how to make a starbuck's peppermint mocha at home

Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha

If you’re looking for the REAL Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha recipe, look no further.

Every season, Starbuck’s drops their holiday-specific drinks, like the peppermint Mocha (my personal fave) and they are so popular — for good reason. These are easy to recreate at home, so you can keep drinking it even when it’s been discontinued.

This series will include the original Pumpkin Spice Latte, the Salted Caramel Mocha, and the Peppermint Mocha. Today we’re going to focus on Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha.

*Looking for the original PSL recipe? Click here.

*Did you know the salted caramel mocha isn’t actually salted caramel? Click here.

I’ve done quite a few Starbuck’s copycat recipes on this blog –like a lot. You can find them by typing ‘Starbuck’s copycat recipes’ in the search bar at the top. Some of my most popular recipes include the 

Mango Dragonfruit Refresher, Strawberry Acai refresher, and Pumpkin Cold Brew.

Now, when I make my Starbuck’s copycat recipes, I want my recipes to be as close to EXACT as possible, so that’s what you’re getting. At the bottom of this post, I’ll provide flavoring options (including sugar-free).

We’ll start by talking about the ingredients.

*some links may be affiliate links, for more info, please see my disclaimers and policies page

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What’s Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha made of?

*See What you Need heading for ingredient recommendations*

Milk – typically 2%. You can substitute any milk, but vegan-type milk(s) don’t foam.

Mocha Sauce 

Brewed Espresso

Peppermint syrup 

Whipped Cream (their whipped cream has a vanilla-y flavor)

Mocha drizzle

dark chocolate curls

How to make it…

*See the chart at the bottom of this page for recipe specifics*

A traditional mocha consists of espresso, steamed milk, mocha sauce and a small amount of milk foam. If you’re like me, and frequently make your own lattes at home, buying a small espresso machine is a good idea. It’s not necessary, but it makes this process much easierCheck out my ‘what to need’ heading for some recommendations, and the chart at the bottom of this page for recipe specifics.

If you have an espresso machine, this process is easy.

  1. Tightly pack your ground coffee into the portafilter.
  2. Add water (see chart below for ounces per size) into the chamber.
  3. Brew the espresso.
  4. Steam the milk using the steaming wand. Use the wand to create foam by agitating the milk. The temperature should reach between 150 – 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Add flavorings, espresso, and steamed milk. Enjoy!

Without an espresso machine…

I use an espresso machine, but my favorite traditional method is using a french press. Although, any method will work here -were just looking for strong coffee.

  1. Brew extra strong coffee using your method of choice. For stronger coffee, use double the grounds and try a darker roast. This may take some trial and error to get it just right.
  2. Using a mason jar, microwave your milk for 15 seconds at a time until it reaches temperature.
  3. Cap the mason jar and vigorously shake to create foam. This option will create more foam because it is not as controlled, but it will get the job done.
  4. Add flavorings, espresso, and hot milk. Enjoy!

Other notes – If you are using a traditional pot (not espresso machine) to make your espresso, add an extra ounce of water to account for the coffee grounds soaking up water.

*Iced Peppermint Mocha options

Use the chart below for a specific recipe per size.

  1. Make espresso using your preferred method.
  2. Place espresso into the fridge to cool. This will keep the ice from melting.
  3. Add ice to your glass
  4. Add flavoring.
  5. Pour in cold espresso.
  6. Fill with milk.

What you need

*There may be multiple links under this heading. This is for your convenience as these items may sell out. I want to make sure you have options.*

Espresso maker

I’ve used a similar one for a long time. I think it’s a great, inexpensive beginner’s machine.

Get it here

Milk Frothing Pitcher

Milk frothing pitcher with handle for steaming milk.

Get it here |

Peppermint syrup options:

Starbuck’s peppermint syrup |

Alt. Peppermint Syrup |

Alt. peppermint Syrup #2 |

Sugar – free peppermint syrup |

Mocha Sauce options:

Starbuck’s Mocha Sauce |

Alt. Mocha Sauce |

How to make Starbuck’s Peppermint Mocha Chart

**Tablespoon/Ounce conversions are approximations**

Personally, I use a little less than what’s listed on Starbuck’s because I’m trying to cut down on sugar, so always taste and adjust as needed.


1 shot = 1 ounce

3 pumps mocha – 3 tbsp

3 pumps peppermint syrup = 1 1/2 tbsp

4 oz milk


2 shots = 2 ounces

4 pump mocha sauce – 4 tbsp

4 pumps peppermint syrup = 2 tbsp

6 oz milk


2 shots = 2 ounces

5 pumps mocha sauce – 5 tbsp

5 pumps peppermint syrup = 2 1/2 tbsp

8 oz milk

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