13 Best Substitutes for Peppermint Extract

Peppermint extract is a very concentrated liquid made from the leaves of the peppermint plant. It’s used to add a minty flavor to drinks and candies, like chocolate-covered peppermints or baked goods as a substitute for plain vanilla extract.

If you’re an avid baker or a chocolate lover, peppermint extract is undoubtedly a staple in your pantry. You might even know it as the main ingredient in peppermint bark. But what do you do if you don’t have any on hand and desperately need this sweet treat? 

Even though peppermint extract is simple to make with just three ingredients, it takes some time before it’s ready to use. Thankfully, you can use plenty of substitutes for peppermint extract in recipes. The trick is finding one that doesn’t affect your recipe’s flavor too much. Keep reading to discover some excellent substitutes for peppermint extract!

In this guide, we will discuss the 13 best substitutes for peppermint extract. These are herbs that can be used as alternatives to peppermint extract.

Best Substitutes for Peppermint Extract

13 Best Substitutes for Peppermint Extract

If you have been using peppermint extract as a natural remedy for colds, then you know it has been the go-to for treating cold symptoms. However, a few herbs are good alternatives to peppermint extract. Here’s the list of the 13 best substitutes for peppermint extract.

01. Mint Leaves

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to peppermint extract, try using mint leaves. Mint leaves have a milder flavor than peppermint extract but can still be used interchangeably in recipes. 

To use mint leaves as a substitute, simply crush them and add them to your recipe before cooking. Try adding crushed fresh mint leaves to lemonade, or add crushed dried mint leaves to your favorite cookie recipe!

02. Mint Candy

Mint candy is one of the most popular candies in the world. It’s a sweet treat that both children and adults can enjoy. It is made from a mint extract mixed with sugar and gelatin. 

It is available in different flavors, such as peppermint, spearmint, and cinnamon. In many recipes, Mint candy can be used as a substitute for peppermint extract. You can use it to add mint flavor to cakes, cookies, and other desserts.

03. Rosemary

Rosemary is an herb that has a strong aroma. It has a sweet, spicy, and slightly bitter taste. It is also known as a culinary herb. It is often used to flavor soups, stews, and meats. It is also used to make teas and liqueurs. Rosemary is an excellent alternative to peppermint extract because it has a similar flavor.

04. Peppermint Oil

You can also use peppermint oil as a substitute for peppermint extract. Peppermint oil is a natural ingredient used in many products to create the strong, fresh taste of peppermint. It’s similar to an extract, but its potency means you’ll need less of it to achieve the same effect.

Peppermint oil is distilling fresh mint leaves and then concentrating them into a liquid form. It’s available at most grocery stores in small bottles or larger containers if you’re looking for bulk purchases (and we would recommend getting as much as possible—it won’t spoil).

05. Peppermint Schnapps

Peppermint Schnapps is an excellent alternative to peppermint extract. It is a type of liqueur made from distilled spirits and flavored with peppermint. It is clear or pale green and has a strong, minty flavor. Peppermint schnapps is often used in cocktails and can also be enjoyed independently.

06. Spearmint Extract

Spearmint extract is made from spearmint leaves, milder and sweeter than peppermint. The flavor of spearmint is less minty than that of peppermint, so it’s a good alternative if you have a sensitive stomach or want to avoid the “minty” feeling in your mouth after eating something with peppermint in it. It also has some culinary uses: spiced cream cheese spread with spearmint extract is often served on bagels at delis.

07. Creme De Menthe

Creme de menthe is a mint-flavored liqueur made from a blend of herbs and spices, with anise as the dominant flavor. In addition to its flavoring in dishes, you can use creme de menthe in desserts and cocktails.

Creme de Menthe has a strong flavor and aroma, so it’s best used sparingly. You can add it to recipes by stirring it into melted butter or oil before adding it to your dish (or you can simply drizzle the liquid over the top).

08. Citrus Mint Extract

Citrus mint extract is a liquid that is made from the leaves of the peppermint plant. It can be used as an alternative to peppermint extract. Macerating or steeping citrus fruits make it, and mint leaves in a solvent, such as ethanol or propylene glycol. 

It is used as a flavoring agent in food and beverages. It has a pleasant flavor that is similar to peppermint. It is used in chewing gums, candies, and toothpaste. The resulting mixture is then distilled to remove the volatile oils.

09. Watermint Extract

Watermint extract is an ingredient you can find at your local grocery store. It’s made from the leaves of watermint, a plant that looks similar to spearmint and has a light minty flavor. 

It is an excellent substitute for peppermint oil or peppermint extract because it has a similar flavor profile. It can also be used as a substitute for spearmint extract, but you may need to add more water to the recipe than usual.

10. Basil

Basil is a popular herb that is often used in cooking. It has a robust and unique flavor that can enhance many dishes. Basil is also used in some traditional medicines and is believed to have some health benefits.

