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    Score: 4.59. Votes: 96

    Starbucks makes its hot chocolate with mocha syrup that's used for a variety of other drinks in the store. A barista combines mocha syrup with a couple squirts of vanilla syrup and heated milk, and he then finishes off the drink with a sweet pile of whipped cream. We can duplicate the process by first creating our own chocolate syrup in the microwave with cocoa—Hershey or Nestle brand each works great. After adding milk to the heated chocolate mixture, pop it back into the microwave again until piping hot. Add a little vanilla extract at the end to give the drink vanilla hints like the original. I found that a 2-cup glass measuring cup with a spout works best to heat the drink in the microwave. Then, when it's ready, you can easily pour the hot chocolate into a 16-ounce coffee mug and get on with the sipping.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.68. Votes: 22

    Here's the signature drink from the chain that revived the old-school drive-up burger joint. In 1953 Troy Smith obtained the parcel of land in Shawnee, Oklahoma that was big enough to fit the new steakhouse and root beer stand he had always dreamed about. Troy thought he'd make the steakhouse his primary operation, but as it turned out folks preferred the hot dogs and cold drinks over at the root beer stand. Troy did the smart thing and ditched the steakhouse to focus all his efforts on the other restaurant. At first he called the root beer stand "Top Hat," but when Troy found out later that name was already being used, he came up with "Sonic" to signify "service at the speed of sound." Today the chain is the sixth largest hamburger outlet in the country. 

    This Sonic cherry limeade copycat recipe makes a simple, old-fashioned drink by combining Sprite with cherry juice and some lime wedges. Use cherry juice made by Kool-Aid under the brand-name Jammers for the best home hack.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The namesake of the Red Lobster chain is the delicious broiled lobster, lightly seasoned, served with lemon and melted butter. Two varieties are most often available at the restaurant: Maine lobster and rock lobster. The Maine lobsters are purchased live, while rock lobster tails come frozen; and both are available in stores across the country. Rock lobsters, also known as spiny lobsters, are found in warmer waters. They have no claws, which is why you only get rock lobster tails. Each Red Lobster restaurant has a special device that bakes and broils the lobsters without burning them. Since these special broilers don't come with most homes, I've created a cooking method using a conventional oven that produces broiled lobster just like that which you can dig into at the restaurant.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.25. Votes: 8

    Menu Description: "Grilled chicken breast with Portobello mushrooms, smoked mozzarella and demi glace, with a spinach orzo pasta."

    Fire up the grill for this take on one of Romano's most popular entrees. After you grill a couple portobello caps, slice them thinly at an extreme angle to make wide slices that fit perfectly on top of grilled chicken breasts that have been rubbed with stone ground mustard (the kind with the whole mustard seeds in it). Romano's delicious demi glace is made from reduced veal stock, but a nice substitute can be made from a combination of canned beef broth and chicken broth. With plenty of garlic, rosemary and thyme in there, the aroma of sauce simmering on the stove will make everyone in the house drool.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

    Update 1/25/17: If your demi glace is too thin add an additional tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken. 

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    Check out the menu board at any Starbucks and you’ll find this frozen drink described as a blend of raspberry and other fruit juices plus Starbucks’ own Tazo brand tea. We’ve discovered that those other fruit juices include white grape juice, aroniaberry, cranberry, and blackberry. Since aroniaberry juice is next to impossible to track down in a local supermarket, we’ll have to make a taste-alike drink with a combination of just the other; more important flavors. Grab the raspberry syrup and a jar of seedless blackberry jam made by Knott’s Berry Farm, and brew up a little tea. Starbucks used Tazo black tea for the drink, but you can use the more common Lipton tea bags. You will only use 1/3 cup of the tea for this 1-serving recipe, so you’ll have plenty left over for additional servings, or for a quick iced tea fix.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    This is Red Robin’s signature non-alcoholic drink, and it's simple to make with pre-made lemonade, and strawberries that come frozen in sweet syrup. When added to the top of the ice filled lemonade glass the strawberries and syrup speckle the drink. Serve this without stirring it up.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    After adding the juices to the blender the restaurant does a “flash blend.” That means you use just a couple of pulses on high speed so that the ice is broken up into small pieces, without being completely crushed to a slushy consistency.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Snapple was selling juices for five years, since 1982, before the fruity line of teas was rolled out. Just five years after that, Snapple was selling more tea in the U.S. than Lipton or Nestea. Today, even though Snapple sells over 50 different bottle beverages, the iced teas are still the most successful products in the line. But not all the fruity flavors of tea were hits. Cranberry, strawberry, and orange are now extinct, so those flavors can only be enjoyed by making versions of your own at home with these simple formulas.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Brimming with a blend of diced ham, onions, crisp celery and green peppers folded into a rich, luscious cheese sauce. With hashed browns tucked inside." 

    The same year that Matt and Ivan Perkins opened their first diner, they started selling franchise rights to other entrepreneurs. Back then, the name for the chain west of the Mississippi was still Smitty's, and to the east it became Perkins Pancake House. Soon, the name was changed to Perkins Cake & Steak. But that wouldn't last either. In the seventies the western chain of Smitty's and the eastern Perkins consolidated, and Perkins Family Restaurants, as we know it today, was born.

    Secret breakfast recipes are what originally made Perkins famous. The trademarked Granny's Country Omelette is a popular menu selection from the "Premium Omelettes" column. It is a clever design for an omelette with the hash browns hidden away inside the folded eggs in a compartment separate from the other filling ingredients. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    Menu Description: "Oven-roasted turkey breast, real bacon pieces, green onions and fresh tomatoes. In a delicate hollandaise sauce."

    This chain gained a large following early on for its homestyle breakfast menu. Today, even though you can eat from the breakfast menu whenever you like, customers are picking from the lunch and dinner selections just about as often.

    Since it was originally the breakfast selection that made this chain famous, I thought it would be a good idea to hack this great omelette recipe. The Country Club Omelette answers the question "What do you get when you cross a club sandwich and three eggs?" 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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