18 Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes You Can Try!

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Peppermint extract gives a cooling and minty sensation to your dishes like baked goods, teas, drinks, and other items. However, you can find other alternatives that are equally cooling and flavorful. 


Some of the best peppermint extracts are mint leaves, peppermint oil, spearmint extract, and water mint extract. You can also use mint candy, peppermint bark, basil, and even rosemary. 

Peppermint extract is easily available at supermarkets, and using it is probably easy. Simply add a few drops of peppermint extract to your recipe, and you are good to go. Adding peppermint extract gives a cool twist to sweet as well as savory dishes.

Just in case you find yourself with no peppermint extract, I have got you the best possible substitutes that are too easily available and have the same flavorful notes. So stick with me until the end, won’t you? 

18 Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes!

Here is a list of the best peppermint extract substitutes that you should try.

1. Mint Leaves

mint leaves

What has the closest flavor to peppermint extract? You guessed it right; it is mint. 

Now let me clear some facts about the similarities between mint and peppermint. Basically, mint is kind of a parent term for all the Mentha plant family. And peppermint is the part of the mint. 

That is how you know that mint can be a great peppermint substitute. Mint has the same cooling sensation as peppermint. You can add mint leaves to drinks or beverages. You can even add mint leaves to baked goods to get the refreshing flavors. 

The best part of using mint leaves is that they are fresh and contain great health benefits. Simply substitute a bunch of mint leaves in place of peppermint according to the recipe requirement and enjoy the flavors. 

2. Peppermint Oil

peppermint oil

If you are out of peppermint extract, then try some peppermint oil. It is one of the most important and most commonly found oils in pantries.

You might find the peppermint oil a little extra, but if you add them to the right dish with the right amount, then you will not be disappointed. 

Peppermint oil is made from the flowering parts and leaves of the peppermint plant, which is why it is a great peppermint extract substitute.

Use them in drinks or recipes as you would use peppermint extract. Just remember to use a little bit of peppermint oil at the start, and I am sure you will enjoy this substitute.

3. Peppermint Schnapps

peppermint schnapps

Peppermint schnapps is nothing but a peppermint flavor added in a distilled spirit. Now as it has the flavor we want, the best thing about peppermint schnapps is that they do not overpower your recipe.

As the flavor is subtle and nice, you can substitute peppermint schnapps very easily for peppermint extract. 

Add them to drinks and take your drinks to the next level with distilled spirit with hints of peppermint. You will love the sweet notes of the peppermint schnapps, and as a matter of fact, they are sweeter than peppermint extract. 

Start with smaller amounts of peppermint schnapps and gradually increase as per your preferences. 

4. Spearmint Extract

Spearmint Extract

Another item that belongs to the same family as mint and peppermint is spearmint. The best thing about using spearmint is that it has a lighter flavor than peppermint extract. 

Spearmint extract is sweet as well as herbal in flavor. You can add them in recipes that call for some peppermint flavor along with herbal notes. 

You can start with a small amount of spearmint extract and then gradually add the quantity, as you have to be sure not to add too much herbal taste to your dish. 

5. Wintergreen Extract

wintergreen extract

Another great peppermint extract substitute is wintergreen extract. It has a beautiful aroma and is very flavorful. Wintergreen extract is made from a group of aromatic plants.

You might find it a little extra and strong, but trust me, and you are done with your work with a few drops of wintergreen extract. You may also find some methanol flavors that can be a great addition to drinks and beverages. 

When it comes to baking, wintergreen extract is a perfect match. Add wintergreen extract to cakes or cookies, and enjoy the minty and methanol flavors to refresh your mood.

6. Mint Candy

mint candy

Mint candies are the best candies that we all have enjoyed in our childhood, and if you are out of some peppermint extract, why don’t you use some mint candy itself?

Simply crush some mint candies and add them to your recipes. Now I know that the mint candies which we get at supermarkets have lots of sugar and coloring, so if you are looking for a healthier peppermint substitute, skip mint candy. 

If you want to make your drinks a little minty and sweet, then mint candy can be a great option. Mint candy is easy to find and very inexpensive. Simply pulse some of the mint candies and add them to the recipe. 

