During the fall, Starbucks releases its Pumpkin Spice Latte for pumpkin spice fans everywhere. The drink is so popular that it sometimes overshadow’s the brands other offerings. I do like the PSL, but I have to admit that my favorite drink right now is something a little bit different. On warm fall days, I’m opting for an Iced Salted Caramel Mocha when I want to indulge a bit. The Starbucks version uses mocha and toffee nut syrups for a drink that is a blend of chocolaty and nutty flavors, then it is topped with a drizzle of salted caramel sauce. I don’t have toffee nut syrup at home to make an exact replica of the drink – however you don’t need to have it to whip up a fantastic homemade version of this decadent drink.
My version of the drink starts with strong coffee, hot chocolate mix and salted caramel sauce. Salted caramel is so popular now that it is easy to find the sauce being sold at most grocery stores. I used a particularly buttery salted caramel from CC Made. If your store doesn’t carry it, you can use any caramel sauce that you like (thick sauce, not syrup) and add in a generous pinch of salt to contrast with its sweetness. Mix the strong coffee with hot cocoa and salted caramel sauce, then pour over ice and top with a splash of milk, a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzle of caramel.
I recommend using double strength coffee or even espresso when making this drink, since the coffee will dilute when you pour it over the ice and you don’t want you drink to taste watered down. You can start out with iced coffee, however it is much easier to incorporate the cocoa powder and caramel if you are starting with hot.
Iced Salted Caramel Mocha
4-oz hot, strong coffee
2 tbsp salted caramel sauce
(or caramel sauce + pinch of salt)
3 tbsp hot chocolate mix,
(or 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder + 2 tbsp sugar)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
4-6-oz cold milk
Lightly sweetened whipped cream
additional caramel sauce for topping
coarse kosher or sea salt
In a small mug or measuring cup, stir together hot coffee, caramel sauce, hot chocolate mix and vanilla extract. Add additional sugar to taste, as needed.
Fill a large, tall glass with ice and pour hot coffee mixture over the ice. Fill almost to the top with milk. Stir gently to combine.
Top with lightly sweetened whipped cream and drizzle with caramel sauce. Just before serving, sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.