Christmas Punch

This delicious Christmas Punch recipe is fruity and delicious! Make it with rum for a punch with alcohol, or omit…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This delicious Christmas Punch recipe is fruity and delicious! Make it with rum for a punch with alcohol, or omit for non alcoholic.

Christmas Punch

Need a great punch recipe for the holidays? Try this Christmas Punch! The flavor is fruity and delicious, with a little sparkle from ginger ale. You can make it with rum for a punch with alcohol, or omit it for non alcoholic. Either way, it tastes incredible! The best part? Garnish it up with sliced citrus, rosemary branches and cranberries. It couldn’t be more festive or beautiful.

Ingredients in this Christmas Punch recipe

This Christmas Punch recipe is incredibly easy with minimal ingredients. It’s perfect for no-fuss holiday entertaining! When it comes to punch, we’ve found that not anything goes. After some tweaking, we found the perfect combination of juices, carbonated bubbles, and optional alcohol. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cranberry 100% juice blend: This blend of juices is available at most grocery stores, and typically blends grape, apple, and pear juice with cranberry juice. Make sure to look for “100% juice” or “no sugar added” on the label.
  • Pineapple juice: Adds just the right tropical flair! Pineapple is great for punch recipes.
  • Ginger ale: Ginger ale adds just the right carbonation! It’s sweeter than ginger beer, which would also work but results in a spicier ginger flavor.
  • Rum: This makes it into a Christmas punch with alcohol! But it’s just as good without as a non alcoholic punch. Speaking of…
Christmas Punch recipe

Make it with alcohol or non alcoholic

You can add the alcohol right to the Christmas punch, of course! But if you’re entertaining with kids, it’s nice to allow drinkers to spike the drink afterwards. This offers most flexibility: you can essentially serve both an alcoholic and non alcoholic punch at the same time!

  • Add the rum to the punch bowl. If you’re serving all adults, throw the rum right in.
  • Or, spike the drink afterwards! The better way to make an alcoholic Christmas punch is to spike the drink after you ladle it out of the punch bowl. This makes it work for both kids and adults! The best ratio is 2 ounces rum to 8 ounces (1 cup) punch.
  • Other alcohol that works? Bourbon also works well in this Christmas punch recipe.
  • Or, make it as a non alcoholic punch! It’s just as good (really).
Christmas punch alcoholic

Ways to garnish the bowl

The best part about a good Christmas punch recipe? All the garnishes! A good punch has some lovely garnishes floating on top. Here are some of our favorite ideas:

  • Sliced citrus: orange, lemon or lime
  • Pineapple rings
  • Whole spices: star anise, cinnamon sticks, or cloves
  • Rosemary sprigs
  • Fresh or frozen berries: cranberries, raspberries, or blackberries

Notes on serving Christmas punch: preserve the bubbles!

This Christmas punch takes just a few minutes to throw together. But if you want to prep some items in advance, here’s what to do!

  • Chill the liquids in advance. Adding ice waters it down too much, so chill everything prior to serving.
  • Slice the citrus and assemble the garnishes. Make sure you’ve got everything on hand. Refrigerate the citrus until serving.
  • Add the ginger ale right before serving. You can pour everything in the bowl, but try to add the ginger ale right before serving. This way you get the best bubbles!
Non alcoholic Christmas punch

More punch recipes

Love entertaining? Here are a few more punch recipes to add to your repertoire that work in various seasons!

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Christmas Punch

Christmas Punch


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 16
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This delicious Christmas Punch recipe is fruity and delicious! Make it with rum for a punch with alcohol, or omit for non alcoholic.


Ingredients

  • 64 ounces cranberry 100% juice blend, chilled
  • 32 ounces pineapple juice, chilled
  • 32 ounces ginger ale, chilled
  • 1 750 ml bottle aged rum (optional)*
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon
  • For the garnish: 5 star anise, fresh or frozen cranberries, rosemary sprigs

Instructions

  1. Add the cranberry juice blend, pineapple juice, and ginger ale to a punch bowl. Add the rum, if using. Garnish with orange and lemon slices, and if desired, cranberries, star anise and rosemary sprigs.

Notes

*Or, make it both alcoholic and non alcoholic! Spike the drink after you ladle it out of the punch bowl: add 2 ounces rum to 8 ounces (1 cup) punch.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Punch
  • Cuisine: Drink

Keywords: Christmas punch

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Christmas Coffee

Enjoy cozy Christmas coffee in the morning, or spiked with Baileys on Christmas Eve! Add gingerbread syrup and top with…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Enjoy cozy Christmas coffee in the morning, or spiked with Baileys on Christmas Eve! Add gingerbread syrup and top with whipped cream.

Christmas Coffee

Looking for a cozy drink for the holidays? This cozy-spiced Christmas coffee is where it’s at! Mix up a homemade gingerbread syrup with brown sugar and whole spices: it infuses the best hints of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Top with whipped cream and festive sprinkles, if you like! You can serve it at Christmas breakfast or brunch, or even spike it with Baileys for a treat on Christmas Eve. Here’s how it’s done!

What’s in Christmas Coffee?