7. Crème De Menthe

creme de menthe

Don’t be worried after reading the fancy name. Crème De Menthe is nothing but mint cream. It is mint liquor that has grain alcohol with mint leaves. A perfect way to add mint flavors to your recipe that calls for some alcohol too. 

I usually add them to other drinks and make different cocktails to enjoy with snacks. You can use 2 teaspoons of crème de menthe in place of one teaspoon of peppermint extract. Skip this substitute if you don’t want any alcohol content in your dish. 

You can make alcoholic desserts to enjoy on holidays with friends and family. A great way to celebrate occasions with some refreshing peppermint flavors.

8. DIY Peppermint Extract

You can obviously make peppermint extract by yourself. This enables you to be in charge of the range of the flavor of the peppermint extract. You may have to be a little patient with the process, but you will definitely enjoy it once you are done. 

The only thing you need is some peppermint leaves and grain-free alcohol. Wash and dry the leaves in the sunlight. Now chop the leaves very finely and add to a jar. 

In the same jar, add the alcohol. Now store the jar for a few weeks but remember to replace the old peppermint leaves with new finely chopped ones. This part will decide the intensity of the peppermint extract. After a few weeks, you can use the peppermint extract that you just made yourself. 

9. Candy Canes

candy canes

We all have eaten candy canes, and they are the best sweet treats, especially during holidays. Now in case you are out of peppermint extract, then you can use candy canes instead. 

Candy canes have a peppermint flavor, and you can use them simply like mint candies. Crush the candy canes and add the powder to your recipe.

 Not to forget that candy canes have a lot of sugar, so avoid any additional sugar, or else you will end up with a sugar rush. Go for the little amount of crushed candy canes and adjust accordingly. You can add them to baked goods and maybe in drinks too. 

10. Vanilla Extract

Vanilla extract

The best friend of all bakery products – vanilla extract. No doubt you all have used vanilla extract while baking cakes or brownies. Just in case your recipe calls for peppermint extract, add vanilla extract instead. 

Vanilla extract obviously gives your baked goods the lovely vanilla flavor, but it also has a refreshing and soothing flavor, which is why you can use it instead of peppermint extract. 

You are good to go with just a few drops of vanilla extract instead of peppermint extract. 

11. Peppermint Bark

peppermint bark

Peppermint bark is made with candy canes and white or dark chocolate. Best for your baked goods, peppermint bark gives the perfect peppermint flavor along with desired chocolaty flavor. 

Use the peppermint bark just like candy canes. All you have to do is simply crush the peppermint bark and add them to your recipes.

The addition of cocoa butter makes the peppermint bark more rich, and that obviously gets added to your dish. Start with little crushed peppermint bark and gradually add to the recipe. 

12. Watermint Extract

watermint extract

 Watermint is another type of mint, and the extract from the water mint leaves and flower is watermint extract. It has the same cooling and refreshing notes as mints. 

You would be surprised to know that peppermint is a hybrid of spearmint and watermint. Therefore, watermint will work just right as a substitute for peppermint extract. 

Due to the presence of a great amount of methanol, water is best for drinks and beverages, especially in the summer. You can even use watermint leaves but make sure to add a few leaves for the starters and gradually increase the quantity. 

Start with small amounts of water and maybe add in a little amount to make sure the methanol does not overpower other flavors.  

13. Basil

basil leaves in pot

Basil is the most common and popular garnishing ingredient found in the kitchen. As it is from the same family as mint, basil can be one of the best substitutes for peppermint extract. 

You may find little difference in the flavor of basil when compared to peppermint extract, but the aroma is too great. Basil leaves have a sweet note with a little peppery flavor, making them a balanced herb.

 Simply add a few basil leaves or crush/chop them finely and add them to your recipe. You can go for an equal amount of basil as peppermint extract.

14. Herbal mint tea

herbal mint tea

Supermarkets are filled with herbal mint tea, and if you are a mint tea person, then you can probably use it in multiple ways. As the name already tells that it has mint flavor, and for the recipes that call for peppermint, this is a great option to try. 

You should specifically use them in drinks because they will match the flavors really well. If substituting in baked goods, make sure that you are familiar with the mint tea flavor, or else you might not like the surprise. 

