The Grasshopper - like mint chocolate chip ice cream for grownups

Brian Rung

    Patience, grasshopper. A delicious after-dinner mint in a glass awaits you, and you're in for a real treat if you have never tasted a Grasshopper.  
    The Grasshopper is also known as a “Grasshopper Martini”, but it is not in any way, shape, or form a Martini.
    Bars and restaurants call it a Martini because it is served in a cocktail (Martini) glass.
    Ok, so it's not a Martini, but it is an incredibly delicious, bright green mint/chocolate drink.  
    Before we go any further, I feel obligated to tell you that if you are a fan of mint chocolate chip ice cream you need to drop whatever you are doing and run to your local spirits retailer to pick up the three ingredients needed to make this drink.
    The Grasshopper is a light-hearted cocktail that uses only liqueurs as the spirit base. There are no higher proof spirits in this drink. It is meant to be enjoyed as a treat, usually after a meal.
    The cocktail originally appeared around the beginning of prohibition and it is unclear who actually invented the Grasshopper.
    Philp Guichet was the owner of Tujague's in New Orleans, and claimed to have invented this cocktail at the iconic French Quarter bar.  
    I am inclined to believe that the drink first appeared in New Orleans for two reasons. Number one, New Orleans was and continues to be a hotbed of creativity in all things food and wine. The Sazerac, Hurricane, Ramos Gin Fizz, and the Brandy Crusta are just a few of the many cocktails invented in New Orleans.
    Second, the Grasshopper was wildly popular in the South from the end of prohibition through the mid-20th century. The drink fell out of favor in the 1970's before making a nationwide comeback about 20 years ago.
    The “Grasshopper Martini” is on the menu at nearly every chain restaurant, and the drink is taught in most, if not all bartending schools. And hey, why not? This one is as easy to make as it is to drink.
    To make the Grasshopper, you will need three ingredients in equal parts: crème de menthe (green), crème de cacao (white), and heavy cream.
    The crème de menthe and crème de cacao are found in the liqueur aisle of your local spirits retailer, and that aisle can be a bit overwhelming if you are not a frequent user of liqueur, flavored brandy, etc.
    One of the first things that you will notice in this aisle is that there is a liqueur in almost every flavor imaginable. Luckily, the liqueurs used in this recipe are commonly used ingredients. Both crème de menthe and crème de cacao are widely available under the DeKuyper brand.
    If you have a store associate locate the crème de menthe and crème de cacao for you, be sure to specify that you need green crème de menthe and white crème de cacao.
    There are two types of crème menthe, white and green. The flavor profile is the same for both, but we're going for green here.
    There are also two types of crème de cacao, brown and white. Both are chocolate liqueurs, but unlike the crème de menthe, their flavor profiles are different.
    Be sure to pick up the white crème de cacao. The white cacao will have the proper flavor profile for the grasshopper and will ensure that your after-dinner mint in a glass is a nice, minty green.
    Use heavy cream in the grasshopper and be mindful of the size of the carton. At one ounce of cream per Grasshopper, an eight ounce carton will only yield eight cocktails, even less if your guests are adding cream to their coffee.  
    Treat yourself, or treat your guests to a Grasshopper. Think of this cocktail as mint chocolate chip ice cream for grownups.
    This simple but delicious cocktail would be a great place to begin your mixology journey if you are thinking about getting started.
    The Grasshopper is built in a shaker and served in a chilled cocktail (Martini) glass.
    Fill shaker with ice.
    Add 1 oz crème de menthe (green).
    Add 1 oz crème da cacao (white).
    Add 1 oz heavy cream.
    Shake briskly and strain into chilled cocktail glass.
    Until next week, enjoy responsibly.