Around the holidays, many coffee shops offer a peppermint mocha, a coffee drink that has cocoa, strong coffee, steamed milk, peppermint flavoring and perhaps a little extra sugar in it. These are easy to make at home if you make your own peppermint syrup, and that can save you quite a bit of money — those specialty coffee drinks can run around $5 or more.

All you need to make peppermint syrup is water, sugar and peppermint extract. It’s just like making a simple syrup with the extract added.

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Heat water, sugar and peppermint extract in a small saucepan on the stovetop until the sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It should last several weeks. (Discard if it turns color or starts to smell funny.)

Once you've made your peppermint syrup, you can experiment with creating a peppermint mocha that’s suited to your taste. Generally, you want equal parts coffee and steamed milk, and then you add cocoa, peppermint syrup and sugar to taste. You can also add whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate syrup on top if you want an authentic coffeehouse feel, but I’ll be leaving those off of my homemade peppermint mochas. I followed the recipe from the Mom Advice blog, and it was very good, although next time I’ll cut down on the added sugar.

I’m happy I took a few minutes to learn how to do this myself! Now I can make this seasonal drink at home and control the quality of the ingredients while saving a lot of money.

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.