's just a little more rich. You can add in oreo pieces just wait to add them until you have already blended everything together or it will be a grey mess in a cup(trust me). Cinnamon, coconut, hot chocolate packets, honey, nuts, ect.
You can find the bottles of coffee flavoring other places other than the coffee shop and the grocery store. Gordman's, World Market, restaurant supply stores(if they are opened to the public) like Cash and Carry in Boise,ID(they do have other locations also). Restaurant supply stores have great prices (sometimes half off retail or more). sometimes, you are required to use cash if you aren't a business, so check before you go shopping and try to hand over a debit card. If the other options don't work for you go online. There are a bunch of different brands, search Torani, Divinci, and Monin. they are some of the most common brands. They all have a ton of flavor choices(available in sugar free also!).
Leave a comment with your favorite coffehouse creation and I'll do my best to help you replicate it. I will do another post with all kinds of drink recipes if I get enough interest, and I am going to try to kick my Hershey's habit and make my own sauces. When I find the perfect recipe for chocolate and caramel sauce I will be sharing them. If you have an amazing recipe please don't hold out! Let's keep making messes!!
My flavor collection consists of coconut, chocolate bianco(white chocolate syrup), chocolate milano, creme de menthe(green mint), tiramisu, honey vanilla and my Hershey's. I can make mint milano cookie(chocolate milano, creme de menthe), german chocolate(chocolate, caramel, coconut), caramel mocha, white chocolate caramel, white grasshopper(white chocolate, creme de menthe), classic grasshopper,or thin mint(chocolate, creme de menthe) caramel, chocolate milano, and tiramisu, combined, is delicious but doesn't have a name.