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Drinks

Welcome. You just found copycat recipes for all of your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV host, Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. See if Todd has hacked your favorite drinks here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The most popular and notorious cocktail at this 157-unit casual chain is the pumped-up piña colada-style drink served in a heavy 18-ounce schooner with a rim of toasted coconut. The menu warns customers that they are allowed only two of these cocktails since each is made with a supersized 2-ounce shot of Pusser's rum.

    Pusser's Rum is the best choice here if you want a perfect clone, but you can certainly make this drink with your choice of any good gold rum. But watch out. At home, there's no 2-drink limit. And these are so good that you might forget how many you’ve downed!   

    Now, how about some Cheddar's incredible Santa Fe Spinach Dip?    

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    Starbucks’ Frappuccino, the most famous blended coffee drink in the world, is actually a clone of this blended concoction invented at the California-based chain, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. In the mid-80s, a store manager at the Westwood, California location mixed diet drink powder with ice, milk, and coffee in a blender and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. They tweaked the recipe to include the chain’s chocolate powder instead of the diet powder, and a new hit product was born.

    To make a clone of the popular vanilla version of the drink we must first make the secret flavoring powder that starts with a base of dry coffee creamer. I recommend using superfine sugar (Baker’s sugar) and superfine salt (popcorn salt) if you can find them. The fine crystals will dissolve better in the cold drink. You’ll also need vanilla extract powder, which can be found online.

    Once your secret powder is made, measure 1/3 cup of it into a blender with ice, cold espresso, and milk, and blend on high until smooth. In a matter of just a few minutes, you will have a 16-ounce re-creation of the original blended coffee drink now served at 1,200 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf locations in 30 countries.

    Craving something tasty to eat with this? Check out my hack for these copycat Starbucks petite vanilla scones

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    Milo Carlton opened the first Milo’s Hamburger Shop in Brirmingham, Alabama in 1946 serving hamburgers, pies and freshly brewed iced tea which customers would sweeten from a bowl of sugar on each table. But because of a sugar ration caused by the war, Milo was forced to do something no one had tried before: he took all the sugar bowls off of the tables and pre-sweetened the tea. When customers realized the tea was better than they could make themselves Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea became as popular as the food.

    In the late 80’s, Milo’s began selling the Famous Sweet Tea in gallon jugs in grocery stores in the Birmingham area, and it has been a growing successful product ever since, recently becoming a national brand.

    To duplicate a Southern sweet tea like this, you absolutely must start with Southern tea bags, and that means Luzianne. This New Orleans tea company crafts its tea blend especially for iced tea. You will get the best clone of Southern-style sweet tea with this brand. If you can’t find Luzianne, you can still make great tea with Lipton Iced Tea Bags.

    Check out more of my recipes for famous drinks here. 

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    Researchers at University of Florida’s College of Medicine developed Gatorade in 1965 when the head coach of the Florida Gators football team requested a specially designed drink that could replace lost fluids during hot weather games. With players pounding the new sports drink, the Gators went on to take their first Orange Bowl victory in 1967 against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. When the head coach of the Yellow Jackets was asked why his team lost, he said, “We didn’t have Gatorade. That made the difference.” Later that year, Gatorade became the official drink of the NFL.

    The secret to making Gatorade at home is not just about getting the flavor right but also about locating a simple source of the drink’s important supplemental ingredients, potassium and dextrose. Potassium (along with salt) replaces electrolytes that are lost when you sweat to ensure proper functioning of your brain and organs. I discovered that a good source of potassium is Morton’s salt substitute, which is made with potassium chloride. Most supermarkets should have it stocked near the salt.

    Dextrose, on the other hand, is a natural sugar that absorbs quickly into your body to restore glycogen in muscles lost during physical activity. Bodybuilders and athletes use it during and after games and workouts to speed up recovery and stimulate muscle growth. Luckily, I was able to find the perfect product that added just the right amount of dextrose to 64 ounces of water and that also came in the perfect orange flavor: Willy Wonka Pixy Stix. Find the large 1-ounce size in the giant plastic straw, and grab two. I found them online for 50 cents each.

    Dump everything here into a 64-ounce pitcher of water, stir to dissolve, and in just a few minutes you’ll have the same taste and energy benefits of one of the two original flavors of Gatorade, but at about half the price.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Step-by-Step by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    If you're going to clone a cocktail from Red Lobster you have to include the chain's signature drink, don't you think?

    I've copied tons of restaurant cocktails. Click here to see if I hacked your favorite.

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

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    Score: 3.93. Votes: 14

    Entrepreneur Dave Barham opened the first Hot Dog on a Stick location in Venice, California near famed Muscle Beach. That was in 1946, and today the chain has blossomed into a total of more than 100 outlets in shopping malls across America. You've probably seen the bright red, white, blue and yellow go-go outfits and those crazy fez-style bucket hats on the girls behind the counter.

    In giant clear plastic vats at the front of each store floats ice, fresh lemon rinds and what is probably the world's most thirst-quenching substance: Muscle Beach Lemonade. It's a simple concoction really. And with this TSR formula, you'll have your own version of the lemonade in the comfort of your own home at a fraction of the price.

    Check out my Hot Dog on a Stick corn dog recipe here

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

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    Score: 4.56. Votes: 90

    Coffeehouses have replaced many of the old Orange Julius stands, but there's still a nostalgic group of us who long for the frothy juice drinks invented decades ago by Julius Freed. Today Orange Julius has tailored its business to meet the changing demands of its customers by including several varieties of fruit drinks and updated smoothies on its menu. But it's the foamy fruit juice creation developed in the late twenties that made the company famous, and that's what I've cloned here in this Orange Julius copycat recipe, an improved version that's found in the book Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes. The flavor and consistency is better now, plus we use the blender to dissolve the sugar before adding the ice. Use pasteurized egg whites found packaged in your local supermarket or just use egg substitute, which is also made from pasteurized egg whites.

    Try other popular Orange Julius flavors like BananaStrawberry-Banana, and Pineapple.

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    Score: 4.78. Votes: 32

    Put on a big red smile. Now you can make your own version of the popular convenience store slush, complete with brain freeze. You must have a blender to make this clone of 7-Eleven's Slurpee, and enough room to stick that blender into your freezer to get it nice and thick. This recipe gets close to the original with Kool-Aid mix and a little help from cherry extract, but you can make this drink with any flavor Kool-Aid mix (if you decide to make some variations, don't worry about adding extract). This recipe makes enough to fill one of those giant-size 32-ounce cups you find at the 7-Eleven. Now I should hack the spoon-straws. 

    I've cloned a ton of famous drinks. Find your favorites here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits and Shakes 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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    These 16-ounce desserts-in-a-cup are made with McDonald’s soft-serve ice cream and one of several crumbled sweet additives. Duplicating soft-serve ice cream at home comes easy using regular vanilla ice cream (not French vanilla), a little whole milk, and a frozen bowl to do the mixing. You might also want to freeze the glass that you plan to serve this in to ensure the ice cream is served up creamy yet firm, rather than melted and soupy.

    Do fries come with that shake? Try my McDonald's french fries recipe here.

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

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I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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