This Christmas coffee recipe features hot drip coffee and gingerbread syrup. It’s similar to a Gingerbread Latte but it uses coffee instead of espresso. Top it with whipped cream and douse with red and green sprinkles for a festive holiday vibe. If you’d like you can add Baileys to spike it, and it comes like a spin on a classic Irish coffee. We like it both ways: it can work for mornings or evenings. Here’s what you’ll need for Christmas coffee:

  • Drip coffee
  • Gingerbread syrup: homemade or purchased (see below)
  • Whipped cream, for garnish
  • Baileys Irish Cream or milk, if desired
Gingerbread Syrup

Coffee brewing methods

Like with any coffee drink, the higher quality the coffee, the better the flavor! Make this with a standard coffee maker and it tastes okay. But make it using one of these coffee methods, and the flavor is incredible. Here are our top coffee brewing methods:

  • Chemex (pour over): This is our top choice for the best cup of coffee. There’s a bit of technique and equipment involved, but we’ve been making every morning for years. With a large pot you can make 4 cups at once. Go to Pour Over Coffee.
  • French press: Another great method is French Press Coffee! It has a great flavor and is a cheaper and easier method.
  • Moka Pot / Bialetti: For very strong coffee that’s almost like espresso, you can use a Moka Pot! It’s a combination between drip and espresso and has a robust flavor.
Gingerbread Syrup

Make or purchase gingerbread syrup

Now, let’s tackle the syrup! For the best flavor in Christmas coffee, use this homemade gingerbread syrup. It’s a brown sugar syrup that’s infused with fresh ginger, allspice berries, and cinnamon sticks. Simmer it for 20 minutes and give it a taste: the flavor pops with an intensely spiced kick!

  • Homemade gingerbread syrup has the best flavor here! It takes just 20 minutes and we highly recommend it. Go to Gingerbread Syrup.
  • Purchased gingerbread syrup also works, though every brand has a different flavor and sweetness. Here’s a link to buy gingerbread syrup online.
Christmas Coffee

Spike it for boozy Christmas coffee

If you’d like, add a little hint of booze for an adult Christmas coffee! It similar to an Irish coffee, but dressed up for Christmas! It’s great with Baileys Irish Cream, but there are lots of other options. Here are some ideas for spiked Christmas coffee:

  • Bourbon
  • Irish whiskey
  • Peppermint schnapps
  • Creme de menthe
  • Brandy
  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Kahlua

More Christmas drinks

There are so many tasty drinks to bring cheer at the holidays! Here are some of our favorite holiday drinks and Christmas cocktails:

This Christmas coffee recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use vegan whipped cream (or omit).

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Christmas Coffee

Christmas Coffee


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Enjoy cozy Christmas coffee in the morning, or spiked with Baileys on Christmas Eve! Add gingerbread syrup and top with whipped cream.


Ingredients

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) hot coffee
  • 2 teaspoons Gingerbread Syrup (homemade or purchased)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Baileys or a splash of milk of choice, optional
  • Homemade whipped cream, for topping (optional; or vegan whipped cream for vegan)
  • Sprinkles, for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the Homemade Gingerbread Syrup in advance (or use purchased syrup).
  2. Make the coffee, using your favorite method (we like Chemex pour over or French press).
  3. Make the homemade whipped cream, making sure to whip to soft peaks.
  4. Add the coffee to a glass or mug, leaving about an inch at the top for the whipped cream if using. Stir in the gingerbread syrup.
  5. Gently float the whipped cream on top using the back of a spoon.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Coffee
  • Cuisine: Coffee

Keywords: Christmas coffee

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Homemade Hot Chocolate

Here’s the very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: full of rich chocolaty flavor and easy to whip up in 5…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s the very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: full of rich chocolaty flavor and easy to whip up in 5 minutes. Never buy the mix again!

Hot chocolate

Sure, you can buy the premade packets with pictures of snow covered ski chalets. But did you know the absolute best hot chocolate is homemade in just 5 minutes? After years of tinkering, we’ve got a master recipe for you. Here’s our very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: it’s creamy, rich, chocolaty, and tastes like a dream. All you need are a few ingredients, and you might already have them on hand. And if you’ve got chocolate chips…well, they make all the difference.

Hot cocoa vs hot chocolate

First though: what’s the difference between these two similar terms? Is there even a difference?

  • Hot cocoa and hot chocolate are commonly used as synonyms, especially in the US. So you’ll find people using them interchangeably.
  • The technical definitions are hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, milk and sugar: it has a thinner consistency and is very sweet. Hot chocolate is made with real chocolate, and may be thicker and less sweet.

Either way, you can generally use these two as synonyms. So this recipe is both a homemade hot chocolate recipe and a hot cocoa recipe! Score.

Hot chocolate recipe

Ingredients for the best hot chocolate recipe

There’s a bit of a debate in the culinary community about what makes the best homemade hot chocolate recipe. Some claim it’s chopped melted chocolate. Others claim cocoa powder is the way to go. After numerous tests, we found cocoa powder plus real chocolate is the real winner. But you can omit the chocolate if you don’t have it on hand! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Cocoa powder
  • 2% milk (or oat milk)
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cinnamon
  • Semi sweet or dark chocolate chips (optional but recommended)

How to make homemade hot chocolate: a few tips

There’s not much to a homemade recipe: it’s pretty much dump and whisk! But we’ve got a couple tips before you scroll down to the recipe:

  • First, whisk a little milk with the cocoa powder. This helps to make a paste and dissolve most of the powder, which can get lumpy.
  • A pinch of cinnamon adds complexity. You can add even more if you’d like a stronger flavor.
  • Real chocolate adds richness, body, and depth in flavor. You can make it with just cocoa powder, but the real chocolate takes it to a whole new level.
Homemade hot chocolate

