Orange mocha frappuccinos

Anyone who’s spent any length of time with me–say, more than 10 minutes–knows that I am a huge fan of Zoolander. It’s one of my five desert island movies, hands down. When it first came out, I avoided it, since Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell usually grate on me like crazy, and I’m usually too buttoned-up and serious for movies this goofy. But then I caved in and watched it, and fell under its spell. It’s a dumb movie written by smart people. It’s silly, but sharp underneath.

And it’s insanely, obnoxiously quotable. My parents, siblings, and I will throw around Zoolander quotes at the least possible provocation. Whenever we’re indignant about something, it’s always, “What is this?!? A center for ANTS?!?” If someone coughs, even once, for any reason, you better bet someone will pipe up, “I think I’m getting the black lung.” And, of course, there’s never a bad time for “Orange mocha frappuccinos!!!”

So when my friend Lucia decided to put together a Zoolander-themed party, there was no question that orange mocha frappuccinos would be on the menu. But, surprisingly, when I started poking Google for ideas, there weren’t many recipes to choose from. A lot of folks seem to have done orange mocha flavored things–cupcakes, mousse, actual mocha drinks–but not frappuccinos. With any normal recipe, I would take that as a hint that it was perhaps not the best idea. But I was determined. We needed orange mocha frappuccinos, or the party would be ruined. So I decided to doctor a more traditional frappuccino knockoff recipe with some orange syrup and homemade chocolate syrup, and see what happened.

So did it work? Well…yes, and no. Honestly, there’s a reason you don’t often see coffee and orange paired together–it just tastes funny. Coffee and chocolate are wonderful, and chocolate and orange are wonderful, but all three mashed together make a bit of a flavor muddle. (Things improved marginally with a couple shots of vodka added to the blender, though that may have been the vodka talking.) That said, as a party drink to suit a theme, this more than fit the bill. It was totally drinkable, and awfully fun. I’d recommend it to anyone who needs a sugary, spikeable beverage to take to a gasoline fight.

orange mocha frappuccino

Orange Mocha Frappuccinos (makes 2 large drinks, or 4 small drinks)

Adapted from Allrecipes

Note: We used mandarin orange-flavored Italian soda syrup for this. If you’d prefer to make your own syrup, just mix together orange juice and granulated sugar in a 1:1 ratio–so, for 1/2 cup of orange juice, use 1/2 cup sugar. Heat the mixture, stirring until the sugar dissolves, then let it cool completely.

2 cups ice cubes

1 cup strong brewed coffee, chilled

1 cup milk

1/3 cup chocolate syrup (storebought or homemade), plus more for drizzling

2 tbsp orange syrup (see note)

1-2 tbsp granulated sugar, or to taste

Whipped cream (optional)

In a blender, combine ice cubes, coffee, milk, chocolate sauce, orange syrup, and sugar. Blend until the mixture is smooth.

Divide the frappuccino mixture among chilled glasses. Top with whipped cream, if desired, and drizzle with a bit more chocolate sauce. Stick a straw in each glass, and serve immediately.

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