7 Excellent Substitutes for Peppermint Extract for your Pantry


Peppermint is a peppery mint that adds a wonderful cool kick to many sweet and savory recipes.

Several recipes, mainly desserts, beverages, and more, may call for peppermint extract. Unfortunately, it may not be available everywhere.

7 Excellent Substitutes for Peppermint Extract for your Pantry

Here are seven fantastic substitutes for peppermint extract that you can substitute in your following preparations, to add the cool and fresh flavor of mint to it!

Mint Leaves

Mint leaves are inexpensive and readily available.

They have less menthol in them, which means they may not yield as strong a flavor as peppermint extract, but gives a very similar result. Fresh mint leaves can be chopped and added to recipes in place of peppermint extract.

Mint leaves, be it peppermint, watermint, applemint, or even spearmint leaves, work very well in desserts and beverages.

They are also good for health, as they are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which aids in resolving night blindness.


Mint leaves are easy to access, affordable, and are a healthy alternative to peppermint extract. Chopped leaves may be used instead of it.

Mint Candy

Crushed mint candy is a great alternative for peppermint extract. Mint candies contain high amounts of sugar, colors, stabilizers, and preservatives and are not suitable for people looking for a healthier, sugar-free option.

Mint candy is good for desserts and beverages but may not work in savory recipes.

It is easily available and quite affordable. Break pieces of mint candy by crushing them with a rolling pin inside a plastic bag, or use a food processor in pulse mode to grind them into a fine powder.

This powder can be added to your sweet recipes.


Mint candy is a good alternative to peppermint extract, as long as the recipe is that of a beverage or a dessert. It is a cheap and easy-access substitute when you’re in a pinch.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a potent peppermint extract substitute that can add an identical peppermint flavor to your recipes.

It must be used carefully since it is very concentrated, and a few drops may replace a teaspoon full of peppermint extract.

Peppermint oil can be found easily in herbal shops, groceries, and medicine shops too. For cooking needs, purchase organic and chemical-free oils that are safe for consumption.

Peppermint oil is known to be good for irritable bowel syndrome. It must be used carefully since research suggests that excessive consumption may cause heartburn and nausea.


Peppermint oil is a good replacement for peppermint extract. Pure oils must be used, and make sure to use a smaller quantity in proportion.

Peppermint Schnapps

Peppermint Schnapps is a perfect substitute for peppermint extract in beverages and some desserts.

This replacement contains alcohol and should be used carefully, as it may not be suitable for children and those avoiding alcohol.

Peppermint schnapps is made using pure-grain alcohol and peppermint leaves. Schnapps is a fantastic alternative to peppermint extract for alcoholic beverages if fresh leaves are unavailable.

You can use three teaspoons of peppermint schnapps to replace one teaspoon of extract.


Peppermint schnapps is a good replacement for peppermint extract in beverages and desserts. However, this may not be suitable for some people.

Spearmint Extract

Spearmint is of the same Mentha genus as peppermint is.

Spearmint has less than 1% menthol in it, giving it a milder mint flavor, whereas peppermint has a whopping 40%. Naturally, spearmint is milder and must be substituted accordingly.

Spearmint extract is great for teas and other hot beverages. It’s chock-full of antioxidants, that can help prevent chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer.


Spearmint is peppermint’s milder cousin; they belong to the same genus. A slightly higher quantity of spearmint extract may be used to replace peppermint extract in your recipes.

Creme De Menthe

Creme de menthe means ‘Mint Cream’ in french, despite not containing any cream.

This is a type of concentrated mint liqueur that is made using grain alcohol and mint leaves, primarily used in beverages for a cool minty flavor.

Creme de menthe has a simple syrup base that makes it sweeter than other substitutes, making it great to use in beverages and desserts.

You may substitute one teaspoon of peppermint extract with 2-3 teaspoons of creme de menthe.


Creme de menthe is a concentrated mint liqueur that works best in beverages and desserts due to its sweet and strong minty flavor.

DIY Peppermint Extract

DIY peppermint extract is a fantastic alternative since you can customize how strong you want your extract. This is a long process that will take weeks to yield good results, but it will give you the power to make your extract.

You will need peppermint leaves and grain-proof alcohol; you may use vodka. Dry washed peppermint leaves in sunlight to evaporate extra moisture.

Chop them up, place them in a mason jar, and top it off until the top with alcohol.

Repeat this process by replacing the mint leaves with fresh leaves every 3-4 weeks, depending on how strong you want them, and you will have homemade peppermint extract that you can use liberally in your recipes.


DIY extract is a great customizable substitute for peppermint extract since you can make it independently. If you’re in a pinch, this is not recommended since it takes a few weeks to prepare.


How is peppermint different from spearmint?

Peppermint contains around 40% menthol, whereas spearmint contains approximately 1%. Peppermint has a very strong, almost spicy flavor to it, making it different from spearmint in intensity.

Can I use Peppermint Schnapps instead of peppermint extract?

Yes. Peppermint schnapps is a good replacement, mainly in beverages. It has no sweet ingredients and can be used in savory recipes too. Use 3-4 teaspoons of schnapps to replace one teaspoon of peppermint extract.

Can I use vanilla extract instead of peppermint extract in my dessert?

Vanilla is a very mild flavor in comparison to mint. Peppermint has an intense spicy mint flavor that your recipe will lack if replaced. However, vanilla can be used as a replacement in desserts if the recipe does not specifically call for a mint-based flavoring agent.

Can I use mint extract instead of peppermint extract?

Peppermint extract is stronger than standard mint extracts, but it can be a suitable substitute. You will have to use a higher quantity to achieve a stronger flavor, closer to peppermint.

How much peppermint oil should I use instead of the extract?

Peppermint oil is highly concentrated and has a very intense flavor that can be unpleasant if not substituted properly. This means you can use about ¼th the quantity of oil in place of an extract, that is, one teaspoon of oil, for every four teaspoons of extract.

Bottom Line

The availability of peppermint extract shouldn’t limit you from exploring more minty recipes.

There are some outstanding alternatives to use instead of extract to give your recipes a cool, fresh minty flavor.

We hope you found one here that can meet your peppermint extract needs in your following recipes.

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About Pratibha Singh

Pratibha is a popular home chef and loves to prepare some amazing Indian dishes. A foodie to the core she enjoys other cuisines too. She has been cooking since childhood and often prepares meals for her family, friends, and even strangers. Her motto in life: “Always be prepared!”