10 Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes

Peppermint Extract

Peppermint extract has a great reputation for its tremendous uses.

Apart from relieving your cold, peppermint extract is also used as flavoring agents in food and scenting agents in cosmetics. But at times it is difficult to get your hands on it. So, what can you do? The best possible solution is to look for its alternatives.

In today’s article, we will discuss each of these substitutes in detail so that you know how exactly you can use them. So, read on to know more!

Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes

After extensive research, we have listed down the best peppermint extract substitutes that you should undoubtedly check out.

1. Peppermint oil


Although peppermint oil has a stronger odor and sharper taste than peppermint extract, you can use it in place of extract. It provides the same refreshing flavor to all your food items.

Remember that 1 part of peppermint oil is equal to 4 parts of peppermint extract so keep this in mind when you are substituting it in your dishes.

2. Peppermint schnapps

Peppermint schnapps

Peppermint schnapps is a peppermint-flavored alcoholic drink.

Generally, you can use it as a mixer in cocktails but there are people who use it in their dishes as it is easily available in liquor shops.

It has a strong peppermint flavor, therefore you can add one ounce of peppermint extract instead of four to five drops of extract. 

3. Creme De Menthe

Creme de menthe is another sweet and creamy mint-flavored alcoholic beverage. Available in both colorless and green versions, you can use it in cocktails and desserts.

It has a slightly mild odor and flavor as compared to peppermint extract. So, we advise you to add half or one cup of Creme De Menthe per half teaspoon of peppermint extract.

4. Spearmint extract

Spearmint extract has a minty flavor just like peppermint but there are differences between the two. For instance, spearmint extract is sweeter than peppermint extract and does not give the cooling sensation of peppermint.

Spearmint extract has the best combo with sweet dishes but you can definitely try adding it in savory ones too. So, if you are unable to find peppermint extract, you can use spearmint in the same amount.

5. Watermint extract

Peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. The cooling effect of peppermint is due to the methanol concentration in it. Watermint includes a super high methanol concentration, thereby providing a greater cooling sensation.

It is why you can substitute watermint for peppermint by diluting it. You can also use fresh watermint herb in but make sure to add only a few leaves into your dish.

6. Basil


If you are unable to find peppermint extract, you can use fresh basil leaves instead. It belongs to the mint family and has a strong aroma just like peppermint but with a different taste. It has the perfect balance between savory and sweet with hints of peppery flavor.

For this reason, people might notice a slight difference in the overall taste of the dish. However, we can guarantee that adding it to your recipes will do no harm.

7. Peppermint leaves and vodka


If anything is not available around you, the best solution is to make it at home.

Similar is the case with peppermint extract. You just need two ingredients including peppermint leaves and vodka and you are all set.

Take a large jar with a lid and add chopped peppermint leaves. Then, add vodka to it and leave it in a cool and dark place for 1-2 months.

Ta-da your peppermint extract is ready!

8. Herbal mint tea

mint tea

One of the easiest substitutes for peppermint extract is herbal mint tea. It is something you can easily buy from the supermarket near you.

Depending on the type of dish you want to make, you can use it instead of the extract by adding a smaller amount and then tasting the dish before adding more as their tastes are somewhat different.

9. Methanol crystals

Methanol crystals are extracted from peppermint oil. They are easily available in stores or online. They are used for a wide variety of purposes because of their aroma, flavor, and cooling sensation.

If you are looking for peppermint extract for making perfumes, lotions, balms, shampoos, or other cosmetics, you can easily substitute it with transparent methanol crystals.

10. Rosemary


Since rosemary belongs to the same mint family, its characteristics are the same as most of the mints. We would suggest you try and find other alternatives first before trying it as it has a different flavor.

If you are unable to search for other substitutes, you can add them to your savory recipes. Pro-tip, add it at the beginning of your recipe to get the best taste!

Peppermint Extract Substitute Candy Cane

Candy canes are cane-shaped candies with red and white stripes all over them.

They come in various flavors, but the most popular and common flavor is peppermint. The main question is can you substitute candy canes for peppermint extract?

Yes, apart from the alternatives mentioned above, candy canes can also be used as a substitute for your peppermint extract. Just follow the next recipe to convert these solid candies into liquid, and then you can use it just like peppermint extract.

  • Take a medium-sized saucepan and add water and sugar to it.
  • Once the water comes to a boil, add candy canes to it.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for around 10-15 minutes.
  • Then, remove it from heat and cover it with a lid for half an hour.
  • Finally, strain the liquid to remove any leftover candy cane pieces. 

Are Mint and Peppermint Extract the Same Thing?

Peppermint and mint both belong to the mint family, however, they are not the same thing. But you can use them interchangeably in many dishes like candies, cakes, teas, savory food, etc.

Both the extracts are quite different in terms of ingredients.

Peppermint extract is purely made from peppermint herbs, while the mint extract is made from a combination of culinary mint herbs. Generally, mint extracts are a combination of 2-3 mints such as watermint, peppermint, and spearmint.

Related Questions 

Can I use vanilla extract instead of peppermint extract?

Peppermint extract has a very distinct and significant flavor. On the other hand, vanilla extract is mild in comparison to it.

Most importantly, peppermint and vanilla are two different flavors. However, you can use vanilla extract as a last resort by substituting it in very small amounts.

Can you substitute mint for peppermint extract?

You can use mint and peppermint interchangeably in recipes as both belong to the same plant family. However, remember that they have very different flavors.

Can I use essential oil instead of extracts?

Yes, you can substitute essential oils in place of extracts but they are not the same thing.

Essential oils are pure and concentrated, therefore have a very noteworthy aroma and flavor. On the other hand, extracts are mild as they are diluted versions.

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