It’s hard to believe, but 15 years ago coffee shops didn’t offer much in the way of cool summer drinks, aside from iced coffee or tea. It wasn’t until 1995 that the Frappuccino was born: At the request of customers, the manager at a Starbucks in Santa Monica, CA, started experimenting with a blender, mixing together espresso, milk and ice. The concoction became so popular that nearby stores started serving it, too, and once Starbucks headquarters got wind of the new hit drink, the company added mocha and coffee Frappuccinos to its menu — plus more than 40 flavors since then. Readers like Taylor Church from Purlear, NC, have been asking us to get the recipe, but Starbucks reps wouldn’t hand it over, so Food Network Kitchens blended this perfect copy.
Make the coffee ice: Stir the sugar into the coffee until dissolved, then let cool. Pour into a 16-cube ice-cube tray and freeze until solid, about 3 hours.
Make the chocolate syrup: Combine the sugar and cocoa powder in a saucepan and slowly whisk in 2/3 cup hot water. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking, until the sugar dissolves, 3 to 5 minutes; do not boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate, honey and vanilla until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cool.
Make the frappes: Puree 8 coffee ice cubes, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 to 1/2 cup chocolate syrup and 1 cup plain ice in a blender until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses, then repeat to make 2 more drinks. Top with whipped cream and more chocolate syrup.