Add toppings to serve

This homemade hot chocolate recipe tastes absolutely amazing as is. Honestly, we rarely add anything else. But if you’d like, add toppings to make it next level cozy! You can use it as part of a hot chocolate bar and let guests top their drinks as desired. Try these toppings:

  • Homemade whipped cream
  • Shaved chocolate
  • Cocoa powder
  • Marshmallows (homemade or purchased)
  • Peppermint candies, crushed
  • Chocolate sauce

Variations on hot chocolate

There are so many ways to vary this hot chocolate recipe! Add flavors or mix it up by spiking it with booze. Or, go for a healthier spin with less sugar and richness. Here are the best variations on this cozy drink (add the quantities to the 2 serving recipe below):

Hot cocoa

More hot drinks

Once the weather gets a chill, it’s time to cup your hands around a cozy mug. Outside of this homemade hot cocoa, here are some other hot beverages to take off the chill:

This hot cocoa recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For dairy free and vegan, use oat milk and dairy-free chocolate (or omit).

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Hot chocolate

Homemade Hot Chocolate


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 drinks
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s the very best homemade hot chocolate recipe: full of rich chocolaty flavor and easy to whip up in 5 minutes. Never buy the mix again!


Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups 2% milk (or oat milk)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • ¼ cup (1 ½ ounces) semisweet or dark chocolate chips*

Instructions

  1. Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and ¼ cup of the milk and whisk until the cocoa powder is mostly integrated. Whisk in the remaining milk until smooth.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and heat over medium heat until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Do not boil. Serve immediately, garnished with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Notes

*You can omit for a great cup of hot cocoa with a lighter flavor (and less calories). But the chocolate really adds richness in flavor. We highly recommend it!

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Hot chocolate, Hot chocolate recipe, Homemade hot chocolate, Hot cocoa

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Thanksgiving Pomegranate Punch

This pomegranate Thanksgiving punch is vibrant and tastes irresistibly light and fruity! Pomegranate juice and citrus make magic. This post…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This pomegranate Thanksgiving punch is vibrant and tastes irresistibly light and fruity! Pomegranate juice and citrus make magic.

Thanksgiving Punch

This post was created in partnership with POM Wonderful. All opinions are our own.

Here’s a punch recipe that caught us by surprise…because it’s even more delicious than it looks. Try this Thanksgiving Pomegranate Punch! This ruby red punch stars POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and fresh citrus with a hint of maple syrup. It’s our favorite pomegranate juice to use in drinks and cocktails. Take one sip and it’s light, fruity, bubbly, and sweet tart: a true burst of refreshing flavors! Spike it or drink it non-alcoholic: either way, you won’t be able to stop sipping it (we couldn’t!).

Thanksgiving Punch

Ingredients for Thanksgiving punch

This Thanksgiving pomegranate punch is all about flavor and color! For entertaining recipes, you’ll want a stunning look and flavor: and this recipe delivers both. That eye-popping color of the POM Juice is beautiful and adds a big burst of sweet tart flavor. Even better, this recipe has no refined sugar. It’s a great alternative to punch recipes that call for sodas or added sweeteners! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Soda water or club soda
  • Maple syrup
  • Bourbon, brandy or white rum (optional; see more below!)

Using pomegranate juice in cocktails

Pomegranate juice is ideal for cocktails because of its sweet tart flavor and antioxidant goodness. The best on the market, in our opinion, is POM Wonderful! Here’s why we love it:

  • It’s 100% juice. Each 16-ounce bottle of POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice contains the juice of four whole-pressed pomegranates and nothing else – no added sugar, fillers or preservatives.
  • The flavor is ideal for elevating cocktails. A little sweet and a little tart, it adds a unique burst of flavor to any drink recipe.
  • It adds antioxidants. Cocktails with POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice harness the antioxidant power of pomegranates.
Thanksgiving punch

Pick bourbon, brandy, or rum

Another great thing about this Thanksgiving pomegranate punch? You can make it with various types of liquor, and it tastes different with each. Here are our favorites, in order of preference:

  • Brandy: The fruity flavor of brandy is true perfection with the sweet tart pomegranate juice! This was Alex’s idea and while I doubted it at first, it was the clear winner. It complements the lightness of the fruit flavors perfectly!
  • Bourbon: Bourbon adds a cozier, warmer vibe and it’s more alcohol-forward. This one is ideal for bourbon lovers.
  • Rum: We can’t resist a good rum punch! White rum melds into the flavors and highlights the lighter characteristics of the pomegranate punch.

Make it spiked or non alcoholic!

This Thanksgiving pomegranate punch works spiked or non-alcoholic. It’s also customizable for both if you have people spike the drink after they ladle it out of the bowl. This offers the most flexibility, especially when serving kids and adults avoiding alcohol. You can essentially serve both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic punch at the same time!

