Make Your Own Flavored Coffee Drinks At Home


I didn’t start drinking coffee until I was thirty. I spent my twenties having babies, so I avoided caffeine and never developed the habit.

At thirty, with four little kids and an exhausting corporate job, I gave in.

Coffee wasn’t that great. Mostly it was pale, weak and bitter. I made it palatable with cream and sugar.

Then came Starbucks. Even if you don’t like their signature dark roast, you have to admit by just existing, coffee everywhere got better.

My son is a barista, so I developed a Starbucks habit of gold card proportions stopping by the store to visit him.

Luckily, he gets a free pound of coffee a week, so I can make great coffee at home now.

The only problem was I could only replicate the plain brewed coffee.

I heard about a Torani Flavored Syrup promotion from She Speaks and I jumped on it. She Speaks and Torani sent me two full-sized bottles of flavored syrup and some free coupons to facilitate my review.

My kids and I have been making flavored coffee drinks at home ever since my Torani package came in the mail. One bottle of Torani is less expensive than two peppermint mochas at Starbucks.

My favorites are the caramel and the peppermint. Here’s my homemade version of a peppermint mocha.

Torani-peppermint-syrup-Hersheys-ReddiwhipBrew a cup of strong coffee. Add a quarter cup of milk. Add Torani peppermint syrup and chocolate syrup to taste. I use a big mug, so I added 4 tablespoons of each.

Experiment to find the perfect ratio for your palate. Top with whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

I found a huge selection of Torani syrups at my local Cost Plus World Market, but it is also sold at Walmart and on Amazon, among other locations. I picked up a pump for two or three dollars—totally worth it.

The Torani syrups are very versatile. You can use them in coffee, tea, milk, mixed with sparkling water for Italian sodas, in mixed drinks, and for cooking.

Torani-peppermint-syrup--bottle-label-logoI found a recipe for a Christmas jelly roll cake, and I think I’ll brush the cake with peppermint syrup rather than making a homemade flavored simple syrup on the stove.

Also Torani has a new BACON syrup. I saw a drink recipe for this mixed with bourbon and garnished with a strip of bacon, but I think I’d use the bacon syrup to make a glaze for ham. Mix it with a little Dijon mustard. Mmm, bacon. It can’t be wrong when it tastes so right!

Torani flavored syrups are available in over 122 flavors, which include regular and sugar-free varieties. Please go to to see all flavors. Use coupon code “shespeaks” for a ten percent discount on your order.

Add as a reward for reading to the bottom of this post, I have a coupon for a full-sized bottle of Torani syrup for two lucky readers!

Just tell me in a comment what Torani flavor you’d like to try and how you’d use it.

I’’ll select two winners randomly Monday and notify them via e-mail. Winners have 48 hours to respond to my e-mail or forfeit. U.S. and Canada only, please.

I’m going back to World Market to get some more Torani. I think I’ll try one of the fruit flavors to add to tea and lemonade. I think the freshness will be a nice memory of summer as the cold weather descends.

Edited to add: This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to my winners, Sonja and Becky!

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  1. Both peppermint and caramel sound great to me! Probably caramel, though, if push came to shove.

    • I’ve been using the caramel in my morning coffee. Rich flavor. Not too heavy.

  2. Annieruth says:

    I love peppermint mochas from Starbucks! Haven’t had one yet this year, but would love to make them at home! Have you ever made your own chocolate syrup? Easy as pie and delicious, and I just put it in an empty Hershey’s bottle for easy pouring.

    • I’ve never made chocolate syrup. Do you have a recipe?

      • Annieruth says:

        Sure – here it is:
        Chocolate Syrup (like Hershey’s)
        • 1 1/2 cups water
        • 3 cups sugar
        • 1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa
        • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
        • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
        • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
        In a small pot, bring water and sugar to a boil and whisk in cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup. Whisk until all of the solids have dissolved. Reduce sauce until slightly thickened. Cool to room temperature. Pour into squeeze bottles. Squeeze into hot or cold milk and stir for delicious hot chocolate or chocolate milk or serve on your favorite ice cream or in coffee. This makes more than a Hershey’s bottle will hold, so you can cut it in half, or just have an extra bottle ready. Store in fridge.

        It has a tiny bit of corn syrup, but nothing like Hershey’s and it’s very tasty.

        • Wow, thanks! These are all pantry items I have right now and this is SO much cheaper than a bottle of chocolate sauce from the store.

  3. I think the peppermint would be my fave! I’m a huge peppermint mocha fan.

    • I have fully trained the younger children how to make me peppermint mochas. Life is good.

