Make Simple Syrup Out of Peppermint Candy Canes

You can make a peppermint mocha at home using simple syrup flavored with candy canes. (Photo: Christopher Cornellius/flickr)

So you want to recreate a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha at home, but you don't have any peppermint syrup on hand. Good news: If you have some candy canes, you're in luck.

You can replace peppermint syrup with a quick and easy homemade candy cane simple syrup using broken or crushed peppermint candy canes. The syrup is very sweet, festively red and peppermint-flavored. Because the boiling water melts the candy, all the ingredients in the candy cane end up in your syrup. You may even want to consider using organic candy canes.

Peppermint Candy Cane Simple Syrup. (Photo: Robin Shreeves)


  • 3 full-size candy canes (about 50 grams), broken into small pieces or crushed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar


  1. Combine candy canes, water and sugar in a medium-sized sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  4. Pour the syrup through a strainer to remove any leftover solid pieces.
  5. Store in a bottle in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Uses for peppermint candy cane syrup

Besides creating a DIY version of a coffeehouse peppermint mocha, what else can you use the syrup for? Here are some ideas.

  • Pour some in hot chocolate and call it Peppermint Patty Cocoa.
  • Use it to flavor and color frosting for the top of chocolate cupcakes.
  • Add 1/2 ounce of candy cane syrup and 2 ounces of vodka to an ice-filled shaker, shake and pour into a martini glass rimmed with finely crushed candy canes.
  • Make a Peppermint Champagne Cocktail: Pour 1/2 ounce of syrup into a flute, top with Champagne or other sparkling wine.
  • Drizzle over chocolate or vanilla ice cream or use as a flavoring for a milkshake.
  • Pour into a condiment squeeze bottle and drizzle onto warm sugar cookies just before serving.