Candy Cane Mochas

It’s mid-Fall and Starbucks is bringing back it’s Winter drinks, which you know…you can get these anytime of the year at an independent shop…or better? Make it yourself! As a former barista, it’s not hard to learn.

The recipes below I originally wrote for a former blog in 2012, and I feel they deserve to be written about again. Put in an hour’s or so time, and you can drink well through the cold, and here, very rainy days.

As a bonus, all the syrups are fresh and don’t contain preservatives (plot spoiler: commercial latte syrups contain preservatives, as they sit opened on shelves for months in shops), nor do they contain fake flavorings and colors.

To make a Candy Cane Mocha you will need 2 syrups to blend together.

Candy Cane Peppermint Syrup



Add the sugar, water and candies to a small saucepan. Bring to boil over medium-high, stirring until sugar is dissolved and candy is melted.

Pour into a glass measuring cup, stir in peppermint extract, color as desired. Pour into a sterile glass bottle, let cool and seal or put in bottle pourer. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

Makes about 1 cup or so.


It doesn’t need to be dyed, but if you use peppermint candy that has red coloring it will look odd if you don’t add a bit more dye. Look for natural dyes, they are showing up in grocery stores now.

Chocolate Syrup


  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Add the cocoa powder, sugar and salt to a quart measuring cup. Boil the water, add to the dry and whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool a bit, pour into a sterile glass jar. Store in refrigerator, tightly sealed.

Shake gently before using.

Makes about 1½ cups.

Candy Cane Mocha


  • 1¼ cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp Candy Cane Peppermint syrup
  • 1 Tbsp chocolate syrup
  • 1-2 shots espresso


Make sure your espresso machine is preheated. (We use a Breville Barista Express)

Steam milk to preferred temperature (I aim for 165° to 170°). Add syrups to mug, mix with half of the hot milk. Pull 2 shots espresso, add to mug down the center, gently pour in the remaining milk and swirl foam on the top.

Serve and drink immediately. Top with whipped cream if you like.

On milk amount:

I prefer to use about 1¼ cups milk, once I add the espresso and syrup I have a tall drink. 1 cup will give you a very strong-tasting short latte, 1½ cups will give you closer to a Grande.

Makes one latte.