Super easy homemade peppermint mocha plus gift basket idea with DIY syrup recipes and easy additions to make a welcomed quick and inexpensive gift.
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Our family loves peppermint mochas and we always try to combine a trip to Starbucks with a holiday event as a special treat in December. But, my goodness are they expensive, especially for a whole family and sometimes a few friends.
Since I knew that the drink was basically hot chocolate, coffee, and a bit of peppermint syrup I thought I could save money by making them at home - and more importantly to be able to have peppermint mochas more than once a season. (Spoiler - I've saved a LOT of money over the years - this is one DIY that really pays off!).
I also realized how easy making homemade peppermint mocha was, too, and since we loved them as much as the Starbuck's version, I knew I had to share with my family and friends - and you! So one year we gifted the people on our list with peppermint mocha gift baskets (peppermint hot chocolate for non-coffee drinkers) - filled with the syrups needed, a recipe, and a couple fun additions.
The baskets were a big hit and so easy and quick to put together - nothing is hard about it - that I couldn't wait to share them with you. You'll find all the directions below to make your own syrups, how to make individual mochas, plus how to make the gift baskets, including links to download the printable recipe cards and bottle labels to make it even easier for you!
This version of homemade peppermint mocha is super easy using our homemade chocolate syrup, milk, coffee, and the peppermint syrup (recipe below). You can top them with whipped cream, but homemade vanilla marshmallows are SO good - and they work in a basket better!
I found the basket pictured in these photos at the dollar store, as well as the peppermint sticks, so nothing about this basket is going to cost you a lot, thank goodness.
Make Homemade Peppermint Mocha & Gift Baskets
For Homemade Peppermint Mocha or Hot Chocolate
- Make a batch of Homemade Chocolate Syrup: Click here for the recipe (or use printable recipe at green arrow below). Pour into glass container and store in the refrigerator.
- Make a batch of Simple Peppermint Syrup: Make according to recipe below, let cool and then pour into glass containers to store in fridge.
- For each large mug of Peppermint Mocha or Chocolate: add 1/2 cup warmed milk (1 cup for hot chocolate), 1/2 cup strong coffee (omit for hot chocolate), 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup, and
1 tablespoon peppermint syrup and stir well. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.
- Repeat as often as your syrup lasts - no $4 a cup needed!
To Make Peppermint Mocha Gift Baskets:
Supplies for one basket:
- Two glass containers for syrups: either half-pint canning jars (these are a fun shape), or tall bottles with spouts (also, don't be afraid to upcycle - the bottle with the green lid is an old soy sauce bottle!). I mostly used the canning jars, except for a couple I made like the basket pictured.
- Ingredients for syrups & marshmallows, if making.
- Peppermint stir sticks.
- Basket or gift bag and filler; clear cellophane bags for marshmallows & peppermint sticks.
- Free printable labels (below) and ribbon ties (here is a gold ribbon similar to shown).
How to put basket together:
- Make chocolate and peppermint syrups. Divide into glass containers.
- Make a batch of homemade marshmallows, if adding: Here's an easy recipe (or just buy some...). Add 3-4 to a cellophane bag and tie.
- Add 4-6 peppermint sticks to a bag and tie.
- Print out the labels and recipe cards below.
- Attach labels to syrup containers.
- Add filler to basket or bag and place one container each of the syrups in, along with a package of the marshmallows, candy, and recipe card.
- Wrap entire basket with clear wrapping paper or place in a large dollar store gift bag and bless your loved ones with a yummy gift!
Printable Peppermint Mocha Gift Basket Labels
Click here to open the Peppermint & Chocolate Syrup Labels (or click on the image above), then right-click to save to your computer. Cut out and glue to tops of canning jar lids or punch holes to hang on tall bottles as pictured.
Click here to open the Peppermint Mocha/Hot Chocolate Recipe Cards (or click the image above), then right-click to save to your computer, cut out and add to the baskets.
Easy Homemade Peppermint Mocha (+ Gift Basket Idea)
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure peppermint extract
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3/4 – 1 cup sugar lower amount makes a "dark" chocolate syrup
- pinch salt
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To make one serving of Peppermint Mocha or Hot Chocolate:
- 1/2 cup warmed milk 1 cup for hot chocolate
- 1/2 cup strong coffee omit for hot chocolate
- 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup or to taste
- 1 tablespoon peppermint syrup or to taste
- Optional for serving: whipped cream marshmallows, crushed peppermint
- Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and stir for 4-5 minutes until sugar is completely dissolved (mixture should be clear).
- Remove from heat and add the peppermint extract. Let cool and then pour into glass containers to store in the refrigerator.
- Mix cocoa, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in enough boiling water to form a smooth paste. Stir in remaining water.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often. Let simmer 2-3 minutes (I like the longer time as it makes the syrup a bit thicker), stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Let cool.
- Scrape it into a bottle or jar and store in the refrigerator 3-4 weeks
To make a serving of peppermint mocha or hot chocolate:
- Mix milk, coffee, and syrups in a large mug.
- Top with your choice of whipped cream or marshmallows.
This recipe has been updated - it was originally published in December 2013.
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