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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

    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 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 formula that you now churn in a home ice cream maker until thick and creamy, and it tastes just like the real thing.

    Unlike my previous recipe which relied on pre-made 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. 

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    America’s biggest coffee-house chain has come up with another way to sell us a seasonal pumpkin drink, and this one is pretty damn good. Cold brew coffee is mixed with vanilla syrup and ice, then a pumpkin spice flavored cream is layered on top. If it's in a clear glass you'll see the creamy topping slowly sinking to the bottom like a lava lamp, and the color of the drink will change to a light autumn brown.  

    To make our own version of this drink at home we start by making the secret pumpkin spice syrup from my Pumpkin Spice Latte recipe posted last year, but this time I’m adding an extra tablespoon of pumpkin. You’ll have plenty of this syrup left over to make several more drinks.

    The rest is easy. Grab your favorite cold brew coffee and mix it with some vanilla syrup (like this one from Torani). The cream topping is made by mixing cream with 2% milk in a blender, just until thick. After adding the pumpkin syrup, you pour the topping over your coffee and top it off with pumpkin spice.

    You've just hacked Starbucks new autumn-in-a-cup. Now, how about making some of their famous pastries?

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 4

    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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    Need a simple cocktail for a hot day when the thought of lemonade makes your mouth water? Try this one. You start crafting this new signature blender drink by making lemon syrup from scratch from lemon juice, sugar and water. Track down some limoncello--an Italian lemon liqueur--and Smirnoff citrus vodka or your favorite citrus vodka. Refreshing and boozy. Sounds good to me.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    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 here for the photo 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: 4.85. Votes: 13

    The menu describes the steakhouse chain's popular fruity drink as a "down under frozen wonder with peaches, DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps, champagne, Smirnoff Vodka and secret mixers." You don't need to use the same brand-name booze as the chain does, but you will need to find a can of Kern's peach nectar. It's the perfect "secret mixer."

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

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 2

    When John Ferolito and Don Vultaggio were thinking of names for their new line of iced teas back in 1992, they scanned a map for inspiration. The idea was to find a location with hot weather. Santa Fe was the first name that smacked 'em in the face, but the two later settled on the sweltering state of Arizona, with the funky addition of a capital "Z" in the middle. Now AriZona Beverage Company makes over 30 varieties of iced teas, coffees, elixirs, juices and other hip drinks. This clone of their popular black tea with ginseng can be made with just one regular size tea bag and liquid ginseng that you can find in any decent health food store worth a grain of organic salt.

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

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    Score: 4.89. Votes: 9

    Menu Description: "Bury your sweet tooth with smooth Kahlua, creamy vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and rich Hershey's chocolate syrup."

    Sure, there's a little Kahlua in there, but this famous Applebee's drink is more dessert than cocktail, really. And the presentation will make you look like a pro because you spiral the chocolate syrup around the inside of the glass before adding the drink. This Applebee's mudslide copycat recipe looks cool and its easy to do...even after you've had a couple. Grab a straw and prepare to crave another when this one's gone. No wonder this drink also comes in a larger size.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 5

    Menu Description: "It's our signature recipe."

    Bring the tropical spirit of this drink to your house with a clone of this potent cocktail from the growing Chinese bistro chain. Mai tai is Tahitian for "out of this world," and P.F. Chang's recipe is one of the best and most authentic. The secret to a true mai tai is found in the original recipe developed by Trader Vic in 1944: almond-flavored syrup, called "orgeat." You can find the sweet stuff in stores that sell coffee flavorings (Torani is one very popular brand), or from bar supply outlets. If you can't find orgeat, there's a clone recipe included in the Tidbits below.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.20. Votes: 5

    If you love the taste of Sunny D but wish it was made with more than just 5 percent real fruit juice, this is the recipe for you. Rustle up some frozen juice concentrates and let them thaw out before measuring. Since tangerine juice concentrate is tough to find on its own, I designed the recipe to use the orange/tangerine blend concentrate from Minute Maid.

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

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