The first time I had a Grasshopper cocktail was shortly after I turned twenty-one. I was at a Christmas party that was about as classy as you might expect when hosted in a house on Sorority Row and attended by a bunch of recently legal drinkers.
There was a keg dressed as Santa, guys and girls in fake antlers, and pirated Christmas music blaring over the din of the crowd. And if you could push your way through the tipsy mass of people, one noble student was playing bartender in the corner. The choices she gave us were mulled wine or a Grasshopper cocktail. Not yet one for wine and unsure what a Grasshopper was, I chose the latter.
A Sweet, Creamy, Minty Drink
I was assured it was a fine choice and watched as she poured together something that was green and full of cream. I winced, expecting it to turn into a curdled, nasty mess.
Surprise, surprise, it was anything but! It was sweet and creamy with a flavor reminiscent of melted mint chip ice cream. Practically Christmas in a glass.
The Grasshopper Drink: A Retro Cocktail Favorite
While some cocktail snobs may consider the Grasshopper a campy drink-your-dessert cocktail, I prefer to embrace its kitschy nature. The bright green drink is a conversation starter. Anytime I serve it at a dinner party I find my guests either joyfully recalling the last time they had one, or marveling that they had never tried one before.
What Is a Grasshopper Drink?
A Grasshopper is a cocktail with a New Orleans origin. Philibert Guichet, then owner of the city's Tujague's restaurant, created it for a 1918 New York City cocktail competition. It took second place. The restaurant still exists, and an adaption of the original cocktail remains on its menu today.
This cocktail gets its green hue and mint flavor from crème de menthe liqueur, and its chocolate flavor from white crème de cacao liqueur (don't use dark crème de cacao or you'll muddy the color). Heavy cream adds body and richness.
Chilling the Glassware for a Grasshopper Cocktail Drink
Since the grasshopper cocktail is shaken with ice but served with no ice in the glass, it's best served in either a martini glass and a coupe glass (a stemmed glass with a shallow bowl that's used for sparkling wine or drinks without ice).
To keep the drink cold after pouring, chill the glassware before pouring the drink into it by adding ice to the bowl and allowing it to sit for several minutes. Dump the ice out before pouring in the cocktail.
When to Serve Grasshopper Drinks
- New Year’s Eve
- Valentine’s Day
- St. Patrick’s Day
- Cocktail hour
More Decadent Cocktails to Try!
You will have to pick up two somewhat esoteric, though easily found, liqueurs. Crème de menthe is a bright green liqueur with a powerful mint flavor. The other is white crème de cacao, which is a clear, chocolate-flavored liqueur that was wildly popular in the nineties for chocolate martinis and Brandy Alexanders.
1 ounce crème de menthe
1 ounce white crème de cacao
2 ounces heavy cream
Prepare the cocktail shaker:
Fill a cocktail shaker half full with ice.
Add the liqueurs and heavy cream and shake:
Place the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake well for about 10 seconds.
Strain into a glass:
Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Serve immediately.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 22g||28%|
|Saturated Fat 14g||69%|
|Total Carbohydrate 25g||9%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 26g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||2%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|