Too busy to drive to Starbucks this Christmas season, or do you just want a coffee that's free from unhealthy ingredients? The answer: make your own peppermint mocha at home with real food ingredients, and enjoy the Christmas flavors that you're craving.
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Fortunately, it doesn't take any fancy ingredients to make your own peppermint syrup and chocolate milk for this copycat Starbucks peppermint mocha! Let's discuss each key ingredient.
- Peppermint Syrup: This is a simple syrup made from water and granulated sugar with real peppermint extract added for flavor.
- Chocolate Milk: I used a combination of chocolate chips and cocoa powder for lots of chocolatey goodness, and a mixture of milk and cream for creaminess.
- Espresso: Use freshly brewed espresso. If you don't have an espresso machine, use moka pot coffee (affiliate) instead.
How to Make
- Let's start by making the peppermint syrup. Whisk the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, let it cool for 1 minute, and whisk in the extract.
- To make the chocolate milk, sift the cocoa powder into the same small pot, then gradually whisk in the cream. Whisk in the milk. Heat the mixture over medium heat until it just begins to steam, then dump in the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth.
3. Pour the mixture into the blender and blend for 60 seconds, until well mixed and frothy.
4. Pour 3 tablespoons of the mint syrup, ¼ cup of the chocolate milk, ⅔ cup of coffee, and ⅔ cup of milk into a glass and stir well. Garnish with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, and a peppermint stick. Enjoy while it's still hot!
Yes, it is a seasonal drink at Starbucks. It’s usually released in November, a few weeks before the start of the Christmas season. Fortunately, you can make your own at home anytime of year!
At Starbucks, it's a mixture of espresso, steamed milk, sweet mocha sauce, and peppermint syrup. The baristas typically garnish it with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. My recipe consists of coffee, homemade chocolate milk, and peppermint syrup.
Did you know that Starbucks keeps their peppermint syrup on hand year round? That means you can order a peppermint mocha anytime. Simply order a regular mocha with a pump or two of the peppermint syrup, and ask for chocolate chips on top.
Yes, there is! Simply ask your barista for the peppermint mocha frappuccino when you place your order.
- Make it ahead. You can make the syrup and chocolate milk ahead of time and refrigerate them for up to 5-7 days.
- Use full-fat milk for the best taste.
- Blend the chocolate milk for 60 seconds to ensure that it's frothy and evenly mixed.
- Make sure that the coffee is freshly brewed. Coffee that's over 20 minutes old isn't fresh anymore.
- Eating healthy? Use coconut milk instead of dairy, substitute the sugar, or skip the whipped cream decoration.
- Iced version? Make the recipe as written, but make sure the ingredients are chilled. Froth cold milk to pour on top for cold foam.
- Frappuccino? Pour the drink into a blender and add 1 cup of crushed ice and ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum to emulsify. Blend until smooth.
Other Starbucks Copycat Drinks You'll Love
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Starbucks Peppermint Mocha
For the Peppermint Syrup (Makes about ¾ Cup)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup filtered water
- ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
For the Chocolate Milk (Makes about 1 Cup)
- ½ cup whole milk
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup 60% cacao chocolate chips
For the Mocha (14 fl oz or 416 ml)
- 3 tablespoons mint syrup
- ¼ cup chocolate milk
- ⅔ cup strong coffee, or ⅓ cup espresso
- ⅔ cup whole milk
For Decorating One Mocha
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- ½ teaspoon grated chocolate
- Pour the sugar and water into a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved.
- Remove the syrup from the heat and let it cool for about 1 minute, then stir in the peppermint extract. Set aside.
- Sift the cocoa powder into the same small saucepan you used for the peppermint syrup. Gradually whisk in the heavy whipping cream until the cocoa powder has dissolved into the cream, then stir in the milk.
- Heat the mixture over medium heat until it just begins to steam, then remove it from the heat and dump in the chocolate chips. Whisk vigorously until the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Pour the mixture into a blender and blend for 60 seconds. It should be well combined and frothy.
Making the Mocha
- Make the coffee or espresso.
- Pour 3 tablespoons of the mint syrup and ¼ cup of the chocolate milk into a mug. Add ⅔ cup of coffee and ⅔ cup of whole milk. Stir well to combine.
- Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Snip the corner off of a sandwich bag and slip a star piping nozzle into the corner to create a piping bag. Spoon the whipped cream into the bag and pipe the cream in a mound on top of the mocha.
- Use a fine cheese grater to grate some dark chocolate on top of the mocha. Garnish with a candy cane and enjoy immediately.
- For the best flavor, use full-fat milk and freshly brewed coffee.
- Blend the chocolate mixture for 60 seconds to ensure that it's evenly mixed.
- Skinny Version: use coconut milk, substitute the sugar, and/or skip the whipped cream.
- Iced Version: use cold brew coffee and serve over ice.
- Frappuccino: Pour the drink into a blender and add 1 cup of crushed ice and ⅛ teaspoon of xanthan gum to emulsify. Blend until smooth.
- Make Ahead: mix up the peppermint syrup and chocolate milk and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
This post was originally published on November 15, 2017 and was updated on September 2, 2019. It was republished on November 20, 2021 with reformatted content and updated FAQs.