  • Add the liquor right to the punch bowl. If everyone’s drinking, this is the way to go.
  • Or, spike the drink after ladling it out! The most versatile way to make Thanksgiving punch is to spike the drink after you ladle it out of the punch bowl. The best ratio is 1 ounces liquor to 6 ounces (¾ cup) punch.
  • Or, make it as a non-alcoholic punch! It’s just as good (really). In fact, we almost prefer it non-alcoholic: it’s so fruity and light.
Thanksgiving Punch

More pomegranate cocktails

There are so many ways to use POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice in cocktails! Here are a few more pomegranate drinks we love:

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Thanksgiving Punch

Thanksgiving Pomegranate Punch


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 16 servings
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This pomegranate Thanksgiving punch is vibrant and tastes irresistibly light and fruity! Pomegranate juice and citrus make magic.


Ingredients

  • 48 ounces POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice (6 cups)
  • 2 large lemons, squeezed into juice (½ cup)
  • 4 to 5 large navel oranges, squeezed into juice (2 cups)
  • 24 ounces soda water (3 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 16 ounces bourbon, brandy or white rum, optional (2 cups)*
  • For the garnish: POM Wonderful Pomegranate Arils (seeds), mint, star anise, orange and lemon slices

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients together in a serving bowl, adding the soda water last.
  2. Top with garnishes and serve. (As a note, pomegranate arils sink to the bottom of a punch bowl. To keep them on top before serving, gently balance them on top of citrus wedges. They’ll settle to the bottom during serving.)

Notes

*You can also add the alcohol by the glass, so it works as non-alcoholic and alcoholic. Measure out 6 ounces (¾ cup) punch, then add 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) liquor of choice. Brandy was our favorite here: it makes the ideal light and fruity flavor. Bourbon is darker and cozier, and rum is on the lighter end.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Stirred
  • Cuisine: Punch

Keywords: Thanksgiving punch, Pomegranate punch

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Step into the season with an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte! It’s easy to make at home and has a refreshingly…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Step into the season with an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte! It’s easy to make at home and has a refreshingly cozy flavor.

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

If there’s one drink that’s perfect for ushering in the cool weather, it’s the Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte! This Starbucks special might be a little basic, but honestly: we’re here for it. Make it at home and it’s even better than at a coffeeshop: creamy and cozy-spiced, with a hint of vanilla and real pumpkin puree. It’s easy to whip up this pumpkin drink and when you take the first sip: you’ll want to make it on repeat.

What’s in an iced pumpkin spice latte?

The iced pumpkin spice latte is a chilled spin on the hot latte of the same name, first launched by Starbucks in 2003. An iced latte is made with espresso, milk, and ice. The pumpkin spin on it uses real pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices and maple syrup to make a cozy, autumnal spin on the classic. Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this iced latte at home:

  • Espresso (or strong coffee)
  • Pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Maple syrup
  • Milk of any type
  • Pumpkin pie spice blend
  • Ice
Iced pumpkin spice lattee

How to make an iced pumpkin spice latte: basic steps

Here’s the outline of how to make an iced pumpkin spice latte at home:

  • Step 1: Make a double shot of espresso.
  • Step 2: Froth ¼ cup whole milk with ¼ teaspoon pumpkin spices by shaking it in a covered jar or whisking until frothy.
  • Step 3: Stir the espresso with 1 tablespoon each pumpkin puree and maple syrup.
  • Step 4: Add the milk and serve with ice.
Pumpkin pie spice

Use purchased or homemade pumpkin pie spices

Many pumpkin recipes use pumpkin pie spice blend, a mix of warming spices that are typically used in pumpkin pie. You can use a purchased blend, or if you can’t find it make it homemade. To make it homemade, mix together the following:

  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Espresso making methods (or use strong coffee

The hardest part of an iced pumpkin spice latte? Making the espresso! There are several methods for homemade espresso. You can also substitute very strong coffee. Make sure to use espresso roast coffee: it’s important to get the right dark, bitter flavor. Some brands we recommend: IllyStarbucks or Intelligentsia. Then, use one of the following espresso methods:

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Use any type of milk

This iced pumpkin spice latte works with any type of milk you like! The best dairy milks are whole milk and 2%. For a non-dairy option, we like oat milk: it has just the right creamy texture and lightly sweet flavor. Almond milk also works, but it has a sharper, nutty flavor.

Step it up: add whipped cream!

If you like, you can top this iced pumpkin spice latte with whipped cream or dairy free whipped cream! But honestly: it doesn’t need it (especially if you’d like to keep the calories down). We usually drink it without, but of course we had to do it for the photo!

More iced lattes and coffee drinks

Love a good iced latte? There are so many tasty lattes and iced lattes to try: and we’ve got homemade versions of all your Starbucks favorites! Try these lattes:

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Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte

Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Step into the season with an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte! It’s easy to make at home and has a refreshingly cozy flavor.


Ingredients

  • 2 shots espresso (2 ounces or ¼ cup strong coffee)
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup whole milk, 2% milk or oat milk
  • ¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spices (purchased or homemade)
  • Ice
  • Whipped cream or dairy-free whipped cream, to serve (optional)

Instructions

  1. Make the espresso: Make the espresso using an espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Moka Pot. (Or, substitute strong coffee.)
  2. Froth the milk: Place the milk and pumpkin spice blend in a covered jar and shake until foamy.
  3. Serve: Add the espresso, pumpkin puree and maple syrup to a glass and stir until combined. Top with the frothed milk. If desired, top with whipped cream. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin spice.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Espresso
  • Cuisine: Coffee

Keywords: Iced pumpkin spice latte

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Espresso

This iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso is so delicious: both refreshing and cozy! Here’s how to make it…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso is so delicious: both refreshing and cozy! Here’s how to make it even better than Starbucks.

