Wake UP’s Clean Peppermint Mocha Recipe

December 17, 2022

You’re in line at Starbucks and craving that peppermint mocha that you keep seeing all over social media. Everyone flocks to Starbuck’s once it’s released, and you feel the need to have at least one per year. It’s just once, right?

Well, maybe it’s just once for that particular treat, but your usual go-to at Starbucks probably contains just as much sugar and artificial preservatives.

Let’s break down what’s in the festive treat that everyone loves - the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha.

What’s in a Starbucks Peppermint Mocha?

We recently wrote about what’s in the Starbucks Caramel Apple Spice, and not surprisingly, Starbucks uses a lot of the similar sweeteners and preservatives in its Peppermint Mocha, too.

Here’s the ingredient list on the Starbucks website so you can take a look for yourself.

Notice how Starbucks bolds the main ingredients, but each of those is broken down into lots of complicated ingredients. Bolding them isn’t really proving anything except that the ingredients really aren’t that simple. Nice try, though! Wake Up and Read the Labels knows better.


Sugar is the first ingredient in the Peppermint Syrup, Vanilla Syrup, and the Dark Chocolate Curls, and it’s the second ingredient in the Mocha Sauce. Starbucks is pumping these drinks full of sugar with all of the added sweeteners and sauces. If this is how you’re starting your morning then you’re likely going to have a sluggish day. You may get a quick burst of energy, but then you’ll feel a crash and you’ll be searching for other sources for energy. This oftentimes leads to eating even more, and the vicious cycle continues.

Natural Flavors

Where’s the actual peppermint? It’s probably hidden in the natural flavors, but wouldn’t it be great to see something just as simple as peppermint extract? Natural flavors are approved by the FDA, but manufacturers know about some loopholes that allow them to get away with adding preservatives, synthetic solvents, and other additives that are far from being natural. 


Carrageenan is a controversial ingredient, and it’s one we would avoid. There’s not enough research to say that it’s truly safe for you, it has no nutritional value, and it is simply a food additive used to act as a thickening agent. We wrote about carrageenan here and all the possible side effects it is related to. 

Sodium Benzoate

Sodium Benzoate is a food additive that prolongs the shelf life of a product. It’s completely unnecessary and offers no nutritional value. If anything, there are lots of health risks involved. Many people worry over its ability to convert into benzene, which is a known carcinogen. It’s also been linked to inflammation, ADHD, oxidative stress, and allergies. For an unnecessary ingredient, it’s best to play it safe and simply avoid. 

There are still more ingredients to note as being risky to your health, but you get the point. Skip the festive drink next time you’re in the Starbucks line and try Wake UP’s version made with REAL ingredients.

Peppermint Mocha Made with Real Ingredients

You won’t hear us say that you can’t enjoy a holiday treat like the Peppermint Mocha, but you will hear us tell you that there’s always a clean option available! Try this one out for starters.


1 cup clean nut milk

1 tbsp cacao powder

½ tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp 100% pure maple syrup

½ tsp peppermint extract

¼ cup black coffee


This holiday treat is sure to take care of any craving you may have for the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha, and this version will not leave you feeling sluggish or tired the rest of the day. Look for products made with real ingredients. It’s that simple. 

If you’re looking for clean products, including a Wake Up and Read the Labels approved nut milk, put in your email to download our Free Morning Guide. It’s a great way to get started learning more.



Discover 3 Common Foods Killing Your Energy


Here at Wake Up and Read The Labels, we help people learn how to read ingredient labels on the food they eat. We are not licensed, medical professionals. We are here to educate. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

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