15. Methanol crystals

methanol crystals

Looking for some peppermint extract substitutes that can add cooling and refreshing flavors? Go for methanol crystals. Methanol crystals are a great way to refresh and cool your senses. You can add them to drinks or baked goods; They pair well with sweet and savory dishes also. 

Methanol crystals are one of the best substitutes as they are extracted for peppermint. Start with a few balls of methanol crystals and adjust the quantity as per your taste.  

16. Rosemary

rosemary herb

Rosemary is another great herb that carries great flavor and aroma. It also belongs to the mint family, which means you can use rosemary in place of peppermint extract. 

You may not find the exact flavors like peppermint extract, but it works for you in the absence of other alternatives. Add a few amounts of rosemary, and maybe add a little more per your taste preferences. 

17. Peppermint Syrup

peppermint syrup

Peppermint syrup is again made with peppermint leaves and can be a close substitute for peppermint extract. You can get peppermint syrup at your nearest grocery store or make some at your home. 

Peppermint syrup will not be as complex as peppermint oils as the flavor gets diluted with adding water. It is an excellent ingredient to add to your drinks and give a minty touch.

In case of adding in any batter, make sure to add enough so that flavor is noticeable. 

18. Eucalyptus


You can get eucalyptus at your nearest store and use it to add a cooling sensation to your recipe. Peppermint and eucalyptus belong to the same family and can be considered a substitute for each other. 

You may have to add some sort of sweetener to balance the flavor. Adding eucalyptus to your fish will leave your mouth with a cooling sensation, and it is a great substitute if you are looking for a particular feature. 

Short Recap Of The Best Substitutes For Peppermint Extract 

Below is a short recap of the best substitute options for peppermint extract

Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes In Terms Of Flavor – 

  • Mint
  • Peppermint oil

Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes That Are Easily Available –

  • Mint candy
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Extract Substitutes That Should Be Least Considered-

  • Rosemary 

How To Use Peppermint Extract Substitutes In A Recipe?

18 Best Peppermint Extract Substitutes You Can Try!

Peppermint extract is easily available at supermarkets, and using it is probably easy. Simply add a few drops of peppermint extract to your recipe, and you are good to go. Adding peppermint extract gives a cool twist to sweet as well as savory dishes.
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  • Mint Leaves
  • Peppermint Oil
  • Peppermint Schnapps
  • Spearmint Extract
  • Wintergreen Extract
  • Mint Candy
  • Creme De Menthe
  • DIY Peppermint Extract
  • Candy Canes
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Watermint Extract
  • Basil
  • Peppermint Leaves And Vodka
  • Herbal Mint Tea
  • Methanol Crystals
  • Rosemary
  • Peppermint Syrup
  • Eucalyptus
  • Candy Canes


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and make the dish according to the recipe.
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Now that we are at the end of such a refreshing and helpful piece of information, let me know in case you try any of the substitutes that I have listed. Peppermint extracts are a great way to add flavors to your recipe, but that is not the only thing. 

There are plenty of options to try that are best suited for the recipe. Even though you are not out of peppermint, I would suggest you try the other options and experiment. You may never know and create something different (in a good way).  

See, the flavors of the substitutes are similar to each other, but each one of them has a uniqueness that makes them stand out from the others. Getting my point?

So, I will leave you with this piece of advice and meet you next time with something new. I hope this was helpful. See you next time. Until then, make a mint drink and enjoy the afternoon. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is peppermint extract? 

Peppermint extract is made by extracting essential oils from the peppermint leaves. Basically, it is a herbal extract of peppermint. 

Are peppermint and mint the same thing?

No, peppermint and mint are not the same thing. They belong to the same family but have little district flavors and aromas. However, they can be used interchangeably in place of each other. 

Can I use candy canes in place of peppermint extract?

Yes, you can use candy canes in place of peppermint extract. Simply crush or pulse them in a blender or coffee grinder and add them to the recipe. Candy canes will provide similar flavorful notes like peppermint extract. 

What can we use in place of peppermint extract?

Some of the best peppermint extracts are mint leaves, peppermint oil, spearmint extract, and water mint extract. You can also use mint candy, peppermint bark, basil, and even rosemary. 

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