There are several different interpretations of what Frappe can mean.
Perhaps the most universal meaning, in the English-speaking world, is a simple syrup, mixed with flavourings (often fruit), then frozen, then blended until it’s slushy. Sometimes a Frappe may have alcohol added in the form of a liqueur.
In France, a Frappe is made from milk and fruit juices shaken together.
In South-eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, US, a Frappe is a milk shake with ice cream in it (for them, a regular milk shake doesn’t have any ice cream.)
In Greece, what constitutes a Frappe dates back to 1957, at an International Trade Fair being held in Thessaloniki, Greece. The Nestlé company was on hand demonstrating a chocolate powder (Nestle’s Quik, launched in Greece in the 1950s as Nesquik) that you added milk to, and shook. They were giving away yellow and brown shakers to help promote the product. One of the people working the booth, a man named “John Vakondios”, decided to mix himself up some instant coffee using one of the shakers, and cold water. He decided he liked it, and Nestlé decided to popularize the drink to promote its coffee.
Thus, in Greece, a Frappe ended up as an iced coffee drink made from instant coffee, cold water, milk and ice. It may or may not be sweetened, depending on your preference. If you want unsweetened, you ask for “sketo”; with some sugar, ask for “metrio” (you’ll get 2 teaspoons of sugar); quite sweet, ask for “gliko” (as in our word “glucose”; you’ll get 3 teaspoons of sugar.) Many people in Greece when ordering a Frappe will even specify how much instant coffee they want used, down to the half-teaspoon.
You whiz all the ingredients in a blender for 10 seconds, or shake in a cocktail shaker for 30 seconds.
Before kitchen blenders became common, the order in which you added the ingredients was considered important to get a decent foam: shaking together the instant coffee with the sugar before the water was added helped. Now, with every home in Greece pretty much having an electrical mixer of some sort, the order is less relevant.
The result will be quite foamy. (note: the instant coffee available in the UK and in Europe is worlds apart in taste from that available in North America.)
From the French verb “frapper”, meaning “to hit” or “shake.”
In New England, it’s pronounced “frap.” Elsewhere in English, it’s pronounced “fra – PAY.”
Ferentinou, Ariana. Frappé delight! Turkish Daily News. Monday, 21 August 2006.