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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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Show: 24
  • Score: 4.00 (votes: 2)
    Cheddar's Painkiller

    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 of Cheddar's Painkiller, 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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  • Not rated yet
    The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vanilla Ice Blended

    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 Coffee Bean vanilla ice blended, 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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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Kahlua Coffee Liqueur (Improved)

    The redesigned Kahlua Coffee Liqueur labels now says "Rum and Coffee Liqueur," which is a helpful description when creating a clone version of the famous cordial. This text was not on the bottle 30 years ago when I made my first version of this liqueur using vodka—not rum. So, back into the lab went I, to create an improved version of the drink with rum, just like the label says.

    I used light rum for my Kahlua recipe because it is more of a neutral taste like the vodka called for in my first version, but since it doesn't include the caramel color added to Kahlua, your drink will come out a lighter shade of brown than the real stuff. However, you can also use dark rum in this recipe, which will add other flavor notes to your finished product, plus caramel color to deepen the shade of your liqueur.  

    There are many other famous drinks you can make at home! See if I cloned your favorites here

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  • Score: 3.64 (votes: 11)
    Mr and Mrs T Rich and Spicy Bloody Mary Mix

    Here's a way to clone the famous and very popular Bloody Mary Mix from that couple with only a letter as a last name. It's a simple-to-make blend of tomato juice and spices with some prepared horseradish and canned jalapeno juice thrown in for a "spicier, zestier" drink. Mix this with vodka over ice and you've got a delicious cocktail. But if you're not in the mood to get zoinked, this clone recipe is also a great way to kick up your tomato juice, just for drinking straight.

    Click here to see if I cloned more of your favorite drinks.

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

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  • Score: 4.88 (votes: 8)
    Starbucks Mocha Coconut Frappuccino

    This discontinued Starbucks delight is like a cold Mounds bar in a cup—too bad this ultra-delicious iced coffee drink was nixed from the menu. Good thing we have a clone. Find shredded coconut in the baking aisle and toast 1/2 cup of it. You'll use most of the toasted coconut in the blender, but save a little for the garnish when the drinks are done.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.77 (votes: 22)
    AriZona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey

    Hard to believe it takes only one regular-size green tea bag to make this entire 2-quart clone of the popular Arizona Green Tea with Ginseng and Honey in the foam green bottles. Find the liquid ginseng for this recipe in your local health food store. Be sure to get American ginseng if you can, since the Chinese stuff can taste pretty rank. 

    Find more famous drink recipes here.

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

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Bennigan's Irish Coffee

    Time for the ultimate Irish coffee clone recipe from the country's favorite Irish-themed chain restaurant to warm you up. It looks great with green creme de menthe drizzled over the whipped cream, and it's topped off with a cherry hat.

    Think of all the famous drinks you can make at home. Check out my recipes here

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

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 6)
    General Foods International Coffees

    With just a few simple ingredients you can recreate the European-style coffees that come in rectangular tins at a fraction of the cost. Included here are clones for Cafe Vienna, French Vanilla Cafe, and Suisse Mocha. Since these famous instant coffee blends are created by Maxwell House, it's best to use Maxwell House instant coffee, although I've tried them with Folger's and Taster's Choice, and the recipes still work out fine. You'll also need a coffee bean grinder to grind the instant coffee into powder. When you're finished making the mix, you can store it for as long as you like in a sealed container, until you're ready for a hot coffee drink. When that time comes, measure some of the mix into a cup and add boiling water. Stir well and enjoy while watching shows about Europe on the Travel Channel to enhance the experience.

    Find more recipes for your favorite famous drinks here.