Iced brown sugar oat milk espresso

Ready for one of the more interesting espresso drinks to come your way? Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Espresso. Just the ring of it sounds like a certain ultra popular coffeeshop, and you’re right! It’s a Starbucks invention. Here’s the thing: the Starbucks version of this shaken espresso tastes just okay. The homemade version? It tastes great. It’s deliciously nuanced, cozy, and just sweet enough, cinnamon forward with a warm nuance from the brown sugar syrup. Really, you’ve gotta try this!

What’s an iced brown sugar oat milk espresso?

The iced brown sugar oat milk espresso is a Starbucks drink that combines shaken espresso, oat milk, and brown sugar syrup. It’s essentially an iced latte, but the espresso is shaken for a frothy texture and it has slightly less milk. The Starbucks version of this drink says it uses brown sugar syrup to add a hint of warmth, but in our opinion it’s difficult to detect in the flavor. This homemade version brings all the flavor notes in strong! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Espresso
  • Brown sugar syrup: made in 5 minutes with brown sugar!
  • Cinnamon
  • Oat milk: best quality
Brown sugar syrup

Make an iced brown sugar oat milk espresso…better than Starbucks

The iced brown sugar oat milk espresso at Starbucks tastes overwhelmingly like oat milk: it’s pretty one note flavor-wise. When we ordered it, we had big expectations! But you get none of those brown sugar or cinnamon flavor notes. (In fact, the whole drink just made me thirsty.) Making it homemade makes one incredible drink: you’ll get dark espresso notes, cozy brown sugar, spicy cinnamon, and creamy oat milk all in one sip. Here are the basic steps:

  • Step 1: Make the brown sugar syrup.
  • Step 2: Make a double shot of espresso.
  • Step 3: Place the espresso in a jar with 1 ½ tablespoons syrup and ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon and shake!
  • Step 4: Add ½ cup regular oat milk and enjoy.

Use high quality oat milk

Another note: make sure to use best quality oat milk: it really affects the flavor! Some oat milks can have an artificial aftertaste: experiment and find one you love. (We enjoy Planet Oat: let us know your favorite brands.)

How to make espresso

Espresso methods

The main thing you’ll need to know for your iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso? How to make great espresso at home. The best option is a countertop espresso machine, but it’s a bit pricey. We’ve got several different methods for how to make espresso without a machine. Here’s what to know:

  • Espresso roast coffee: Use a fine grind on the espresso beans. Some brands we recommend: IllyStarbucks or Intelligentsia
  • Espresso machine: An espresso machine is the best option: it makes incredible espresso! There are various machines in different price ranges.
  • Portable espresso maker: manual espresso maker is a more affordable option, and it makes great espresso.
  • French press: French press espresso is another great affordable option!
  • Moka Pot: You can also make strong espresso-like coffee in a Moka Pot (Bialetti).

How to make brown sugar syrup

The only other thing you need to do for this drink? Make homemade brown sugar syrup! It takes just 5 minutes and makes a jar of ¾ cup you can use for all your future drinks. A simple syrup is just that: simple! The basic premise is that you combine equal parts sugar and water. Here’s what to do for this one:

  • Combine sugar and water: Place ½ cup each brown sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove.
  • Heat until dissolved: Heat over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring until fully dissolved. Do not simmer!

That’s it! You can store it refrigerated for up to 1 month. It’s enough to make 8 of these iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espressos! You can also use it on pancakes and waffles.

Iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso

More coffee drinks

Love coffee drinks? We’ve got all the Starbucks specials and more! Here are a few homemade espresso drinks to try:

This iced brown sugar oatmilk shaken espresso recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Iced brown sugar oat milk espresso

Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Espresso


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This iced brown sugar oat milk shaken espresso is so delicious: both refreshing and cozy! Here’s how to make it even better than Starbucks.


Ingredients

  • 2 espresso shots (2 ounces)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar syrup (or more to taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup regular oat milk (unsweetened)

Instructions

  1. Make the brown sugar syrup: Add ½ cup brown sugar and ½ cup water to saucepan and heat over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved (don’t simmer) for 1 to 2 minutes. Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 month (makes ¾ cup).
  2. Make the espresso: Make the espresso using an espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Moka Pot.
  3. Shake: In medium jar, combine the espresso, brown sugar syrup, and cinnamon and shake until well combined. Remove the lid, fill the jar with ice and add the oat milk.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Coffee

Keywords: Iced Brown Sugar Oat Milk Espresso

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

How to Make Cold Foam

Here’s how to make cold foam: the Starbucks recipe for a frothy topping fit for iced coffee and cold brew!…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s how to make cold foam: the Starbucks recipe for a frothy topping fit for iced coffee and cold brew!

How to make cold foam

What’s the deal with cold foam? It’s just that good. You’ve probably seen this trend at Starbucks lately, and let me tell you: we’re generally wary of any food trend. But this one absolutely holds up! Cold foam is the answer to a whipped topping for iced coffee drinks, and man is delicious. The creamy topping adds just the right frothy charm, without added calories. Even better: you can make it at home! Here’s how to make cold foam: a DIY Starbucks recipe so you can enjoy this treat at home.

What is cold foam?

