I am a big fan of peppermint white mochas. In fact, once the cool weather comes around, that’s pretty much the only espresso drink I want. They just seem so festive, and I can’t resist the peppermint and white chocolate combination. Since we have an espresso maker at home, it seems silly to always run out to a coffee shop whenever the craving hits. Since not much was going on here Sunday, I decided to make peppermint simple syrup so that I can have peppermint white mochas whenever I want. This is both a good and very bad thing.
Simple syrup is just that – simple. Once you know how to make it, you can pretty much make any flavor you want. I love making things on a whim, and this was definitely one of those things. Eric and I were enjoying peppermint white mochas shortly after I decided to make the syrup. Gotta love that! You only need three ingredients – sugar, water and peppermint extract. I started with a 1/2 teaspoon of extract, which wasn’t strong enough, so I increased it to 1 teaspoon. I also added some candy cane pieces to give it that pretty pink color, but that’s certainly not necessary.
I was unsure about storage and looked up how to store simple syrup. From what I’ve read, it seems best to refrigerate syrup made with a 1:1 ratio of sugar to water (apparently more sugar gives it a more stable shelf life, so 2:1 simple syrup could be stored in the pantry). I’ve read it can be kept from one month to up to six months, but I don’t think you’ll have any problem using it in a month’s time. At the rate I’m using it, I’ll probably be making more next week. If espresso drinks aren’t your thing, I think this would be great in a martini or mixed with club soda, too.
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
½ teaspoon candy cane pieces (for color), optional
In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.
Stir in the peppermint extract and candy cane pieces, if using. Cool to room temperature and store in a glass bottle in the refrigerator.
To make the peppermint (white) mocha, combine one shot of espresso with 2 tablespoons peppermint syrup, 1 tablespoon chocolate or white chocolate sauce and desired amount of milk. Top with whipped cream and candy cane pieces, if desired.