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

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    Applebee's Perfect Apple Margarita

    Here's a great twist on the traditional margarita. Sour apple schnapps and apple juice join forces with tequila and sweet-and-sour mix in a martini glass that's rimmed with cinnamon sugar. Hey, it's like drinking apple pie! This recipe makes one drink, but it's easy to double up. That's a good thing, since it seems like one is never enough.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.81 (votes: 47)
    Bailey's Original Irish Cream

    Bailey's uses a special process to combine two otherwise incompatible ingredients: cream and whiskey. This secret technique keeps the cream from clumping and separating from the whiskey, and allows the liqueur to go for two years unrefrigerated without spoiling. But we won't need to tap into any secret preparation techniques for our clone here since well be storing the liqueur in the refrigerator. We will, however, replace cream with canned evaporated milk. This gives us a properly sweetened finished product with the taste and texture of the deliciously famous Irish cream.

    Here now is an improved version of the Bailey's clone recipe that appears in More Top Secret Recipes. This version has fewer ingredients, is easier to make, and tastes amazing.

    Make more fun copycat cocktails and liqueurs with my recipes here.

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

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  • Score: 4.24 (votes: 25)
    Budweiser Chelada

    If you've never had a Chelada, the idea of mixing beer with Clamato juice may make your stomach turn. This odd combination of beverages has origins in Mexico that date back to the 1940s, when beer was mixed with lime, salt, and hot sauce or salsa. 

    In early 2008, Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) and Cadbury-Schweppes (Clamato) teamed up to produce the first canned Chelada beverage, which they dubbed "The Red One," and after a successful launch in select western states, the product is now exploding across the country. Many swear by the drink as a remarkable hangover cure, and after some extensive personal experimentation, I must concur. Try my easy Budweiser Chelada recipe below and see for yourself.

    Click here for more famous drink recipes. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.67 (votes: 15)
    McDonald's Vanilla Iced Coffee

    In the coffee war that's been brewing since 2007, McDonald's is emerging victorious by snagging a significant chunk of the $11 billion coffee market away from sector-leader Starbucks. The hamburger chain's McCafe offerings, which include premium cappuccinos, lattes, and iced coffees, scored higher in taste tests according to Consumer Reports magazine, and the drinks come with a lower price tag than comparable beverages at the coffeehouse chain. The Vanilla Iced Coffee appears to be a standout selection at The Golden Arches, and a home clone is simple after you get your hands on some Torani vanilla syrup. Brew up some coffee, chill it, then pour these three ingredients over ice in a 16-ounce glass. The taste of your finished drink will be determined by the quality of your coffee (McDonald's has its own beans), so be sure to brew your best stuff. The better the coffee you start with, the better your clone will taste.

    Some petite vanilla scones would be pretty tasty right about now. Check out all my Starbucks clone recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.60 (votes: 97)
    Starbucks Hot Chocolate

    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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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's McFlurry

    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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  • Score: 4.00 (votes: 26)
    Starbucks Caramel Macchiato

    If you've got an espresso/cappuccino machine, you're well on your way to recreating a top-choice Starbucks coffee drink. For the caramel part, you can use any caramel sauce that you find in the grocery store near the ice cream toppings. Pick your favorite. To make this recipe work best you'll need 3 tablespoons of a rich caramel sauce (like the stuff Starbucks uses), or 4 tablespoons of a lighter sauce (such as fat-free Smuckers). For the vanilla syrup you can use the bottled syrups, such as those made by Torani, or just whip up your own clone from scratch using the recipe below. By the way, if you want to make this clone even more like the real product use the vanilla syrup and caramel sauce Starbucks sells in the shops.

    Check out my recipes for Starbucks famous pastries here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.43 (votes: 23)
    Sonic Drive-In Peanut Butter Shake

    Sonic Drive-in is best known for its retro 50's theme, where carhops on roller skates bring you burgers, onion rings, corn dogs, and tasty milkshakes. These easy-to-make milkshake clones are crazy delicious. Re-create the straight peanut butter version, or add a little fudge and you've got what tastes like a creamy Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. Good stuff, man.

