Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How to Make a Peppermint Mocha

At the request of Rachel...

I don't happen to know the exact formula that Starbucks or Seattle's Best Coffee uses, but I can give you the ingredients and a general idea of the ratios. Vary for personal tastes, of course. :)

You'll need:

1) Hot chocolate mix. If you can get mint chocolate then you won't need the peppermint syrup. A lot of companies market their mint hot chocolate as "candy cane" flavor. White chocolate and vanilla chocolate also work well. (SBC's peppermint trio is supposed to be a combination of white, milk, and dark chocolate.) Sugar content varies with brands, and the sweetness of the hot chocolate will affect how sweet the drink is.

2) Espresso or coffee. Coffee is more diluted than espresso, so you have to watch how much liquid you use or you'll not get the right flavor mix. Depending on the strength of your coffee, you'll have to add less or more.

3) Milk or cream to add that creamy taste. Works best if you warm it up a little in the microwave so that the hot chocolate mixes in easier and the coffee doesn't get cooled down too quickly.

4) Peppermint syrup (if you can't find mint hot chocolate.) Peppermint syrup is not something I'd recommend if you're not used to using coffee syrups, because it can be really overpowering. (Especially the starbucks brand.) Plus, if you're adding candy cane pieces, they'll give the drink a little bit of sweet mint taste as they dissolve. The trick is to get a sweet minty taste, and not something that tastes like toothpaste. ^_^;

5) Whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and (mint) candy cane pieces. For an indulgent topping. :)

The trick we discovered last year is that it takes a few tries to get the right ratio of syrup, espresso, and mint. If you're using the syrup, I speak from experience when I say "less is more." Start with a little bit, because you can always add more.

Anyway, basically you make the hot chocolate, but instead of water or milk, you use a combination of milk and coffee with the powder. Unless you've got an espresso machine at home that can steam milk, you'll never quite duplicate what they do in coffee houses, but you can get pretty close with a little practice. And you'll have way more control over how sweet, minty, or chocolatey the drink is.

The topping is a dollop of whipped cream, chocolate sauce, and a sprinkle of candy cane pieces that you broke up earlier.


Rae said...


Rachel Vincent said...

I agree. Yum!

Thanks for posting the directions. I didn't realize you were talking about a coffee house treat. Does that mean I can get it without all the work? ;-)

Anonymous said...

You know, if you substitute the peppermint syrup for peppermint schnapps, you get a caffeine and booze buzz...teehee!

I recommend Oscar's brand of peppermint syrup. You can also get the calorie free one I think...:)

Katy said...

Okay I want one of these now. :(

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