By Fred Decker

If you like your caffeine all wrapped up in rich, sweet luxury, it's hard to say no to an iced caramel macchiato. The frothy milk, vanilla syrup and sweet caramel topping tame the assertiveness of the espresso, but the coffee's got enough oomph to still cut through the sweetness.

High Angle View Of Coffee On Table
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How to Make an Iced Caramel Macchiato

The only real problem with it is the sheer number of calories. A grande iced caramel macchiato has 250 calories, and that's not even with whole milk. If you start your day with one of these drinks for a week, that's 1750 calories – basically a whole day's intake – above and beyond whatever you eat for your meals. Even if you order a skinny caramel macchiato and add your own ice when you get home, you're still looking at 140 calories every time.

That doesn't mean you need to give up your favorite morning eye-opener – not by a long shot. You can make your own iced caramel macchiato at home, and get the flavor and caffeine jolt you're looking for with a lot fewer calories. The secret ingredient is sugar-free flavor syrups, or better yet no-calorie flavor syrups. There are several brands available, and you can even pick up Starbucks' own sugar-free vanilla syrup for that authentic taste. When made with nonfat milk or your favorite milk alternative, no-calorie syrup and espresso, this version adds up to just around 49 calories.

Prep Time: 2 minutes | Cook Time: 1 minute | Serves: 1

Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces fresh-brewed espresso or instant espresso coffee, cooled
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or non-fat milk or your favorite milk alternative
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free or no-calorie vanilla syrup
  • 2 tablespoons sugar-free or no-calorie caramel syrup (or more, to taste)
  • 1 to 2 portions no-calorie sweetener, optional
  • ice

Instructions:

  1. In a regular or high-powered blender, combine the milk, syrups and optional sweetener if you're using it. Blend at high speed for 25 to 40 seconds, until the milk is light and frothy.
  2. Pour the coffee into a large, chilled glass. Carefully pour in the frothy milk, so you finish with a layer of foam at the top. Add the ice, and then drizzle the top with extra caramel syrup if you wish. Enjoy immediately.