    I'll bet you're craving a Sonic Burger right about now. Click here for more Sonic copycat recipes.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.43 (votes: 7)
    Jack in the Box Pumpkin Pie Shake

    There's no need for artificial coloring or flavoring when recreating this chains delicious "limited-time only" holiday milkshake. Real canned pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices will do the trick in this Top Secret version. For the spices, rather than gathering up four costly bottles to use only a small amount from each, toss some pumpkin pie spice into your basket. Its a handy blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice that will be near the other spices in your market - McCormick makes a small size that's cheap. Combine everything below in a blender until smooth, and in a flash youve whipped up two servings of a delicious duplicate that can now be enjoyed any time of the year.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Wendy's Vanilla Frosty

    For 50 years, the Frosty at Wendy's came in only one flavor: chocolate. But in 2006, after repeated customer requests, the new Vanilla Frosty debuted nationwide. Like its chocolate counterpart, the Vanilla Frosty is a super-thick milkshake that has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Don't even attempt to get it through the straw they serve it with unless you feel the urge to collapse a lung. That's why they also give you a spoon. Start there.

    And, just as with my improved Classic Chocolate Frosty hack, you must make my copycat Wendy's Vanilla Frosty in a home ice cream maker to get the same thick and creamy consistency as the real thing. Sure, other Frosty clones might taste okay, but if it ain't thick like this one, it ain't a good hack.

    I've cloned a ton of Wendy's recipes. See if I hacked your favorite here.

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  • Score: 3.00 (votes: 2)
    Wendy's Chocolate Frosty (Improved)

    It may look like it's all chocolate, but Wendy's founder Dave Thomas thought that a purely chocolate frozen dairy dessert would overpower his burger and fries, so he mixed chocolate with vanilla to create his signature ultra-thick shake, and in 1969, the Frosty was born.

    My first crack at this iconic treat was revealed in a copycat recipe I published 25 years ago in my first book "Top Secret Recipes" that called for mixing milk with Nestle Quik and vanilla ice cream in a blender. Tasty? Sure, it was. But the finished product was too runny, and the flavor wasn't perfect. That's why I recently holed myself up in the lab and created a new improved Wendy's Frosty recipe that you churn in a home ice cream maker until thick and creamy, and it now tastes just like the real thing.

    Unlike my previous recipe, which relied on premade ice cream and a drink mix, the scratch ingredients I used here allowed me to make small adjustments in flavor for a better match, and an ice cream maker is the perfect way to produce a thick, creamy consistency. So far, this is the best hack I've come up with to duplicate the treat that tests have shown is up to twice as thick as other famous desserts in a cup, including Dairy Queen's Blizzard and McDonald's McFlurry

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    Shake Shack Vanilla Milkshake

    The burgers rock, the custard is cool, and the shakes may be the best you’ve ever had. The shakes at Shake Shack are so good because they’re made with the chain’s signature frozen vanilla custard which I’ve already hacked here. To make the Shake Shack Vanilla milkshake, you just add milk to the custard and blend it until smooth. Pour the creamy shake into a 16-ounce glass and today will be your new favorite cheat day.

    Try my recipe for the Shake Shack Burger here.

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    In-N-Out Burger Vanilla Shake

    In-N-Out Burger's delicious shakes are made with real ice cream, and that's a good thing,  but this vanilla shake has a unique taste that's more than just straight vanilla—I sense a hint of buttery caramel. Riffing on that idea I came up with an easy recipe for In-N-Out Vanilla Shakes, using a blend of French vanilla ice cream and whole milk, along with a simple secret ingredient: caramel topping. Spooning just 1 tablespoon of Smucker’s caramel topping into the blender before mixing it all up produced a vanilla shake remarkably similar to the one that’s been served at In-N-Out Burger since 1975.

    Unfortunately, a milkshake produced with a home blender is thinner than a restaurant milkshake made with a milkshake machine. To fix that, after mixing your shake in the blender, place the blender in your freezer for a bit until the shake firms up, then mix it once again, spoon it into a tall glass, and serve it with a wide straw.