Cold foam is frothed nonfat milk that makes a frothy topping for cold coffee drinks like iced coffee, cold brew, iced cappuccinos and nitro coffee. It simulates the frothy topping of the steamed milk in a latte or cappuccino, but at a cold temperature so it doesn’t melt when hitting the drink.

Cold foam sits atop a drink with a thick, frothy texture, and gradually settles in as you sip it. Because it’s made with nonfat milk, it adds only a handful of calories to the drink: but the lightly sweet crema topping has a major pay-off in texture! Over here we’re wary of most trends: but this one is absolutely delicious.

Starbucks Cold Foam

Best milk for cold foam

You might think that a full fat milk would make the creamiest, richest cold foam. Some homemade recipes even call for whole milk or heavy cream. But guess what? Skim milk makes the thickest, sturdiest cold foam. That’s because it has a larger percentage of protein when compared to whole milk or 2%.

In contrast, whole milk makes the best steamed milk for a latte! Why? The lipids keep the bubbles small, making the best microfoam texture for latte art. So if you see a cold foam recipe using heavy cream or whole milk: run the other way! Skim milk is your best bet.

Starbucks cold foam

Starbucks launched cold foam in 2014 with the opening of its Reserve Roastery in Seattle. It was first served atop the Americano Con Crema drink, which had a thick dollop of coffee-spiced foam. Today, Starbucks offers cold foam as a topping that you can add to many drinks for an extra 50 cents. Starbucks cold foam drinks include the following:

  • Cold brews
  • Nitro cold brews
  • Iced lattes
  • Iced mochas
  • Iced cappuccinos
  • Iced espresso
  • Iced London Fog tea latte, Iced matcha tea latte, or Iced chai tea latte
  • Violet drink, pink drink, or dragon drink
Frothing milk

How to make cold foam (DIY Starbucks recipe)

How to make cold foam at home? It’s very simple to make this treat to top all your homemade iced coffees and cold brews: and an incredibly impressive! Here’s what you’ll need to do (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Grab a milk frother. The absolute best way to make Starbucks cold foam at home is using a special tool: a handheld milk frother. At only $10.90, it’s the best tool for making thick, fluffy foam and absolutely worth the purchase. (Hey, that’s just 22 Starbucks orders of the stuff!).
  • Consider other tools. If you prefer not using a milk frother, a French press is your next best bet, if you have one. Head to How to Froth Milk for more. Keep in mind: we don’t recommend using a whisk for cold foam, because the bubbles get very large and the texture is too loose.
  • Froth for 15 to 20 seconds. Add skim milk and simple syrup to a tall cup and froth until very fluffy. It takes only about 15 seconds, and it’s amazing how quickly it whips up! (For the French press instructions, click here.)

Variation: add vanilla!

Want to step up your cold foam? You can add a hint of vanilla extract to add a delicious nuance to the flavor. At first we wondered whether this would turn the topping a light brown color. But after testing it, it doesn’t make a perceptible difference in whiteness versus the original. Add a very small dash and you’re in business!

Cold Foam recipe | What is cold foam

Drinks that use cold foam

You can use cold foam on any type of chilled tea or coffee drink! Try a dollop of thick, lightly sweet foam on a glass of:

This cold foam recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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How to make cold foam

How to Make Cold Foam (DIY Starbucks Recipe)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make cold foam: the Starbucks recipe for a frothy topping fit for iced coffee and cold brew!


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Add milk and simple syrup (and vanilla extract, if using) to a pitcher or narrow jar. Fully submerge the milk frother.
  2. Turn on the frother and froth until the milk starts to thicken, slowly pulling the wand towards the top of the milk. Froth about 15 to 20 seconds total, until the foam is thick and stabilized. Add to the top of cold brew, iced coffee, or an iced latte.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Frothed
  • Cuisine: Coffee

Keywords: How to make cold foam, cold foam

Hot drinks that use frothed milk

There are so many coffee and tea drinks that use frothed milk! Once you’ve mastered this method, you can play barista with these drinks:

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Watermelon Slushie

The watermelon slushie is an ultra refreshing summer drink! All you need is three ingredients for this icy treat. Here’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

The watermelon slushie is an ultra refreshing summer drink! All you need is three ingredients for this icy treat.

Watermelon slushie

Here’s an icy treat that’s absolutely ideal for summer. Who needs ice cream when you can have a Watermelon Slushie? Blend ripe melon, lime and a little sweetener and you’ve got one deliciously refreshing sweet puree to sip. It’s a hit with adults and kids alike! Our 4-year-old went crazy over it, and we love that it’s a healthy-ish treat to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Ingredients for a watermelon slushie

This watermelon slushie is the perfect summer treat because it’s laid-back and no-frills. All you need is 3 ingredients, plus ice! Here’s what you’ll need to have on hand:

  • Ripe watermelon (do not attempt this if it’s not ripe!)
  • Lime
  • Sugar

All you’ll do is blend these ingredients until they form watermelon juice, then add ice until a slushie texture forms. Here are a few things to note about the texture!

Watermelon slushie

Achieving the perfect slushie texture

The texture of this watermelon slushie is icy yet loose. Because it’s not a watermelon smoothie! Here are a few things to note:

  • Want it frostier? You can add a few more ice cubes. But the more ice you add, the more diluted the flavor becomes. Don’t add too much ice! When we tested with 4 cups of ice instead of 3, the flavor was too mild.
  • Enjoy right away! The slushie texture is perfect right out of the blender. It does melt quickly, so make sure to enjoy it right after you make it. It doesn’t store well!

