The Grasshopper is a green blast from the past featuring green creme de menthe, white creme de cacao and heavy cream. Creme de menthe is a liqueur made by adding mint leaves or extract to neutral alcohol, after which it’s filtered, sweetened, lightly aged and bottled. And white creme de cacao is a sweet, chocolate-flavored liqueur with a buttery mouthfeel.
The drink was allegedly created in 1919 in New Orleans, but it didn’t become a household name until the 1950s, as Prohibition squandered the growth and familiarity of many cocktails born just before the restricted-drinking era began. The original recipe calls for the three ingredients to be combined in equal parts, resulting in a cocktail that looks like melted mint-chocolate-chip ice cream and kind of tastes like it, too.
The rich, green-hued dessert cocktail became a mainstay at bars during the disco era, while in contemporary times, bartenders have upended the core blueprint, creating clarified grasshoppers, grasshopper milkshakes and other playful riffs on the flavorful classic.
This version comes from New York bartending legend Dale DeGroff, who breaks the equal-parts formula and cranks up the heavy cream to round out the drink. Shake your ingredients with ice and, if you’re feeling fancy, dust some nutmeg on top. The Grasshopper can be consumed any time of day, of course, but given its sweet and creamy nature, it’s particularly effective after dinner. Order one after a good meal or make one at home in lieu of dessert.
Click Play to See This Grasshopper Cocktail Come Together
1 ounce green creme de menthe
1 ounce white creme de cacao
2 ounces heavy cream
Garnish: nutmeg, freshly grated (optional)
Add the green creme de menthe, white creme de cacao and heavy cream into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until well-chilled.
Strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
Grate nutmeg over the top of the drink, if desired.