  4. Sugar – Free Caramel Toranti is my absolute favorite. No kidding. I go through a bottle a week. Would love to have a coupon. 😎

    • Zounds! That’s a lot of Torani!
      Still, cheaper than coffeehouse coffee.
      Do you like the flavor of the sugar-free? No bitterness?

  5. Kat T says:

    I can’t decided, the cinnamon vanilla, or french vanilla. I am a vanilla kinda of girl. Wondering, would it be good in iced coffee too? As warm as it is here I drink my coffee iced most of the time now.

    • Yes, I think it would be great in an iced coffee. I’ve seen several recipes for that.
      Here’s a recipe from Torani. I’d just substitute your preferred flavor.

    • Christa says:

      Kat, I prefer iced espresso to hot, and make them all the time at home. Torani’s is great for any drink, warm or cold, and like Anne said, it’s a lot cheaper than Starbucks (esp. if you can get the flavors you like on Subscribe & Save from Amazon). Otherwise, most local grocery stores carry at least a limited selection of popular flavors. Enjoy!

      • I found Walmart has the basics, World Market has several dozen flavors, but for the more unusual flavors you need to order from Torani or amazon.

  6. Melissa says:

    I am definitely a caramel girl (especially since I ODd on Candy Cane Joe Joe’s last night :)

    • The candy cane JoeJoe’s are in?!?
      Running to get car keys!

  7. Joni says:

    I am a huge fan of Torani’s. I use them in cocoa or make italian sodas. Favorites are Irish Creme and Vanilla. Vanilla is awesome when added to Coke!

    • I just checked and see they have cherry AND also cherry-lime.

      I can make cherry coke and cherry limeades at home!

      Thanks, Joni!

  8. SewWhat? says:

    Sugar Free peppermint :)

    • I’d like to taste-test that against the regular and see how the sugar-free compares.

  9. Well, I sure would love to try the peppermint and your recipe; however, I think I saw that they have a salted caramel flavor. It might be a tough choice…

  10. Julia (jmmom) says:

    Hmmm….peppermint or the salted caramel. I love the salted caramel hot chocolate at Starbucks, but my budget doesn’t. But peppermint is so fresh and just right for the holiday…yummmmm.

    • Julia, a bottle of Torani runs somewhere around 6 or 7 dollars.

      And all the bottles (except for the bacon) are 750mL. Two or three tablespoons at a time–a bottle could last a while.

  11. Christa says:

    Ooooh, most definitely peppermint, for peppermint white mocha breve replication at home. Note: to simulate the “white chocolate” that Starbucks would use on a white mocha, use some sweetened condensed milk. Much cheaper than Torani’s version, but tastes the same. 😉

    • That’s a great tip! I’m going to try that, Christa.

  12. Back in the day before starbucks I used them at a small espresso bar we had in a kitchen store I managed. I also used them a lot for Italian sodas. I would love to have some coconut to mix with some chocolate and try to make a “mounds” flavored drink. Or add in some caramel and make a milky way bar flavored coffee drink. Then I noticed that they have HUCKLEBERY!! Yum!! Of course it would make me homesick for Idaho.

    • I don’t even know what a huckleberry tastes like. I imagine it to be like a blueberry.

  13. Sonja says:

    Oh, my, you are speaking my language. I adore the caramel but I would choose the raspberry because…well, none of my children like raspberry, so I could have the whole thing to myself!

    Selfish, I know!

    • That made me laugh at the truth of it.

      My daughter switched my pump from the caramel (my usual) to peppermint (her favorite).

  14. Fern says:

    I love my coffee syrups. I bought 3 bottles for my husband to give me for Christmas…they are tucked away and I don’t think I am going to wait another month + for them…I think tomorrow would be a GREAT time to take out Classic Hazelnut and savor my coffee! Thanks for reminding me!

    • Treat yourself, Fern!

      My boys’ grandmother loves hazelnut too, I’m going to give her a bottle for Christmas. (Hope she doesn’t read this!)

  15. Deanne says:

    English Toffee. I would add it to a chocolate banana smoothie.

  16. Having worked in a cafe for three years, I love my Toranis and know just how to use them. My current fave has got to be salted caramel. I love it in a latte (or drip coffee) and it’s especially yummy in a hot chai.

    • Salted caramel is my next must-buy.
      I bought a jar of salted caramel syrup at Trader Joe’s and I just love the flavor profile.

      I want to like the salted caramel mochas at Starbucks better, but it’s too chocolatey. I’d like to make a version at home that’s more to my taste.

  17. Yum! I’d love to try peppermint actually. I have been loving peppermint-flavored stuff these last couple of years so it’ll be one more thing to love!

    • I like the peppermint syrup the best.

      It’s full-on minty, but somehow light. It’s not like eating an altoid.