How to find a ripe watermelon

The most important thing for a watermelon slushie? Find a ripe watermelon! Don’t even attempt to try this with an unripe melon: no amount of sugar can make up for the lack of flavor. Here’s what to know about finding a good melon:

  • Shop in watermelon season. It’s the best way to find a sweet, juicy melon.
  • Look for the field spot. Most watermelons should have a patch on the bottom, which is where they were resting on the ground before being picked. If the patch is yellow, the watermelon is ripe (if it’s white, it’s unripe).
How to Cut a Watermelon

Why to drink a watermelon slushie

Why make a watermelon slushie? You might not need convincing, but here’s what we think:

  • Watermelon is high in lycopene, an antioxidant, which studies show could help curb your risk of cancer and diabetes as part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s also got loads of vitamins. (Source WebMD: Health Benefits of Watermelon)
  • It’s very hydrating. Watermelon is 92% water, so it’s super hydrating!
  • It’s frosty and delicious. The best reason? It tastes incredible.

More healthy watermelon drinks

There are so many ways to drink watermelon! Here are our top healthy watermelon drink ideas:

This watermelon slushie recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Watermelon slushie

Watermelon Slushie (3 Ingredients!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 4 small or 2 large
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The watermelon slushie is an ultra refreshing summer drink! All you need is three ingredients for this icy treat.


Ingredients

  • 4 cups cubed seedless watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 cups ice

Instructions

  1. Chop the watermelon into cubes. Blend the melon, sugar and lime juice until it becomes liquid.
  2. Add the ice and blend until a slushie consistency forms (resist the urge over-blend). Split between 4 small or 2 large glasses. If desired, garnish with fresh mint and a watermelon wedge. Enjoy immediately: it does not save well. 
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Drinks

Keywords: Watermelon slushie

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Perfect Iced Latte

Here’s how to make an iced latte at home! This classic coffee drink is perfectly creamy, refreshing and espresso-forward. What’s…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

Here’s how to make an iced latte at home! This classic coffee drink is perfectly creamy, refreshing and espresso-forward.

Iced Latte

What’s more refreshing than an iced latte? It’s no wonder this espresso drink is massively popular. The combination of bitter coffee balanced by delicate sweetness and creamy, frothed milk is an absolute delight. There’s no need to run to your favorite coffee shop for this one: it’s easy to make homemade! To us, there’s nothing better on summer afternoons (or anytime, really).

What’s an iced latte?

An iced latte is a drink with espresso, milk and optional sweetener. The milk is often frothed to simulate the steamed milk in a standard latte. So what’s the difference vs iced coffee? Iced coffee uses brewed coffee and optional milk. Because an iced latte uses espresso, it has a stronger, darker flavor.

How to make an iced latte: basic steps

Here’s the outline of how to make an iced latte at home:

  • Step 1: Make a double shot of espresso.
  • Step 2: Froth ¼ cup whole milk by shaking it in a covered jar or whisking until frothy.
  • Step 3: Pour the espresso and 1 teaspoon maple syrup over ice. Add milk and serve.

Below are a few notes on the methods for how to make espresso and how to froth the milk.

How to make an iced latte

How to make the espresso

What makes an iced latte an iced latte? The espresso! Strong coffee will not do here. You’ll need the following items to make a double shot of espresso:

  • Espresso roast coffee: The roast is important to get the right dark, bitter flavor. Use a fine grind on the espresso beans.
  • Espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Aeropress: This espresso machine is fantastic: it’s pricey but it makes the best espresso. A manual espresso maker is much cheaper and portable, and makes great espresso. French press espresso also works well: it’s our top choice for decent espresso without a specific tool. Aeropress espresso works in a pinch: the flavor isn’t great, but it’s the cheapest option.

Milk to use for an iced latte

If you’re a latte fan, you’ll know: the best milk for a latte is whole milk. Why? Whole milk froths the best because it has the highest milk fat. With an iced latte, the exact texture of the milk is less important because it’s a cold drink. So you can get away with 2% if you’d like: it just tastes less rich!

The best milk for a vegan iced latte? Oat milk! Oat milk froths the best of any non-dairy milk. Since the cold version of a latte is less touchy than the hot one, you can substitute any other non-dairy milk if you choose: almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, etc.

Frothing milk

Frothing the milk: a few options!

A good iced latte has lightly frothed milk, though some coffeehouses use straight milk. You can skip this step, but it adds a nice texture (and otherwise the drink strays into iced coffee territory). There are a few tools for the job that are easy to use:

  • Jar: You can simply place the milk in a jar and shake until it’s foamy!
  • Whisk. A whisk works too, and has a similar effect.
  • Handheld milk frother. If you already have a handheld milk frother for lattes, this is the best tool! It makes the thickest, creamiest frothed milk. See the recipe below for instructions.
  • French press. If you have a French press, it’s also great for making foam! It makes a nice frothy foam with bubbles a little larger than the frother.

For the last two methods, it’s easiest to use more milk than the recipe calls for because it froths better with a larger quantity. You can save it to make more iced lattes. And that’s it! Let us know if you make this iced latte in the comments below.

Iced latte

More latte recipes

Love a good latte? There are lots more to try: both espresso drinks and tea lattes! Here are some favorite recipes:

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Iced Latte

Perfect Iced Latte


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Here’s how to make an iced latte at home! This classic coffee drink is perfectly creamy, refreshing and espresso-forward.


