There’s something about treating yourself to a holiday drink or fancy caffeinated beverage that puts a little more pep in your step than an average cup of joe. However, those drinks can quickly add up, leaving your ATM balance low and your daily sugar intake high. Try these at-home versions for a healthier, less-costly indulgence that tastes just like the real thing. You’ll feel like your own barista in no time—green apron not included.
1. Cold Brew Caramel Frappuccino
From almond milk ice cubes to caramel sauce made from dates, this Frappuccino recipe will leave you satisfied and feeling like a healthy rock star without that shaky-buzzed sensation the in-store version can cause. We love you, Starbucks, but we also know a Frap has more sugar than a liter of soda! The ice cube hack ensures the drink comes out creamy rather than watery, and the cold brew coffee makes for a surefire caffeine boost.
Sure, the Insta-worthy look of this store-bought drink gets us every time, but a Caramel Macchiato can be made for a fraction of the price at home. For days when you need a little extra sweetness in your morning coffee (but not dessert in a cup), bring milk, sugar, and vanilla extract to a simmer on the stove, then pour in espresso. Drizzle with caramel sauce and you’re ready to go. Replica made in less time than it takes to get to your nearest coffee shop.
3. Peppermint Mocha Latte
Also known as Christmas in a cup, Peppermint Mochas are a quintessential winter treat that may or may not lead to Jingle Bells on repeat in your head. This recipe is simple to make; the only ingredients you’re probably missing are fresh mint leaves and crushed candy canes (gotta love an excuse to buy candy canes). Heat milk with an ounce of chocolate, mix with espresso, and add in a simple mint syrup for a rich, healthier alternative to store-bought options.
For mornings when you’re especially short on time, this Cinnamon Dolce copycat recipe is clutch. Sweet but not overpowering, it can be made in just a few minutes and requires no prep. Just scoop out a little brown sugar and add it into milk, boiling water, and espresso powder, along with vanilla extract and cinnamon. A pinch of nutmeg and ground cinnamon on top will put you in a cozy mood all day long.
Love the earthy, slightly bitter taste of green tea lattes? This frothy at-home version will be your new DIY project. Just add matcha green tea powder—a container is much more cost effective than buying single-serving lattes—to hot water and milk. If you like yours a little sweeter, try adding a drizzle of honey into your mug.
What better way to get rid of leftover eggnog than to add it to a latte? This rich recipe will get you through chilly winter mornings without having to leave the house. Once you’ve steamed the milk and eggnog mixture, all you need to do is add it to fresh coffee and top with a sprinkle of nutmeg. Be warned: You may want to stay cozied up by the fire after this one.
Let’s be honest—we’re all a little bit basic sometimes. Enjoy a Pumpkin Spice Latte without the Starbucks-line shame by making your own version at home. This one calls for pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice (store-bought or homemade), milk, maple syrup, and vanilla. Once you have the ingredients at home, you can keep (slyly) drinking PSLs all season long.