Peppermint Mocha

Sip the spirit of the holiday season with this irresistible Peppermint Mocha recipe. Combining the rich warmth of espresso, velvety chocolate and the festive twist of peppermint, this delightful concoction is a winter hug in a mug.

A gold mug contains a foamy beverage garnished with a mini green and red striped candy cane and candy cane pieces. Additional candy canes and a red and white striped dish towel sit next to the mug on a white background.

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Peppermint Mocha recipe

For many people, the first sip of a Peppermint Mocha is the start of the holiday season.

Warm, velvety chocolate, strong espresso, creamy milk and refreshing peppermint come together to form the most delightful winter warmer.

Like a peppermint hot chocolate for the coffee lover, this coffee-infused holiday drink is a hit with so many, and for good reason.

You can make it at home with this easy Starbucks copycat recipe! Making copycat drinks is a great idea when you don’t want to spend money on coffee drinks, can’t leave the house or don’t have a coffee shop near you. Or even when it’s not the holiday season!

More mint chocolate drink recipes: White Chocolate Peppermint MartiniPeppermint Hot Chocolate BombsChocolate Mint JulepGrasshopper Drink

Why you’ll love this recipe

This Peppermint Mocha is a must-try!

  • You’ll love the perfect blend of rich cocoa, espresso and refreshing peppermint.
  • Making drinks at home means saving $$ at the coffee shops!
  • It’s reassuring to know where every ingredient comes from.
Overhead view of a foamy coffee beverage garnished with crushed candy canes. Additional candy canes and a gold spoon sit alongside.

What is a Peppermint Mocha?

The Peppermint Mocha is a brewed espresso drink featuring the flavors of bittersweet chocolate and peppermint candy. The drink is a trendy item on the Starbucks holiday menu each year.

The Starbucks Peppermint Mocha was first released in 2002. It can be ordered hot, iced or frozen. Other brands, like Dunkin and McDonald’s, have their own versions of these favorite drinks.

Though the drink is prominently featured on the seasonal menu, it can be ordered at Starbucks year-round. Simply order a mocha with peppermint syrup, topped with whipped cream and chocolate chips.

Tools & glassware

Making a Peppermint Mocha at home doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment. That said, if you have an espresso maker, put it to good use!

You’ll need a medium saucepan and a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to make the mint chocolate sauce, and again to warm the milk. You can also us a milk frother machine.

A holiday mocha is inside a shiny gold mug garnished with a candy cane.

Ingredients

You only need a few simple ingredients to make this festive drink. Here’s what to grab at the grocery store:  

  • whole milk, 2% milk or almond milk
  • espresso
  • mint chocolate syrup
  • whipped cream
  • candy canes or peppermint candies

The Starbucks version used to be topped with red sugar sprinkles but now it gets a few chocolate curls. Crushed candy canes give the drink some extra peppermint flavor. You could even chop up some peppermint bark or put peppermint patties on the rim. Have fun and choose what you like!

Variations & substitutions

Want to mix things up with your peppermint mocha latte? Try one of these methods: 

Boozy peppermint mocha: Add a splash of peppermint vodka to make a boozy version.

Iced peppermint mocha: No need to warm the milk! Combine all the ingredients over ice and top with whipped cream if desired.

Frozen peppermint mocha: Combine all the ingredients with 2 cups of ice in a blender and mix until well blended.

Dairy-free peppermint mocha: Use your favorite non-dairy milk such as soy milk, oat milk or coconut milk.

Peppermint white chocolate mocha: Add peppermint extract to this white chocolate sauce instead.

spoon drizzling thick chocolate syrup into glass jar

Mint chocolate mocha syrup

First you’ll want to make a peppermint mocha syrup. This is essentially homemade chocolate syrup with peppermint extract added. It is packed with minty chocolate flavor. Here’s how to make it:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder and salt until combined. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  4. Let cool completely and store your chocolate mint syrup an airtight, food-safe container like a mason jar.
Espresso dripping out of an espresso machine into a glass espresso shot glass with a handle. .

