The Grasshopper is a classic that’s overdue for a revival. The drink dates back to the 1910s in New Orleans but really took off in the 1950s in the suburbs. Its hay-day, though, was the disco era in the 1970s. Since then, it has been one of those drinks that rarely appears on cocktail menus and a lot of bartenders have to look the recipe up if you order one.
That’s a shame. This drink kind of slaps. Especially as a St. Patrick’s Day cocktail.
While this is a pretty light and delicious cocktail, it is certainly a dessert cocktail. It’s basically mint-chocolate ice cream in cocktail form, which, again, kind of slaps. But even with the addition of heavy cream, it still stays fairly light thanks to a vigorous shake and a very light dose of alcohol.
Look at it this way: if you like Shamrock Shakes, you’re going to dig this.
Below, I’m shaking up a classic disco version. Though the old-school versions call for freshly grated nutmeg garnish, I skip that as it doesn’t quite gel for me. If it sounds good to you, go for it. Otherwise, this cocktail is very easy to master and pretty fast to make. Let’s get shaking!
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- 1 oz. creme de cacao
- 1 oz. mint liqueur
- 2 oz. heavy cream
- Fresh mint leaf
Creme de cacao is pretty easy to find at any liquor store. Just make sure you get the clear kind and not the dark one. As for the creme de menthe or mint liqueur, you want the neon green stuff. This is what gives the drink its signature green hue in the glass.
Beyond that, I used a 32 percent heavy cream and fresh mint, which you should be able to get at your local grocery store.
What You’ll Need:
- Coupe or Nick and Nora glass
- Cocktail shaker
- Cocktail strainer
- Prechill the glass in the freezer.
- Add the creme de cacao, mint liqueur, cream, and ice to a shaker.
- Fill the shaker about halfway with ice and affix the lid. Shake until the shaker is ice cold to touch (about 15 seconds).
- Strain the drink into the prechilled glass. Garnish with a single mint leaf. Serve.
This is one of those drinks that make you say, “Okay, I get it,” from the first sip. It’s creamy yet light. It really does taste like mint chocolate chip ice cream in a glass. And that happens to be my favorite ice cream flavor. So this cocktail works for me.
While I can see it being the drink of suburban backyard soirees in the 1950s, it’s a little harder to imagine a cream-based drink as part of the sweaty disco scene of the 1970s. Either way, now’s a great time to give this deliciously sweet, minty, and chocolate-y cocktail a chance.