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Wonderfully sweet yet bitter, refreshingly chilled, and gloriously frothy, our Greek frappe recipe tells you all about this Greek favorite, some popular variations, and how to make this iconic drink at home.
Greek Frappe Recipe
What is Greek Frappe?
While frappé is a French word, a Greek frappé/frappe (sometimes spelled without the accent) is very much a Greek concoction and one that came about entirely by accident.
This happened at the 1957 Thessaloniki International Fair, when Dimitris Vakondios, who was working at a Nestlé exhibition stand at the fair, couldn’t find any hot water to make his usual instant coffee.
Instead, he mixed instant coffee with cold water and ice, in a shaker, and little did he know at that moment invented a beverage that would go on to become synonymous with Greek coffee culture.
While the drink became popular in Greece, it wasn’t until the 1980s, when Nescafé aligned themselves with the beverage and aggressively marketed it, that it became known worldwide. So much so, many Greeks state that it isn’t a true Greek frappe unless Nescafé instant coffee is used.
Type – The modern Greek frappe can also include sugar, and Greeks will typically order this drink based on its level of sweetness, commonly:
- glykós – meaning ‘sweet,’ which is typically 4 spoonfuls of sugar to 2 spoonfuls of Nescafé
- métrios – meaning ‘medium,’ which is typically a ratio of 2 to 2
- skétos – meaning ‘plain,’ or no sugar at all.
Milk – When at the adding water and ice stage, some people will also add milk, typically evaporated milk. However, this is not considered traditional and is more popular among tourists. Hence, for a Greek frappe with milk, you need to ask for the frappe me gála, meaning ‘with milk,’ or for a frapógalo.
Preparation – While we have gone with the classic method of making the drink with a milk frother, some cafes and bars will use a cocktail shaker, or use an electronic device, such as a milkshake maker.
Ice Cream – Not deemed traditional, but some modern recipes will add vanilla ice cream instead of milk for a sweet and very thick Greek frappe.
Liquor – Especially in bars, you can find Greek frappes served with a shot of liquors, such as Baileys.
Spoon-Made – Some versions may be stirred with a spoon, not shaken, producing a less thick and foamy drink with a slightly different taste. However, this style of frappe is not considered a traditional Greek frappe.
To make our Greek frappe recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Instant Coffee – 2 tsp instant coffee (preferably Nescafe)
- Sugar – 2 tsp (or to taste, see the variations section)
- Ice Cubes – 2 large ice cubes
- Water – 1 cup
You’ll also need a frother (or a shaker bottle or a jar with a lid), a straw, and a tall glass.
Step 1 – Add the instant coffee and sugar to your glass.
Step 2 – Add enough water just to cover the coffee and sugar (only a couple tablespoons of water).
Step 3 – Using the frother, mix the coffee-sugar mixture until a thick foam is created (it should only take a few seconds).
You can also make the frappe without a frother by using a shaker bottle or even a simple jar with a lid. Just add the coffee, sugar, and enough water to cover the coffee and sugar. Put the lid on and shake the bottle/jar until a thick foam is created. It will take longer than using a frother but it will work!
Step 4 – Add the ice cubes.
Step 5 – Top with a cup of cold water.
Step 6 – Serve the frappe with a straw. Sip slowly and enjoy.
The reason to drink this with a straw is because the foam can be quite bitter.
Greek Frappe Recipe Card
- 2 tsp instant coffee (preferably Nescafe)
- 2 tsp sugar (or to taste, see the variations section)
- 2 large ice cubes
- 1 cup cold water
- Add the instant coffee and sugar to your glass.
- Add enough water just to cover the coffee and sugar.
- Using a frother, mix the coffee-sugar mixture until a thick foam is created (it should only take a few seconds) (note 1)
- Add the ice cubes.
- Top with a cup of water.
- Serve the frappe with a straw. Sip slowly and enjoy.
Note 1: You can also make this without a frother by using a shaker bottle or even a simple jar with a lid. Just add the coffee, sugar, and enough water to cover the coffee and sugar. Put the lid on and shake the bottle/jar until a thick foam is created. It will take longer than using a frother but it will work!
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Save and Pin for Later
Want to make this beloved drink at home? Keep our recipe for safekeeping by saving it to one of your recipe boards.