‘Tis the Season for DIY Peppermint Mochas and Other Holiday Drinks

I decided not to go for a run this morning since my achilles tendon is still bothering me. So instead I will tell you all about my recent DIY mocha/latte discoveries.

I have been drinking a lot of tea lately, mainly because I finally got my tea package from Mountain Rose Herbs. They have exceptional quality loose leaf teas that are organic and fair trade. I am having the Assam Tea this morning. Assam makes a perfectly strong and flavorful cup of black tea and is a perfect coffee substitute. I also love their Easy Day Tea, a combination of blackberry leaf, peppermint, marshmallow leaf and a few other ingredients. Even though I love tea, two of my major downfalls, which begin to surface around December, are the peppermint mocha and the little red cup.

I don’t even like Starbucks all that much, but the little red cups filled with peppermint chocolaty goodness just call my name in the wintertime. Does anyone else know what I’m talking about, or is it just me? But most of their holiday espresso drinks are pricey and not vegan, so I decided to make myself a (vegan) peppermint mocha at home. If you try it, let me know what you think.

There are 4 components to making a DIY peppermint mocha:

1. peppermint syrup
2. chocolate syrup
3. espresso
4. milk

It sounds like a lot of work, but it’s actually very simple. You can easily make a non-vegan version; just use regular chocolate chips, or cocoa powder and regular milk.


1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
6 Tbls vegan carob chips
espresso or strongly brewed coffee
1 cup soy milk

This recipe makes two peppermint mochas; one for you and one for someone really lucky. Or just two for you.


1. First thing is first – making the peppermint syrup. Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of sugar in a saucepan, stir and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, give it a couple more stirs, and add the peppermint extract. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes. This will make a lot of syrup and can last you the entire season. You can store it in the fridge in a glass jar and add a tablespoon or two to your coffee or desserts whenever you’d like.

2. Next, we make the chocolate syrup. Melt the carob chips in a double broiler, or if you don’t have one, you can just melt them in a bowl, like I do, over a saucepan.

3. Make the espresso or coffee. I don’t have an espresso machine, so I brew a really strong pot of coffee. I use about 1.5 tablespoons of french roast coffee per cup of water. This is really up to you; it all depends on how strong you want your coffee.

4. Microwave 1 cup of milk (for about 1 minute, do not boil) then use your frother to make the foam. I need to get a hand frother, but until then, my good ‘ol emulsifier does the trick.You can also warm up the milk on your stovetop (just make sure it doesn’t boil) and then use your emulsifier or frother. I usually pour the milk into a tall microwavable glass and then froth it in the same glass. That glass mysteriously disappeared from my house, so I used the stove top. You can always froth your milk in a blender, if you prefer, but I don’t like getting it dirty. Many options here.

Now we just put everything together. Add about 2 tablespoons of chocolate syrup to the bottom of your mug.

Add enough coffee to fill up about half of your mug. Stir the coffee and the syrup on the bottom to combine. Add the milk while holding back the froth with the spoon to save it for the top of the mug. Then spoon the froth on top. Last, add 2 tablspoons of peppermint syrup. If you love the peppermint flavor, you might want to add more syrup, but I suggest giving it a taste first.

You’re done! And you’ll have a bunch of peppermint syrup leftover for later.

Of course, you can dress it up with candy cane crumbles, whipped cream, and whatever else you prefer. I just like to have it as is. I think I’ll just get myself a red a cup to make it more festive.

No, this drink does not give you health benefits, but sometimes you just want to cozy up with a cup of your favorite holiday drink, and there is nothing wrong with that. This version is about 200 calories, which is not bad considering how good it is. Plus, you can always add less chocolate syrup or peppermint, if it’s too sweet for you.

And while I’m at it, here’s a really good pumpkin spice latte recipe. I know, Thanksgiving just passed and everyone’s Christmas lights are already up, but that doesn’t mean you are done with pumpkin. I will personally continue adding it to anything and everything until someone stops me. This is why I was absolutely happy to find Cassie’s vegan pumpkin spice latte recipe over at Back to her Roots. It doesn’t call for a million ingredients and doesn’t make a ton of dirty dishes, which sold me on giving it a try. If you are looking for a simple and yummy recipe, and don’t want to spend the $5 at Starbucks, give her recipe a try.

Hope you enjoy your holiday drinks.

This entry was posted in Holidays and Special Occasions, Tasty Treats and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

One Comment

  1. Karen Beth
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Marking this and trying it THIS weekend! Thanks!

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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