December hits differently with a peppermint mocha in hand.
While I’ll never turn down a classic caramel latte or vanilla latte, there’s just something about the combination of mint and chocolate when winter rolls around…I can’t resist a mocha latte.
And now we can skip the coffee shops altogether and make one right in the coziness of our own homes. Snuggled under blankets, Christmas music playing, and the fireplace roaring (if you’re so lucky…mine is in the form of a Youtube video).
It’s easy to make without any fancy equipment (that’s right, no espresso machine is needed here) and you can customize it just how you like it.
More whipped cream? Yes, please! All the sprinkles, peppermint candies, and chocolate on top? But of course!
And while we’re at it, enjoy it with your favorite holiday cookies, too. I mean…why not?!
What is a Peppermint Mocha Latte?
For starters, a latte is a coffee beverage made with 1/3 espresso and 2/3 steamed milk, with a layer of fine foam.
A peppermint mocha latte is a latte made with chocolate syrup and peppermint. It is a little sweeter than a regular latte with a lovely balance of mint and chocolate flavor.
More times than not, you’ll see mocha latte shortened to just mocha, as they are the same thing.
Mochas are often topped with whipped cream and a chocolate drizzle making them extra indulgent and delicious.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
A peppermint mocha consists of these key ingredients: espresso, chocolate, milk, and peppermint.
There are actually quite a few variations when it comes to making a peppermint latte at home. We’ll get into other variations in a minute, but for now, here’s what I recommend:
- Chocolate Syrup: feel free to use store-bought syrup or homemade. It’s an easy solution to infusing chocolate flavor throughout the latte, without a lot of extra work. Easily make the homemade chocolate syrup ahead of time with cocoa powder. It lasts for a long time, so you can always have it on hand.
- Peppermint Extract: again, for ease, peppermint extract is a quick solution for adding a burst of mint flavoring to a homemade latte. If you like it a little sweeter, you can also use mint syrup instead.
- Espresso or Strong Coffee: ideally, espresso is used in lattes, but at home, it’s not always an option. Keep reading for a few additional solutions. Note, if you’re using strong coffee, you may want to adjust the ratios.
- Milk: you can use any milk you prefer! Whole milk will produce the best froth, and oat milk is my go-to dairy-free option. Almond milk will work, too. Be sure to check the chocolate you’re using, if you need it dairy free.
Options for Espresso at Home
Let’s dive into making espresso – or an espresso-like substitute – at home without any special equipment.
- Make Strongly Brewed Coffee: it’s easy and super accessible. You will need to use less water when brewing coffee. The general recommendation is a 15:1 ratio of water to coffee for a strong brew.
- Instant Espresso
- Stovetop Espresso: make espresso on the stovetop using a Moka pot, which is a classic Italian method for brewing strong coffee.
- Nespresso, if you have one. Technically fancy equipment, I know.
Find more options for espresso options at home in my homemade latte post!
How to Make a Peppermint Mocha Latte at Home
First things first, brew your strong coffee or espresso using one of the methods mentioned above.
While it brews, you can prepare the milk and chocolate mixture. If using homemade chocolate syrup, be sure to prepare it in advance, too.
Froth the Milk
The easiest way to make a homemade latte without equipment is to use a mason jar.
Add the chocolate syrup, peppermint extract, and milk to a mason jar. Then, heat it in the microwave for about 1 and a half minutes, depending on your microwave.
When it’s heated, carefully remove the jar from the microwave and close it with the lid. Vigorously shake until foamy. Gently remove the lid, and there you have it – frothed milk!
Please keep these tips in mind when you use the mason jar method for making frothed milk:
- Do not microwave the lid. It’s metal and cannot go in the microwave.
- Carefully remove the jar from the microwave, and use a towel or potholders to prevent burning your hands, as needed.
- Carefully remove the lid from the jar, removing it slowly in case any pressure has accumulated. I like to use a towel to remove it, just in case there is any splatter or excess heat.
Other options for frothing milk without a machine:
- Heat the milk in a small saucepan, then use a whisk to froth the milk, vigorously whisking until foamy.
- Put it all in a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds until foamy.
- Go ahead and buy a frothing wand. Honestly, they’re cheap and don’t take up much space in your kitchen. Worth it, IMO!
