• Janice K. Lee

5 Specialty Drinks you Can Make At Home Right Now

I’m no barista, but as a cafe aficionado, I’ve been turning my kitchen into a mini cafe with some basic ingredients. The best part? You can do it too.



So, you’ve come crawling to my article. This means two things: one, you’re sick and tired of having Nescafe instant coffee every morning, and two, you’re desperate but motivated enough to explore different options without breaking the bank. I congratulate you on making it this far, now just sit back and let me do the hard work for you. After being in the same position as the above scenario, I put myself through two months of trial and error to make simple, easy, and delicious drinks that don't require any fancy instruments or expensive products (DIY-ing is in my blood as a college student). After constantly using my family as guinea pigs for my homemade concoctions, I’ve come up with some of the tastiest drinks any beginner can make without having to break the bank. Here are my top 5 drinks that I’ve come up with. You can thank me later!

1. Iced Coffee ☕

If you love iced coffees and iced lattes but don’t know how to make one, this one’s for you. (P.S. there’s no overnight cold-brew freezing needed, phew)


You will need:

  • Instant coffee (2 spoons)

  • Sugar (2 spoons or adjusted to your taste)

  • Milk (1 and a half cups or adjusted to your taste)

  • Ice

Now the recipe:

  • Boil around a cup of water, you’ll only need to use 2 or 3 tablespoons.

  • In a small bowl, put the 2 spoons or instant coffee and 2 spoons of sugar together. Essentially the coffee-sugar-water ratio is 1:1:1.

  • Once the water is boiled, add the boiled water to the coffee-sugar mix and begin mixing with a whisk or a spoon. You’ll begin to see bubbles forming at the top instantaneously. Continue mixing for around 5 minutes.

  • Grab a cup (I prefer using mason jars or a glass cup for aesthetic) and pour in ice until full. Pour over the milk and leave some room at the top for the coffee mix.

  • Grab your coffee mix and pour over the glass of milk and watch it marble into the drink. Ta-da! Your morning coffee just got interesting.

2. Avocado Smoothie 🥑

I know. Sounds intimidating. But promise you’ll give it a try before judging and you’ll thank me later because this is actually my favorite. I came across this seemingly-absurd drink because I had one of these in a Turkish desert restaurant in NYC, and after falling in love with it I just had to recreate it at home. Turns out, it's super easy to make and very healthy.


You will need (for one serving):

  • Half an avocado

  • Milk (1 cup)

  • Honey (adjusted to your sweet-tooth)

  • Ice (1 cup)

  • Strawberries (optional)

The Recipe:

  • Put all the ingredients (except for the strawberries) into a blender and mix. Depending on your taste, you can adjust how much honey your pour into your mix. I like my drinks pretty sweet so I put around 2 tablespoons of honey on average.

  • After the drink is blended, pour it into a cup. I like to go by layers and drizzle some honey in the middle of my drink for extra taste. Once all the drink is poured into your cup, top it off with some honey and sliced strawberries! That was easy, wasn’t it?

Also, the Avocado Smoothie is technically a smoothie but I like to eat it almost like a yogurt parfait and scoop up a good amount of the avocado shake, honey, and strawberry bits.

3. Chilled Hot Coco 🍫

If you’re in for a cool drink for the summer but don’t wanna get a caffeine overdose, this is the perfect solution to satisfy your productive mornings.


You will need:

  • Hot coco mix (2 spoons)

  • Sugar (2 spoons or adjusted to your liking)

  • Water (2 tablespoons)

  • Milk (1 cup)

  • Ice

The Recipe:

  • This recipe is similar to the iced coffee, so begin by boiling a cup of water (you will only need around 2 tablespoons, however).

  • In a small bowl, mix the coco mix and sugar. Add the boiling water and whisk till the mix is fully dissolved.

  • Grab your favorite cup and fill with ice. Pour in milk and leave room for coco mix.

  • Pour in the coco mix and watch it drizzle through the milk. Mix and enjoy!

4. Banana Milkshake 🍌

This one’s great for all ages and for when you feel like going back to the basics. Nothing can go wrong with bananas.

Unfortunately, I made a TikTok on how to make a Banana Smoothie instead of taking a picture. (cr. Kristine’s Kitchen)


You will need:

  • 1 Banana

  • Cup milk (1 cup)

  • Vanilla Ice Cream (2 scoops or adjusted to your liking) or honey for a healthier alternative

  • ice (1 cup)

The Recipe:

  • Add all the ingredients in a blender and blend.

  • Once thoroughly blended, pour the mix into your favorite cup and enjoy!

I cannot express how simple it is to make, yet it is so delicious. I’m surprised I haven’t opened my own cafe at this point.

5. Matcha Latte 🍵

This one is saved for last because making a good matcha latte can be expensive (and by expensive I mean over $10–$15 for good matcha powder). Regardless, if you have some matcha powder lying around and you don’t know how to make a good matcha latte, it’s time to change that.


You’ll Need:

  • 3 grams (or 1 spoon) of Matcha Powder

  • Sugar (1 spoon)

  • Milk (1 cup)

  • Ice (1 cup)

The Recipe:

  • Again, this method is similar to the Iced Coffee and Chilled Hot Coco.

  • Begin by boiling one cup of water (you’ll only need around 3 tablespoons).

  • In a separate bowl, mix matcha powder with sugar. Add hot water and mix with a chasen or whisk (even a spoon works).

  • As always, grab your favorite cup and fill with ice.

And that concludes my list for 5 simple yet delicious drinks you can make in your own kitchen. Feel free to tag me Janice Lee on Medium (or @jncelee on Instagram) if you want to share your creations with me. Happy drinking!

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About the Author

Janice Lee is a Sophomore studying Marketing, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship at Rutgers Business School. When she's not looking at business plans, she's most likely on her Oculus Go, experimenting to brew the best iced coffee, or writing about it.

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