Basil is another herb used as a substitute for peppermint extract. It is also called sweet basil. It has a very similar flavor to peppermint extract. You can use it to make tea or add it to dishes. 

It is also easier to find in grocery stores if you don’t have access to specialty spice shops. It pairs well with sweeteners like stevia or xylitol and fruit flavors like lemon, peach, and apricot. 

11. Herbal Mint Tea

In a pinch, herbal mint tea can be a good substitute for peppermint extract. It’s also a good substitute for peppermint oil and mint leaves. Herbal mint tea is also a great choice if you need something sweet to eat. And if you’re looking for an excuse to drink hot water and lemon, consider adding a few bags of your favorite herbal blend!

12. Methanol Crystals

Methanol Crystals are an excellent substitute for peppermint extract. It is a clear, colorless, and flammable liquid with a strong odor. Methanol is a volatile organic compound and is poisonous if ingested.

It has a similar flavor profile but is much easier to make. Methylamine is the base ingredient in making methylamine crystals. It is also used to create liquid-based drugs/drugs that dissolve in water.

13. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract is a common substitute for peppermint extract. It’s made from vanilla beans and tastes sweeter than peppermint extract. Vanilla extract also contains alcohol, which can help dissolve certain foods and ingredients. Some vanilla extracts may be more expensive than others, so compare prices before buying!

Best Substitutes for Peppermint Extract – FAQs

What’s the difference between peppermint oil and peppermint extract? 

Peppermint oil is also extracted from the leaves of this herb, but it contains more volatile components than extracts. That means it has a more intense flavor than an extract, although it doesn’t have much else going for it aside from that (it doesn’t taste good when eaten straight). You can use either one if you want your food or drink to have a stronger minty kick!

Can You Make Peppermint Extract from Candy Canes?

You can make your peppermint extract using candy canes or use the same ingredients in another ratio: one part vodka and two parts water, with the third part of sugar. This ratio is similar to commercial extracts and will give you a more potent peppermint flavor than simply soaking candy canes in vodka.

Are Mint and Peppermint Extract the Same Thing?

Mint is a plant that is used to flavor food and drinks. Peppermint extract is a concentrated form of mint that is used to flavor food and beverages. Although mint and peppermint extract is derived from the mint plant, they are not the same. Peppermint extract is more potent than mint and has a higher concentration of mint oil.

How Is Peppermint Different from Spearmint?

In general, peppermint is mintier than spearmint. Peppermint has a more robust, more intense flavor than spearmint. Some say that peppermint tastes like a cross between spearmint and watermint.

Can I Use Peppermint Schnapps Instead of Peppermint Extract?

If you’re looking for a quick and easy substitution for peppermint extract, you might be able to get away with using peppermint schnapps. However, remember that Schnapps is a liquor, so your finished product will have a slightly different flavor and alcohol content. You’ll also want to use fewer Schnapps than you would extract since it is more concentrated.

Can You Substitute Mint for Peppermint Extract?

Mint and peppermint are two very similar herbs. Both have a refreshing, cooling flavor that is perfect for summertime dishes. However, they are not the same. Peppermint is a hybrid of watermint and spearmint, while mint is a member of the mentha family. 

Peppermint extract is made from the essential oils of the peppermint plant, while the mint extract is made from the essential oils of the mint plant. You can use both interchangeably in most recipes, but mint extract will be slightly sweeter than peppermint extract.

Can I Use Essential Oil Instead of Extracts?

Essential oils are more potent than extracts, which means you need less of them. This is excellent news for your wallet, but it also means that if you’re used to using extracts and switching to essential oils, your baking can end up tasting differently than expected.

Another thing to consider is that essential oils aren’t as easy to find as extracts. Some supermarkets carry oil or two in the baking aisle, but most stores only carry them in their health food or aromatherapy sections (if at all).

Can I Use Mint Extract Instead of Peppermint Extract?

If you have mint extract and not peppermint extract, you can use it as a substitution. The flavor will be different, but it will work in a pinch. Remember that mint extract is more potent than peppermint extract, so you may want to use a little less.

How Much Peppermint Oil Should I Use Instead of the Extract?

Peppermint oil is a more robust flavor than peppermint extract, so you’ll need to use less of it. The general rule is that one teaspoon of peppermint extract equals about one tablespoon of crushed or finely ground peppermint leaves and five drops of essential oil. You can also use two teaspoons of the leaves for every teaspoon of extract if you want to avoid using an extract.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our “13 Best Substitutes for Peppermint Extract” list and found some new ways to alternate for Peppermint Extract.

The herbs listed above have intense flavors, so you may not like the taste, but they are safe to consume. You can also use them as a substitute for peppermint extract. You can add them to your favorite drinks or sprinkle them on your food. If you want, you can even mix them with your favorite foods.

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