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Milo's Famous Sweet Tea

    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 Milo's famous sweet tea, 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. 

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    Gatorade Orange Sports Drink

    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.

    Find more recipes for more famous drinks here.

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

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  • Not rated yet
    Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chip Milkshake

    The chicken chain’s seasonal milkshake made with chips of peppermint and chocolate is only available November through January each year, but what if you’re craving one in March? Or what if it’s Sunday and you can’t get your favorite shake because that’s when every Chick-fil-A is closed?

    Now you can make Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Chip Milkshake at home in the few minutes it takes to smash some candy canes and turn on a blender. Use a small storage bag and a kitchen mallet or handle of a butter knife to smash the peppermint candy into small crumbs, then combine those with dark chocolate bits, ice cream, milk, flavoring, and color, and you’ll be sipping on a perfect copy of the famous shake in under 5 minutes.

    Oh, don’t forget the whipped cream and a cherry.

    Try more of my Chick-Fil-A copycat recipes like their famous chicken sandwich here

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Show: 24

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  • Not rated yet
    Chick-fil-A Peppermint Chip Milkshake

    The chicken chain’s seasonal milkshake made with chips of peppermint and chocolate is only available November through January each year, but what if you’re craving one in March? Or what if it’s Sunday and you can’t get your favorite shake because that’s when every Chick-fil-A is closed?

    Now you can make Chick-Fil-A Peppermint Chip Milkshake at home in the few minutes it takes to smash some candy canes and turn on a blender. Use a small storage bag and a kitchen mallet or handle of a butter knife to smash the peppermint candy into small crumbs, then combine those with dark chocolate bits, ice cream, milk, flavoring, and color, and you’ll be sipping on a perfect copy of the famous shake in under 5 minutes.

    Oh, don’t forget the whipped cream and a cherry.

    Try more of my Chick-Fil-A copycat recipes like their famous chicken sandwich here

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    Applebee's Oreo Cookie Milkshake

    This delicious made-to-order oreo cookie milkshake was one of several items cut from the menu in 2020 when the pandemic brought the dine-in restaurant business to a crawl. But in June 2021 when the song “Fancy Like” from country singer Walker Hayes, which mentions the milkshake by name, went viral on TikTok, Applebee’s brought back the shake to satisfy the increased demand.

    Now you can make your own Applebee's Oreo Cookie Milkshake without leaving home with this simple hack that requires just a few ingredients and a blender. Start by getting the ice cream smooth in the blender with the milk before adding in the Oreo pieces so that you don’t make the Oreo cookie crumbs too small. You want a few little bits in there for crunch, but they shouldn’t be big enough to clog the straw. Add some whipped cream on top with some Oreo crumbs and you’ve just made enough for two 12-ounce shakes.

    As the song goes, “We fancy like Applebee’s on a date night, got that Bourbon Street steak with the Oreo shake.” Now that you’ve got your Oreo shake, how about a Bourbon Street steak

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Milo's Famous Sweet Tea

    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 Milo's famous sweet tea, 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. 

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Vanilla Ice Blended

    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 Coffee Bean vanilla ice blended, 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.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash

    The base formula for Jamba Juice’s seasonal smoothie consists of 2% milk, a couple scoops of sweetened frozen yogurt, and ice. The final addition is a scoop of a secret blend containing all the great flavor that makes this smoothie taste like you’re drinking pumpkin pie.

    Real canned pumpkin puree, plus sugar, spices, and a little food coloring will bring your smoothie to life with the taste and appearance of original Jamba Juice Pumpkin Smash smoothie that you can now make any time you want.

    Frozen vanilla yogurt is not as easy to find in the freezer section as it was 10 years ago, so reduced-fat ice cream and regular vanilla yogurt will substitute nicely here.

    Think of all the famous drinks you can make at home? Click here to see if I hacked your favorites. 

