A few days ago I made the now rare trip to Starbucks to satisfy my desire for a Caramel Apple Spice (formerly known as the Caramel Apple Cider). When I pulled up to the drive thru, they told me the horrible news – they were out of apple juice.
I shouldn’t have been surprised – as soon as it shows up on the menu again*, they inevitably run out of apple juice.
Instead of the cider, I settled for a Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. It costs more and didn’t at all satisfy my desire for the cider. In fact, it was the second time I’ve tried this drink and I’m just not satisfied with it in general. Ever since my love affair with Sander’s Salted Caramels, I yearn for the flavor. But the S’bucks liquid version just does not contain enough salty flavor to be considered a “salted caramel”.
So, I made an unplanned trip to the grocery store to pick up some apple juice. The other supplies were already at home, so I was set to experiment with my own version.
What you need:
- Cinnamon flavoring syrup (I actually had some Cinnamon Dolce syrup from S’bucks, but will be getting more of the Torani cinnamon syrup when I need to replenish my stock.)
- Apple Juice (100% juice – none of that stuff with additional ingredients)
- Whipped cream (I use Redi Whip in the can)
- Caramel sauce (I used Smucker’s Caramel Ice Cream topping, which worked beautifully)
Note: I’m lucky enough to have received a Cocomotion hot cocoa machine for Christmas one year from a friend, so I also use that. I’m sure you could also use the microwave or steam up the apple juice with an espresso machine if you have one.
So, what you’re gonna do is mix approximately 1 tbsp of the syrup with 1 cup of apple juice. This measurement was a total guess that worked. Although you might want to try it with 1 tbsp syrup with 2 cups of juice. I actually just put both in my Cocomotion and hit the on button. It mixes and heats everything up. After the mixing and heating of your juice/syrup mixture, pour it into a mug. Make sure to leave some room on top for the next step: whipped cream. Squirt some whipped cream on top of your cider, then drizzle with the caramel sauce.
Drink and enjoy. Now you’ve made your very own caramel apple cider for less than $2 per serving.
*Technically, you can get it year round, but it is only on the displayed menu during the fall for some reason.