Ingredients

  • 2 shots espresso
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or simple syrup)
  • ¼ cup whole milk (or oat milk for vegan)
  • Ice (try clear ice!)

Instructions

  1. Make the espresso: Make the espresso using an espresso machine, manual espresso maker, French press, or Aeropress.
  2. Froth the milk: Use one of the following methods:
    1. Jar method: Place the milk in a covered jar and shake until foamy.
    2. Whisk method: Add the milk to a bowl and use a whisk to vigorously whisk it until foamy bubbles form.
    3. Milk frother: Use a handheld milk frother, which makes the frothiest milk. Place the milk in a tall container. Hold the container at an angle and turn on the frother. Move the frother up and down until foamy bubbles form, about 20 seconds or so. It’s easiest to use at least ½ cup milk (use the remainder for another iced latte).
    4. French press: Add the milk to a French press and pump using quick, short plunges until foamy bubbles form, about 30 seconds. It’s easiest to use ½ cup to 1 cup milk (use the remainder for more iced lattes).
  3. Add the espresso to ice-filled glass. Stir in the maple syrup and top with the frothed milk. Enjoy immediately.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Espresso
  • Cuisine: Latte

Keywords: Iced latte

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.

Strawberry Lemonade

This homemade strawberry lemonade recipe is easy with the best sweet tart flavor! It’s quick to mix up a big…

A Couple Cooks – Recipes worth repeating.

This homemade strawberry lemonade recipe is easy with the best sweet tart flavor! It’s quick to mix up a big pitcher that’s deliciously festive.

Strawberry lemonade

Got fresh strawberries? Here’s one of the best ways to use them…a pitcher of homemade Strawberry Lemonade! This drink is bright and beautiful, citrusy with a hit of berry on the finish. It tastes infinitely better made at home: the flavors are brilliantly fresh. This one has become a favorite over here as a summery drink (if we’re not making the shortcut pink lemonade, of course!). This recipe is fast and easy: you don’t even need to cook down a syrup! Simply blend and go.

Ingredients for strawberry lemonade

This strawberry lemonade recipe skips making a strawberry syrup on the stovetop, and goes right to the blender. All you’ll need to do is blend berries and sugar, then mix it with lemon juice to form lemonade. Easy as that! In fact, you only need three real ingredients (plus water):

  • Strawberries
  • Lemons
  • Sugar

Use the best ripe berries

It might go without saying, but this strawberry lemonade is best with beautifully ripe strawberries. These days, it’s easy to find strawberries out of season: and their flavor is tart and bland. Make sure you find ripe fruit, because no amount of sugar can save an unripe berry! Bonus points if you’ve got a pint of berries from a local farmers market.

Strawberry lemonade

How to make strawberry lemonade (basic steps)

Once you’ve got your ingredients, there are just a few basic steps for strawberry lemonade. Here’s all you need to do (or jump to the recipe below for the exact quantities):

  • Juice the lemons. The only time consuming part is this! We recommend using a press juicer, which is the quickest, gets out the most juice and saves your hands. The next best choice? A handheld citrus juicer.
  • Blend the strawberries, sugar and water. Give it a whiz in the blender.
  • Mix the pitcher. Then mix it in a pitcher with the lemon juice and more cold water. Garnish with ice and mint if you like!

Serving in a pitcher with ice? Reduce the water

Are you planning to make this strawberry lemonade for a party, leaving it out in a big pitcher with ice? The ice melts over time, which can dilute the drink. If you think it might sit out for quite a while, you can reduce the cold water you add at the end to account for dilution.

But if you’re planning to serve it right away, there’s no need! Simply follow the recipe below.

Strawberry lemonade recipe

Variations on strawberry lemonade

There are so many tasty ways to mix up this drink! Here are a few ideas:

  • Sparkling lemonade: Stir in 4 cups soda water instead of cold water.
  • Spiked lemonade: By the glass, serve 1 cup of this strawberry lemonade with ¼ cup vodka or 3 tablespoons gin.
  • Arnold Palmer: Make a Strawberry Arnold Palmer by mixing 6 tablespoons lemonade with 1 cup iced tea.

More strawberry recipes

Got berries? We’ve got lots of strawberry recipes to make the most of the season! Here are a few more tasty recipes with this delicious berry:

This strawberry lemonade recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Easy Strawberry Lemonade


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 drinks
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This homemade strawberry lemonade recipe is easy with the best sweet tart flavor! It’s quick to mix up a big pitcher that’s deliciously festive.


Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups fresh squeezed lemon juice (7 to 8 large lemons)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 ounces fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • Ice and fresh mint, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons.
  2. Add the strawberries, sugar and 2 cups warm water to a blender and blend until smooth. Strain through fine mesh sieve into pitcher, using a spatula to push the liquid through (discard the seeds; this takes a few minutes to complete).
  3. Add 4 cups* cold water and the fresh squeezed lemon juice. Add ice to the pitcher and serve. If desired, garnish with extra strawberries and fresh mint sprigs.

Notes

*If you plan to serve in a large pitcher with ice and leave it out at a party, use 3 cups water to account for ice melting and diluting the drink.

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Lemonade
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Strawberry lemonade, strawberry lemonade recipe

A Couple Cooks - Recipes worth repeating.