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  • Not rated yet
    McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry

    To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famous green mint-flavored Shamrock Shake first served in 1970, McDonald’s created this new minty McFlurry, with crumbled Oreo cookies mixed in. If you’re a Shamrock Shake fan, you’ll go nuts over this new twist. You may never again crave a regular Shamrock Shake.

    This dessert-in-a-cup is thicker than the traditional Shamrock shake since it’s made with soft-serve vanilla ice cream rather than milkshake mix. To simulate the thicker drink at home you mix the ice cream with milk, Shamrock syrup (made with the recipe below), and Oreo crumbs in a frozen glass or ceramic bowl. The cold bowl keeps the ingredients thick until you spoon everything into a glass.

    The secret syrup recipe here makes around 8 tablespoons of green mint syrup, which will be enough to make four minty McDonald's Oreo Shamrock McFlurry milkshake clones.

    Follow this link for more of my McDonald's clone recipes. 

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    In-N-Out Burger Vanilla Shake

    In-N-Out Burger's delicious shakes are made with real ice cream, and that's a good thing,  but this vanilla shake has a unique taste that's more than just straight vanilla—I sense a hint of buttery caramel. Riffing on that idea I came up with an easy recipe for In-N-Out Vanilla Shakes, using a blend of French vanilla ice cream and whole milk, along with a simple secret ingredient: caramel topping. Spooning just 1 tablespoon of Smucker’s caramel topping into the blender before mixing it all up produced a vanilla shake remarkably similar to the one that’s been served at In-N-Out Burger since 1975.

    Unfortunately, a milkshake produced with a home blender is thinner than a restaurant milkshake made with a milkshake machine. To fix that, after mixing your shake in the blender, place the blender in your freezer for a bit until the shake firms up, then mix it once again, spoon it into a tall glass, and serve it with a wide straw.

    Read more
  • Not rated yet
    Shake Shack Vanilla Milkshake

    The burgers rock, the custard is cool, and the shakes may be the best you’ve ever had. The shakes at Shake Shack are so good because they’re made with the chain’s signature frozen vanilla custard which I’ve already hacked here. To make the Shake Shack Vanilla milkshake, you just add milk to the custard and blend it until smooth. Pour the creamy shake into a 16-ounce glass and today will be your new favorite cheat day.

    Try my recipe for the Shake Shack Burger here.

    Read more
  • Score: 3.00 (votes: 2)
    Wendy's Chocolate Frosty (Improved)

    It may look like it's all chocolate, but Wendy's founder Dave Thomas thought that a purely chocolate frozen dairy dessert would overpower his burger and fries, so he mixed chocolate with vanilla to create his signature ultra-thick shake, and in 1969, the Frosty was born.

    My first crack at this iconic treat was revealed in a copycat recipe I published 25 years ago in my first book "Top Secret Recipes" that called for mixing milk with Nestle Quik and vanilla ice cream in a blender. Tasty? Sure, it was. But the finished product was too runny, and the flavor wasn't perfect. That's why I recently holed myself up in the lab and created a new improved Wendy's Frosty recipe that you churn in a home ice cream maker until thick and creamy, and it now tastes just like the real thing.

    Unlike my previous recipe, which relied on premade ice cream and a drink mix, the scratch ingredients I used here allowed me to make small adjustments in flavor for a better match, and an ice cream maker is the perfect way to produce a thick, creamy consistency. So far, this is the best hack I've come up with to duplicate the treat that tests have shown is up to twice as thick as other famous desserts in a cup, including Dairy Queen's Blizzard and McDonald's McFlurry

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Wendy's Vanilla Frosty

    For 50 years, the Frosty at Wendy's came in only one flavor: chocolate. But in 2006, after repeated customer requests, the new Vanilla Frosty debuted nationwide. Like its chocolate counterpart, the Vanilla Frosty is a super-thick milkshake that has the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. Don't even attempt to get it through the straw they serve it with unless you feel the urge to collapse a lung. That's why they also give you a spoon. Start there.

