So you want to recreate a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha at home, but you don't have any peppermint syrup on hand. Good news: If you have some candy canes, you're in luck.

You can replace peppermint syrup with a quick and easy homemade candy cane simple syrup using broken or crushed peppermint candy canes. The syrup is very sweet, festively red and peppermint-flavored. Because the boiling water melts the candy, all the ingredients in the candy cane end up in your syrup. You may even want to consider using organic candy canes.

peppermint-syrupIngredients

  • 3 full-size candy canes (about 50 grams), broken into small pieces or crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Directions

  1. Combine candy canes, water and sugar in a medium-sized sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour the syrup through a strainer to remove any leftover solid pieces.
  5. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Uses for peppermint candy cane syrup

Besides creating a DIY version of a coffeehouse peppermint mocha, what else can you use the syrup for? Here are some ideas.

  • Pour some in hot chocolate and call it Peppermint Patty Cocoa.
  • Use it to flavor and color frosting for the top of chocolate cupcakes.
  • Add 1/2 ounce of candy cane syrup and 2 ounces of vodka to an ice-filled shaker, shake and pour into a martini glass rimmed with finely crushed candy canes.
  • Make a Peppermint Champagne Cocktail: Pour 1/2 ounce of syrup into a flute, top with Champagne or other sparkling wine.
  • Drizzle over chocolate or vanilla ice cream or use as a flavoring for a milkshake.
  • Pour into a condiment squeeze bottle and drizzle onto warm sugar cookies just before serving.

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