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How to Make the Perfect Peppermint Mocha

How to Make the Perfect Peppermint Mocha

If you’re like me, you wait all year for the release of the holiday season drink line-up at your local coffee shop!

Although I love the new drinks they create yearly, I also adore the tested and true favorites.

And one of my all-time favorite drinks this time of year is the peppermint mocha!

Nothing says “holidays,” like the rich chocolate flavor with just a hint of peppermint in this cozy drink.

It’s the perfect sidekick for holiday shopping, a morning wake-up, or even tackling an afternoon slump.

Although I love the drink, I can’t say the same about the coffee shop price tag.

Everything has increased in price exponentially, so I decided to create my own recipe for this holiday favorite!

I also love being able to customize and add less sugar than they would in stores.

So, if you’re looking for the perfect drink to celebrate the holidays, you’re in the right place! Read on for the original recipe and ideas for how to customize this versatile coffee drink.

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What’s in a peppermint mocha?

The peppermint mocha contains milk, chocolate, peppermint flavor, and coffee. And one of the best parts of this recipe is how easily you can customize it!


  • Skim milk: Froths easily and is an excellent option if you’re limiting fat intake
  • Non-dairy milk: Try oat milk or almond milk if you’re lactose intolerant
  • Whole milk or half-and-half: Creates a rich, creamy drink experience


  • Hot cocoa mix: Using 2 tablespoons of the hot cocoa mix is a convenient option
  • Chocolate syrup: Ghirardelli makes a delicious sauce perfect for this drink
  • Homemade cocoa: Combine 2 tablespoons cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons powdered sugar per drink

Peppermint Flavor

  • Torani peppermint syrup: Option of convenience; add 1-2 tablespoons per drink
  • Homemade peppermint syrup: Combine 1 teaspoon of a basic simple syrup with 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract per drink
  • Peppermint extract: Reduce the sugar content of your drink by simply adding 1/2 teaspoon of peppermint extract per drink and skipping the simple syrup
  • Peppermint mocha creamer: Add flavored creamer for a quick shot of minty flavor


  • Espresso: Add 1-2 shots of espresso for a genuine Starbucks copycat recipe
  • Strongly brewed coffee: Brew coffee twice as strong as you would generally brew it and add 1/2 cup (less if you want a milder coffee flavor)
  • Instant coffee granules: Try adding 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee if you’re crunched for time

Iced Version

  • Use cold milk instead of steamed. If you like body to your drink, try using a milk frother or mixer to add texture.
  • Skip the hot cocoa mix or homemade cocoa and use chocolate syrup. Mix the chocolate syrup with the espresso, so it melts evenly into the drink.
  • Try cold brew coffee instead of drip or espresso. You can also try using chocolate-flavored coffee and skip the chocolate syrup, which doesn’t mix well in cold beverages.
  • Use plenty of ice to keep your drink chilled. Try making ice cubes out of coffee, so the coffee flavor doesn’t get diluted as the cubes melt.

What are different topping options?

Try topping your drink with whipped cream or this 2-ingredient recipe for a copycat Dutch Bros soft top! Drizzle with chocolate shavings and crushed candy canes for an authentic drink experience!

Final Thoughts

The peppermint mocha is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit! Whether you make it from scratch or use store-bought ingredients, this cozy and comforting drink is guaranteed to light up your day.

From my kitchen to yours, I hope this recipe brings joy to your family and friends during the holiday season.

If you loved this post, check out a few of my other delicious coffee recipes! Happy holidays!