    And, just as with my improved Classic Chocolate Frosty hack, you must make my copycat Wendy's Vanilla Frosty in a home ice cream maker to get the same thick and creamy consistency as the real thing. Sure, other Frosty clones might taste okay, but if it ain't thick like this one, it ain't a good hack.

    I've cloned a ton of Wendy's recipes. See if I hacked your favorite here.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    McDonald's Strawberry Banana Smoothie

    McDonald's refreshing smoothie is easy to knock off at home in a blender with fresh bananas and boxed frozen strawberries that come in syrup. Thaw out those strawberries before adding them and include some of the syrup when measuring. My McDonald's strawberry banana smoothie recipe makes 2 medium drinks so you can share, or one really big drink for a very hot and thirsty you.

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  • Not rated yet
    Cheddar's Spiked Strawberry Lemonade

    Here's a refreshing warm weather (or any weather!) cocktail that’s considered one of Cheddar's signature drinks. It's served in a huge 18-ounce schooner glass, but you can use any glass that will hold 18-ounces of liquid goodness. For the strawberries, find them in the freezer section and get kind that are frozen in sweet syrup, and let them thaw out before you measure. Be sure to include lots of the syrup when you measure the strawberries to help mellow the tart juice from the two lemon wedges.  

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Kahlua Coffee Liqueur (Improved)

    The redesigned Kahlua Coffee Liqueur labels now says "Rum and Coffee Liqueur," which is a helpful description when creating a clone version of the famous cordial. This text was not on the bottle 30 years ago when I made my first version of this liqueur using vodka—not rum. So, back into the lab went I, to create an improved version of the drink with rum, just like the label says.

    I used light rum for my Kahlua recipe because it is more of a neutral taste like the vodka called for in my first version, but since it doesn't include the caramel color added to Kahlua, your drink will come out a lighter shade of brown than the real stuff. However, you can also use dark rum in this recipe, which will add other flavor notes to your finished product, plus caramel color to deepen the shade of your liqueur.  

    There are many other famous drinks you can make at home! See if I cloned your favorites here

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  • Score: 4.00 (votes: 2)
    Cheddar's Painkiller

    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 of Cheddar's Painkiller, 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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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte

    The PSL is doing A-OK at Starbucks. In 2018, Starbucks moved the release of its seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte from September to August in anticipation of record sales for the 15-year-old product. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, consumers in 2017 “visited PSL establishments twice as many times as typical patrons,” most likely because they know the drinks are around for only a short time.

    The trick when hacking Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is making a perfect clone of the syrup used in the drink. I found a friendly barista who was willing to squirt a little of the secret syrup into a cup for me to take back to headquarters for examination. Back in the lab, I discovered the mysterious light orange–colored syrup had no spice particles in it whatsoever, meaning the flavors are added as extracts or oils. Most home cooks like you and me cannot get such ingredients, so I had to come up with a formula using easily accessible ground spices and pumpkin purée. 

    Using pumpkin pie spice makes this recipe easy and is much cheaper than buying all the spices separately. Pumpkin pie spice is a convenient blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and either allspice or clove, and it’s found in practically all food stores. For our hack, the blend is combined with a sugar solution and cooked until syrupy, then sweetened condensed milk is stirred in. Condensed milk is also used in the original syrup at Starbucks—according to the ingredients list—which is why the syrup they use is opaque and creamy. When your syrup is done, add a couple tablespoons to your latte, then top it off with whipped cream and a sprinkling of more spice.

    Lattes are made with espresso, and in this case you’ll need a double shot, which is about ¼ cup. If you can’t make espresso, then make some strong coffee and use ½ cup of it. If you don’t have a way to steam milk, you can heat it up in the microwave for 2 minutes or until hot, then make it foamy with a milk foamer, immersion blender, or whisk.

    Now, how about using that leftover syrup to make a Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For over 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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