Assemble the Latte
Add espresso or strong coffee to your mug of choice. Then, pour the frothed milk mixture on top.
Note from my barista years: pour into the side of the cup to mix the espresso into the milk.
Then, it’s time to top the latte to your heart’s desire. Since this is a fun mocha drink, there’s gotta be toppings!
Of course, whipped cream is a must-have topping for cozy holiday drinks! Pile it on, then garnish with mini marshmallows, chocolate chips or shavings, and chopped candy canes or peppermint candies for the ultimate experience.
Another drizzle of chocolate syrup wouldn’t hurt, either.
To really live into the festivities, add some red sprinkles, too. There are so many fun ways to enjoy this drink!
Other Ways to Make a Peppermint Latte
Historically speaking, I love using chopped chocolate or mini chocolate chips to make homemade mochas. This eliminates the need for chocolate syrup, and if you don’t have any on hand, this is the other option for making a peppermint mocha.
Instead of adding chocolate syrup to the milk, heat it with 1 ounce of a chopped unsweetened chocolate bar for a less sweet option, or 1-2 tablespoons of mini chocolate chips.
- A chocolate bar is a great option if you’ll be using mint simple syrup since the simple syrup will add sweetness.
- Chocolate chips are a great option if you’re using peppermint extract because they will add more sweetness.
Continue heating the milk then shaking or frothing.
Can I make it Iced?
If you’re looking for an iced peppermint mocha latte, be sure to check out our iced mocha latte. Just add peppermint extract or mint syrup to it, as you do in this hot version, and you’ll have yourself a refreshing iced latte.
A Peppermint Latte – No Mocha
If you’re looking to make just a peppermint latte without chocolate, simply leave out the chocolate syrup and use mint simple syrup instead.
If you don’t have fresh mint leaves, add the peppermint extract to regular simple syrup. Using simple syrup will add the sweetness the extract needs so it doesn’t overpower your latte. Enjoy!
More Cozy Coffee Recipes
Looking for more latte recipes to make at home? Give one of these a try!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a star rating and review in the form below. I appreciate your feedback, and it helps others, too!
Get the Recipe Homemade Peppermint Mocha Latte
- 3 ounces espresso (2 shots), or ½ cup strong coffee
- 6 ounces whole milk, or milk of choice
- 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup*, or chopped unsweetened chocolate or mini chocolate chips
- ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract
- Brew espresso or strong coffee as desired.
- Pour milk into a mason jar with chocolate syrup and peppermint extract. Microwave for 1 ½ minutes. Depending on your microwave, you may need to continue heating in 30-second increments up to another minute. You want the milk hot, but not boiling.
- Carefully remove the jar of milk from the microwave; use a towel or potholder as needed – it will be hot. Place the lid on the jar and shake vigorously for 30 seconds to 1 minute. See notes below for additional frothing methods.
- Continuing to use a towel or potholder, remove the lid carefully, being aware of any pressure that may have built up in the jar.
- If desired, drizzle chocolate syrup in the mug you'll be using. Add the espresso and pour in the chocolate milk mixture, topping with any foam that remains in the jar. Serve immediately with whipped cream and additional chocolate drizzle or crushed peppermint candies, if desired.
- Use caution when shaking and opening the mason jar! Make sure the lid is on tight, use a towel or pot holder to hold the jar as needed, and open the lid carefully (I again, use a towel in hand).
- Additional frothing methods:
- Use a milk frother wand
- Shake the jar of milk before microwaving. Make sure the milk doubles in size before microwaving, then once heated, immediately pour it into your espresso.
- Heat milk in a saucepan on the stovetop (or again in the microwave) then use a whisk to froth the milk.
- Strong Coffee: if using strongly brewed coffee instead of espresso, consider using more coffee/less milk for a more latte-like coffee-forward flavor.
Yes, I did see the peppermint heart among the crushed candies. Very sweet (no pun intended, but there it is!) Thank you for all the recipes and inspiration to make them our way. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family🎄⛄❄️✝️🎉🎊
So fun – I’m so glad you caught it 🙂 Thanks so much for your sweet words, Lois, and for being part of our food community! I hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, too!