cooking · Drinks

Candy Cane Mochas

Craving an intense handmade peppermint mocha? One where you know exactly what is going into it? In my quest to outfit “Sarah’s Espresso Hut“, I got busy on Saturday and produced a number of syrups, all of which store nicely in the refrigerator. Just waiting for whatever latte flavor strikes my fancy at 7 am.

I wanted to make a peppermint syrup that didn’t make me think of mouthwash. And to make it stand out I colored it (naturally of course!). Combined with a handcrafted chocolate syrup, well….what are we waiting for? It is always latte time somewhere!


Some notes on this syrup:

I source natural peppermint candies at Trader Joe’s and natural food stores, you can use whatever you have/like or leave them out. Candy canes broken up work as well.

The natural red coloring I use can be sourced at many natural food stores, Whole Foods carries them. Do you need it? No, but it is neat looking!

For peppermint extract, buy the best you can afford. Buy it in glass, not plastic. I HATE plastic for the extracts, they seem to never seal right, and you lose your expensive flavors to evaporation. Glass jars are simply superior! This is the time of year to watch for both sales and coupons, shop wisely (I have seen sales of 50% off and I pair that with $1-2 coupons!)

Candy Cane Peppermint Syrup


  • ¾ cup granulated sugar, preferably organic
  • ¾ cup water
  • 5 natural peppermint candies
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • Natural red food coloring


Add the sugar, water and candies to a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high, stirring until sugar is dissolved and candies mostly melted. Strain off any candy not melted, discard.

Pour into a glass measuring cup, stir in peppermint extract, color as desired. Pour into a sterile glass bottle, let cool and seal or put in bottle pourer. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Makes about 1 cup or so.


Chocolate Syrup


  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably organic
  • ½ cup granulated sugar, preferably organic
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Add the cocoa powder, sugar and salt to a quart measuring cup. Boil the water, add to the dry and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool a bit, pour into a sterile glass jar. Store in refrigerator, tightly sealed.

Shake gently before using.

Makes about 1½ cups.


Candy Cane Mocha


  • 1¼ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk or dairy milk
  • 1 Tbsp Candy Cane Peppermint syrup
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 2 shots espresso


Make sure your espresso machine is preheated properly, running hot water through the group head to warm up the portafilter, and heating one’s mug as well.

Steam milk to preferred temperature (I aim for 165° to 170°, I like it hot). Add syrups to warmed mug, mix with half of the hot milk. Pull 2 shots espresso, add to mug down the center, gently pour in the remaining milk and swirl foam on the top.

Serve and drink immediately.

On milk amount:

I prefer to use about 1¼ cups milk, once I add the espresso and syrup I have a tall drink. 1 cup will give you a very strong-tasting short latte, 1½ cups will give you closer to a Grande.

Makes one latte.

8 thoughts on “Candy Cane Mochas

  1. I opened my reader with the express purpose of seeing what flavors you had for us today. Am I getting a little spoiled…yes! You could totally do a Vegan MoFo theme of coffee!
    I think these syrups would make great gifts too! Do you have any recommendations for getting cute containers for gift giving?

    1. I lucked into those – they are by TableCraft brand. Sold in sets of 2, as “oil & vinegar” bottles. They retailed for $9.99, I got them on sale for $5.50 or so! They are 8.5 ounces so not too big. If you have a shop that sells kitchen stuff, go look! (I bought mine at Fred Meyers here), I know Wal-Mart, Khol’s and others sell similar 🙂 Mine came with the pour spouts, you can get those via Amazon though.

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