How to make espresso

The easiest way to make lattes at home is with an espresso machine. Personally, I use this Nespresso machine to prepare the espresso shot for my homemade lattes.

I love having this on hand for easy lattes and cappuccinos. It is definitely the easiest way to make lattes at home. But if you don’t have an espresso machine, you’re not out of luck. Here are a few methods to try:

  • Aeropress: Learn how to use this easy method for making coffee and espresso. I have tried this before and it’s really delicious!
  • Stovetop espresso maker: You can make your espresso on the stove in this cute little pot.
  • Instant espresso powder: This is probably my least favorite method because fresh is better, but the instant stuff can still be good in a pinch, especially if you are traveling or can’t access these other methods.

Check out these tips for making a latte without an espresso machine. You can also use instant espresso or instant coffee powder — follow the package instructions if you go this route. 

Crushed candy canes garnish the foam of a peppermint mocha in a gold mug

How to make a Peppermint Mocha

Here’s how to make your own peppermint mocha at home that tastes just like the real thing! It takes very little prep time.

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm milk and cocoa. Stir until it begins to simmer.
  2. Pour brewed espresso and chocolate mint simple syrup into a mug. Add the hot milk mixture over top.
  3. Garnish with whipped cream. Crush peppermint candies and sprinkle over top, if desired.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • Don’t overcook the milk or you can change the texture of the drink.
  • Be sure to sift the cocoa powder to avoid lumpy syrup.
  • If you like things a little foamy, you can froth milk with a milk frother.
A crushed green and red candy cane sits atop a mocha in a gold mug

What to serve with Peppermint Mochas

Peppermint mochas are great with your favorite holiday and coffee shop treats, like madeleines or sugar cookies.

Anything chocolate works too, like these double chocolate cookies.

FAQ

What is in a peppermint mocha?

The peppermint mocha contains espresso, milk, chocolate mocha sauce and peppermint syrup. It is topped with whipped cream and sprinkles or chocolate shavings.

Is the peppermint mocha around all year at Starbucks?

While the peppermint mocha doesn’t appear on the Starbucks menu outside of the holidays, you can still order one. Ask for a mocha with peppermint syrup, whipped cream and chocolate chips.

A festively garnished peppermint mocha sits alongside candy canes and a red and white striped dish towel.

More holiday coffee drinks

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Overhead view of a foamy coffee beverage garnished with crushed candy canes. Additional candy canes and a gold spoon sit alongside.

Peppermint Mocha

Yield: 1 drink
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Whip up your holiday coffee shop fave, the Peppermint Mocha, in your very own kitchen!
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ingredients

Mint Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder sifted
  • pinch sea salt
  • ¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Peppermint Mocha

  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 ½ ounces mint chocolate syrup
  • ¾ cup espresso or strong coffee hot
  • ¼ cup whipped cream
  • ½ candy cane crushed

instructions

Mint Chocolate Syrup

  • In a medium saucepan, combine water and sugar over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Whisk in the sifted cocoa powder and salt until combined and there are no lumps. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla extract and peppermint extract.
  • Let cool completely and store in an airtight, food-safe container like a mason jar.

Peppermint Mocha

  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk. Stir until it begins to simmer.
  • Add hot espresso and chocolate mint simple syrup to a mug. Stir together.
  • Add the warm milk over top.
  • Garnish with whipped cream and candy cane pieces, if desired.

notes

Be sure to sift the cocoa powder to avoid lumps in the syrup.
If you don’t have time to make the chocolate syrup, you’re not out of luck. When you warm the milk, stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder. Then add  ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract. 

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nutrition information

Yield: 1 drink

amount per serving:

Calories: 281kcal Carbohydrates: 41g Protein: 8g Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 6g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 33mg Sodium: 126mg Potassium: 594mg Fiber: 1g Sugar: 31g Vitamin A: 395IU Vitamin C: 0.4mg Calcium: 249mg Iron: 1mg
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