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Breathmints. Or, suck it Starbucks, Altoids, etc.

It all started in high school…my obsession with breathmints and chapstick. I’m not sure what the root cause, was, but I was hooked.  At the time it was Carmex and Starbucks mints.

Starbucks and I had a good relationship for a long time, but in 2009 they phased out my beloved mints and replaced them with a tin of mints that cost the same, but had 1/10th as many mints.  Well played Starbucks, well played.

I floundered for awhile looking for a good replacement.  Some time in 2011, I found Altoids minis “Simply Mint”.  They were super hard to find, and I could only buy them at Albertsons.  Sadly, last month, Albertsons discontinued selling them.


I did some searching online, and came across this recipe.  Tried it out, and not only is it easy, but it’s cheap and the perfect replacement for my Altoids.  I used to spend about $1-2 a week on Altoids,  This recipe made A TON of mints for $5.44.  Shall we get started?

1 little bottle of flavoring of your choice.  I think this size is called a dram.  It was $1.69.
2 cups of dry gum paste (found it at Joann’s in the cake section.  Used a 50% off coupon and got it for $3.45.
3 tblsp water (recipe calls for 2, but I needed 3)

1) Mix the gum paste with the flavoring, and water until it forms a very thick paste.

Yes, I do have dirty gardener hands.  So?


2) Put parchment paper on a baking sheet, and dust with powdered sugar.

3) Put the “dough” on the parchment, and dust with a bit more powdered sugar.  I pressed it as thin as I could with the heel of my hand.

4) Now at this point, you could make little balls, or use a tiny mold to make these cute shapes.  If you have time for that, please come to my house and clean it.  I just dusted a pizza cutter with powdered sugar, and cut them in to strips and pieces.

5) I filled a lidded container with the pieces, and sprinkled a bit more powdered sugar in there.  I shook it a few times to make sure that all the pieces were coated enough to not stick to each other.


6) Spread the pieces back on the baking sheet with the parchment, and let dry at room temperature for at least 3 days.  Your house will smell awesome, but please watch out for kiddos and pets.

7) After they were “done”, I put them in another container with a washcloth and shook for a minute or so to try to get as much excess powdered sugar off of them.  I filled up my old Altoid tins, and put all the extra in a tupperware container.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Yep, I’m currently looking for chocolate flavoring to make chocolate mint ones for the holiday gifts!  YUM!

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23 comments on “Breathmints. Or, suck it Starbucks, Altoids, etc.”

  1. Oh wow, I would’ve never thought of making replacement breathmints! I don’t use them very often, but I sure love their taste. I wonder if I can find the right flavors (I like the very minty/cool flavors that leave your mouth tingly. Yes, I am horrible describing flavors!)

    • It’s a very strong peppermint like an Altoid, but the powdered sugar keeps it from being too spicy.

      The place where I got the oil also had spearmint.

  2. Wow… I love this! Where did you find the mint flavorings? Thanks!

  3. You are so fancy. If the power ever goes out, I’m forming my militia with YOU! We will rule those electricity-desperate suckers!

  4. What a great idea! I have so many altoid tins (I asked everyone to save them for me before we moved for projects) that I could fancy up the tins and give them back to the people I got them from with homemade mints instead! AMAZABALLS!

  5. Some people reviewing the gumpaste at Amazon, noted the odor. Did you notice any odor to the mix as you mixed it, other than the flavor you added?

  6. Are they chewy or crunchy? As a side note, I saw Mint Chocolate Chip Loranns oil 🙂

  7. Dude! You are awesome. I have been looking for a natural substitute and recipe for mints like these. Ask, and you shall receive 🙂

    • Well, don’t thank me too soon…the ingredients on the gum paste don’t look so natural. But it’s nothing worse than what I was consuming before!

  8. That is awesome. I think I might make some soon. 🙂

  9. Are these mints hard or are they the melt-in-your-mouth kind? Either way, pinned it and am totally trying it.

    • They start out hard and then get soft. They remind me a bit of those wedding mints (we called them pillow mints growing up), but not as soft or awful.

  10. I know this was posted long ago now but I’m still hoping for a response =) I live in Sweden and here gumbase seems very hard to get hold of – however I found a kind of sugarpaste in the grocery store, for decorating cake etc, and this seems kind of similar so I’m going to try making them with 100% cinnamon oil, to make my own Hot Tamales. We don’t have those here either except in special English Shops and those are beyond pricy =) Thanks so much for this recipe, I’ve been wanting to do this for ages!

  11. Alright, I gave it a shot and the consistency was good, I think it will be perfect when they have dried up a bit. However, I used just about 10 drops of 100% cinnamon oil, and it was way too strong. The candies don’t even taste like cinnamon, but just kind of numbs the tongue, so I think I’ll try mixing them up again with more of that sugar paste. I still feel like they need some other flavour though, but unfortunately all it says on the hot tamale packet is “artificial flavours”, so I have no idea which ones they use. Any tips are very welcome 😉 Thanks again for this!

  12. I’m curious for your chocolate flavoring, maybe instead of powdered sugar use cocoa powder?

  13. Hi i was wondering if there was an alternative recipe that doeant use any sugar?… Or could I possibly try using stevia.. As it has no fructose?

  14. Great thanks! You know I went through the same thing with chap stick and breath mints. I was popping 3 or 4 Starbucks after coffee mints. I don’t know why they stopped them. I found this page as I was looking to see if by some chance someone still had some of them around. Guess ill try yours! Thanks again!