  18. I too have the Starbucks’ monkey on my back. This post might help my bank balance :-)

  19. For years we used Torani syrups to make Italian Cream Sodas at home. They were must tastier than any store-bought soda and we could make them in any flavor.

    Our favorites were Cherry, Peach and French Vanilla.

    My personal favorite is a Cherry/French Vanilla mix. YUM!

    All you need is some Club Soda, Torani Syrup, and Half and Half and Voila! your own homemade Italian Soda. Kids love them, btw. They were a huge draw.

    • Thanks for the recipe.

      I want some cherry syrup to mix with Coke.

  20. Ohmygoodness. I used to be a barista during my freshman year of college, and we used Torani syrups for all our lattes. And that syrup is GOOD.
    I have honestly been considering buying a bottle since I saw them at World Market. I would LOVE to try the peppermint flavor – your peppermint mocha recipe sounds amazing. I love the Starbucks version, but it kills me to drop $5 on a cup of coffee. Plus, the peppermint syrup would be great in mojitos come summertime!

    • I think the peppermint syrup is very versatile.
      When we put s bit in hot tea, I was amazed at how good it was.

      I was at a tweet chat last night for Torani and they said employees can have TWO free bottles a week and the most popular flavor right now is Ruby Red Graperfruit–because they use it in Cosmos.

      I’m not a big drinker, but you could make so many good mocktails with this stuff, too.

  21. 2 bottles?!?! I need a new job.

  22. Sherry Casella says:

    I haven’t read all these (got stuff on the stove right now), but here’s my answer:

    I’d use the bacon-flavored Torani syrup. I’ve been hearing more and more about bacon-flavored this and that (donuts, most recently), and it got me wondering how bacon-flavored syrup might taste over ds’ continually-improving homemade gluten-free pancakes. I mean, when we make a full brekkie around here, my bacon usually winds up getting syrup all over it anyway, so why not skip the middle step and just go there? 😀

    • Cut out the middle man.
      I think maple syrup from pancakes on your bacon or sausage is one of the joys of life.

  23. Yum! I’d love to try the salted caramel one.

    We buy the vanilla syrup all the time to make Italian Cream Soda. All you do is fill a glass with ice, add 1 oz vanilla syrup and 1 oz half and half, then fill the glass with Club Soda. They are so delicious!

    • I’m going to try this with one of they syrups I already have.

  24. Bacon flavored? That sounds amazing — I would love to try that!

    I didn’t start drinking coffee until after I finished college, which I thought was late by most of my friends’s standards. Until your 30’s — I’m impressed!

    • My dad drinks a LOT of coffee, and I thought it smelled good, but didn’t taste as good as it smelled.

  25. Totally peppermint! I love minty things! I would use it in my hot chocolate!

    • We also used it to make an Italian cream soda using the recipe someone left me in the comments above.

      Ice in a tall glass, ounce of syrup, ounce of half-and-half, fill with club soda and stir.

      It was really good!

  26. Peg says:

    Sugar Free Caramel or Peppermint. Love both. I use the caramel for coffee and in cocoa.

    • Those are my favorites too. You need to come over to my house for coffee.
      The house is a mess, but the coffee is good.

  27. Liesl says:

    peppermint – YUM!!!

    • It’s a great treat in the morning. And perfect for the season. I love peppermint in winter.

  28. Claire says:

    I’d love to try Sugar free salted caramel in my milk! Yum :)

    • It sounds really good to me too. I am all over salted caramel this year.

  29. OOOOHHHH!!!! Am I too late??? Stinkin’ dinosaur laptop.

    That is my all time, hands down favorite syrup brand to use in our coffee ‘shop’. Hazelnut latte every morning is almost better than Prozac. Almost.

    Since it ’tis the season though….I’m thinking a Peppermint flavor must be necessary. :) Yup. That’s the one I’d want.

    Also fyi – our local ‘Cash and Carry’ has a huge selection of these and is wwaaaaaayyyy less expensive than I’ve seen it elsewhere.

    • Just in time, Faith. I’m just about to close comments and draw.

  30. The peach syrup would be great in tea, either hot or iced.

    Think that it would be neat to try cupcake syrup for coffee…generally, I add vanilla or just a simple syrup to my coffee.
    Cupcakes make me smile so it would be festive and fun to add to my coffee in the morning. Might have to throw in some sprinkles just to finish off the whole cupcake theme.
    Plus, think my sons would enjoy adding a bit to their milk in the morning too!
    Neat giveaway!
    Have a happy Thanksgiving and thanks for retweeting for me via Triberr.

    Love your blog!


    • I’m intrigued by the cupcake flavor. I have a hard time imagining it in coffee.

      I think it would be great in steamed milk.