Everyone loves this Grasshopper drink recipe! Here’s the classic way to make this electric green, mint chocolate dessert cocktail.
It’s glowing green, it’s rich and creamy, and it’s delightfully mint chocolate. Yes, it’s everyone’s favorite: the Grasshopper drink! Turns out, this classic cocktail has more history than you’d expect: it dates back to 1918. The traditional version of this drink doesn’t call for ice cream, either. Just like the Mudslide, its original form was not a boozy milkshake! Shake this classy, creamy after-dinner drink in a cocktail shaker and strain it into a martini glass. One creamy, mint chocolate sip and you’ll be sold.
What’s in a Grasshopper drink?
The Grasshopper cocktail is an after dinner drink starring creme de menthe and creme de cacao. It was invented in New Orleans in 1918 by the owner of the bar Tujague’s, or so the story goes. According to Tujague’s, Philip Guichet invented it for a cocktail competition in New York City, where it got second place. He brought it back to his bar and Tujague’s has been serving it ever since. (Also try these Classic New Orleans Drinks.)
The Grasshopper became so popular that it made the list of the International Bartender Association’s IBA official cocktails, meaning that it has an “official” definition. The ingredients in a Grasshopper cocktail are:
- Creme de menthe
- Creme de cacao
- Heavy cream
Think the Grasshopper should include ice cream? Well, you’re right: that’s a variation on the theme. Keep reading: but first, let’s talk about the special ingredients.
What’s creme de menthe?
There’s one thing that’s irreplaceable in a Grasshopper drink recipe, and that’s creme de menthe. What is it and is it worth stocking in your liquor cabinet? Yes: it’s the only liquor that gives the drink its signature color and flavor. Here’s what to know:
- Creme de menthe is a bright green, sweet mint-flavored liqueur. Despite its name, there’s no cream at all: it’s made of grain alcohol that’s infused with mint. There’s also a “white creme de menthe” that is colorless but has the same flavor. Crème de menthe was invented in 1885.
- What does creme de menthe taste like? It has a sweet flavor with a very strong peppermint flavor, similar to peppermint schnapps.
- How much does creme de menthe cost? It costs about $15 to $20 for a 750 ml bottle. You can keep it for 5 years, so it makes quite a lot of Grasshoppers!
- Is it worth buying? Only if you want to make a Grasshopper. Otherwise, there aren’t a lot of popular uses for it!
What’s creme de cacao?
Creme de cacao is another unique liqueur you’ll need for this Grasshopper drink recipe: it’s what adds the chocolate nuance to the fresh mint. Here’s a little more about this liquor:
- Creme de cacao is a cocoa bean flavored liqueur, available in both white (clear) and dark varieties. It has a long history: it’s possibly one of the first alcoholic beverages, made in the 1600’s by monks after cocoa beans were brought back to Europe from America (source).
- What does creme de cacao taste like? Creme de cacao has a sweet, milk chocolate flavor, with notes of vanilla.
- How much does creme de cacao cost? It costs between $10 to $20 for a 750 ml bottle.
- Is it worth buying? Yes, if you like sweet cocktails! Use it to make creme de cacao cocktails like a Chocolate Martini, Brandy Alexander or Bushwacker.
Variation: make a frozen Grasshopper!
Were you looking for the boozy milkshake version of a Grasshopper? You’re in luck: you can make that too! It’s called a Frozen Grasshopper. According to Eater, the Frozen Grasshopper was invented in Wisconsin and was often served at Wisconsin supper clubs. The Wisconsin style of drinking is also what brought us the Brandy Old Fashioned, Pink Squirrel, and Brandy Alexander: it’s all about fun, sweet drinks that are big on dairy.
Want to turn this Grasshopper drink recipe into its frozen counterpart? Here’s what to do:
- Substitute 2 scoops of ice cream for the heavy cream.
- Blend in a blender until combined!
You may want to double or quadruple this Grasshopper cocktail recipe for a crowd. To serve 4, use 3/4 cup each of creme de cacao and creme de menthe, and 8 scoops ice cream.
More green drinks
This beautiful green drink is a great after-dinner drink that doubles as dessert! It’s also great for St. Patrick’s Day with its bright green color (though of course there’s nothing Irish about it). Here are a few more green cocktails to try after this one:
- Go for the electric green Midori Sour, Japanese Slipper or Tokyo Tea
- Opt for absinthe with Death in the Afternoon
- Make the classy Last Word
- Bust out the herbs for a Basil Gimlet
When to serve this Grasshopper drink recipe
The Mudslide is a dessert cocktail that’s great for after any dinner, or occasions like St Patrick’s Day or even Valentine’s Day. It works well in the winter or summer! Try it as a:
- Happy hour drink
- Dessert cocktail
- Valentine’s Day cocktail
- St Patrick’s Day cocktail
- Girls or guys night drink
- Cocktail hour drink
Everyone loves the Grasshopper drink! The classic after-dinner cocktail is electric green with a creamy, mint chocolate flavor.
- 1 1/2 ounces* creme de cacao
- 1 1/2 ounces creme de menthe
- 2 ounces heavy cream**
- For the garnish: Shaved chocolate (optional)
- Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Add 2 handfuls of ice and shake until cold.
- Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with shaved chocolate if desired.
*1 ounces = 2 tablespoons
**Want to make a frozen grasshopper? Substitute 2 scoops vanilla ice cream for the heavy cream and blend in a blender. To make 4 servings, use 3/4 cup each of creme de cacao and creme de menthe, and 8 scoops ice cream.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Shaken
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: Grasshopper drink, Grasshopper cocktail, Grasshopper drink recipe
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.