Sometimes tiny simple things make you happy and sometimes tiny simple things make you sort of sad. Take Pinterest.com for instance, that is a really neat site. Super easy (except for the waiting list to join) and really useful. Type in what you're looking for, like Baby Gift for inspiration on things to give a newborn, and tada, you get all these pictures of things other people have found extremely fun without having to go through lists of google junk. Check it out if you don't know it, I didn't.
While I was happily searching away on Pinterest, going to more and more interesting blogs by normal people (such fun!), I came across A Law Student's Journey, about the Journey a Law student makes during her three years of study (obviously). She used to work at Starbucks and decided to give all readers an insight into the workings of those apparently evil minded employees of the coffee place of my choice, which is hilarious, as well as giving the recipe for Carmel Apple Spice (shouldn't that be Caramel by the way? Or is it the same thing.) I really like Christmas Holiday drinks and got really excited about the prospect of learning from the Starbucks masters.... but it's really disappointing!
Just looking at the picture you think Yum!
But then you see the recipe: Take apple juice, put in Cinnamon Dolce Syrup which you bought at Starbucks and heat in the microwave. After which you put on some whipped cream and take your bottle of caramel sauce and drizzle some over the top. Easy peazy so probably fabulous for all those who don't want to spend time in the kitchen, but really artificial for all others. And the sad part is mostly that it's really expensive at Starbucks and doesn't even really contain caramel or cider in the actual drink part of the drink!
So, having made this type of drink a few times myself, not completely from scratch but more so than the Starbucks variant, here is what I would do:
Take a liter (about 4 cups) of apple juice or apple cider (or cranberry juice, that's also really yummy for this), put in sauce pan together with a quarter lemon with 2 cloves pushed in (that's so you can easily take those out when done), a cinnamon stick and 3 juniper berries. You can add a little nutmeg too if you want, powder should do ok if you don't feel like grating. Bring that to a boil, on lowest heat leave to steep for about 20 minutes.
When done, take out all the spices and pour into cups. Then take your caramel sauce because face it, you do not want to be making your own. It's a hassle and can go very wrong. Pour some into the spiced apple juice/cider and stir, than add whipped cream and drizzle some more caramel over the top.
This is also super easy to make and will cost you less than getting a Cinnamon Dolce syrup bottle from your local Starbucks. Plus you get that wonderful smell of steeping apple juice/cider throughout your house, giving you a very homey feeling ;)