Until I began this blog I never had any idea there was a National Creme de Menthe Day. And happy Creme de Menthe Day, by the way. Now I like mint, but I have to admit my bottles of creme de menthe don’t get a lot of use. And yes, I said bottles, plural. I have it in clear and green. I mean, sometimes you want a minty green cocktail like the Grasshopper I’m making today, and sometimes you don’t. Green liqueur in hot chocolate can’t be pretty. Maybe white hot chocolate though… But that will have to be another post. Today I’m trying a variation of a classic creme de menthe cocktail, the Grasshopper. This version is a boozy frozen delight!
A Grasshopper Cocktail is the perfect ice cream drink you’ve been looking for. This minty cocktail, made with ice cream, vanilla vodka, Creme de Menthe, it is like dessert in a glass.
The original Grasshopper cocktail is made with creme de menthe, creme de cacao, and cream. This recipe changes things up a little, and if I have my terminology right it’s considered a flying grasshopper milkshake. Why? It’s all in the substituted ingredients.
Replacing the creme de cacao with vodka adds the “flying” part. Makes sense since vodka has a higher alcohol content. And replacing the cream with milk and vanilla ice cream turns this cocktail into a milkshake. At least according to the article I linked to at the start of this post.
I had a half-filled bottle of green creme de menthe on hand, but I had to shop for the rest of the ingredients. A quick trip to the liquor store for the vanilla vodka went just as planned. My trip to the grocery store got a little out of hand.
I grabbed the milk and vanilla ice cream, then I went a little wild. Maybe I had too much time to plan the photos LOL! I grabbed a tub of the optional whipped cream and a few other things not listed: some dark chocolate chips, a bottle of chocolate syrup, and chocolate sprinkles.
To be fair, the recipe’s photo does show the Grasshopper garnished with chocolate syrup and sprinkles. They’re just not listed in the ingredients, but I wasn’t about to let that stop me!
To me making blended drinks is similar to shaken cocktails. Just add the ingredients to a blender instead of a cocktail shaker, push a button instead of shake to blend, and pour into a glass.
That’s exactly what I did with this one, except I reserved half the milk so I could adjust the thickness. I ended up adding it all to get a fairly thin milkshake so it could be sipped instead of eaten with a spoon. It is a drink after all.
Next was the whipped cream garnish. I bought a tub of the premade stuff because I just wasn’t in the mood to make my own. Plus it’s stable and doesn’t melt. I did use a piping bag and one of my large cupcake piping tips to swirl it onto the Grasshoppers, and I think it looked great. A few chocolate sprinkles, and I was done.
Making the Chocolate Rim
The recipe itself was so easy, but I had to complicate things with the garnish on my first try. Whipped cream and sprinkles just weren’t enough for me. It took about 10 minutes to get it right. I did this before I started the actual cocktail.
First, I melted some dark chocolate chips in the microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring in between. I used a regular ceramic soup bowl big enough to fit the glass I was planning to use. It took 3 bursts to completely melt the chocolate. My first attempt at the chocolate garnish was to dip the rim into the chocolate. I expected it to drip down the glass, but it stayed put. Cute, but I wanted drips!
I slowly added some heavy whipping cream to the remaining chocolate, stirring well to mix it and microwaving it again in short bursts to reheat. It took me 2 tries and a good 4-5 tablespoons of heavy cream to get a thinner texture.
I was sure it would drip this time, but it really didn’t. I ended up using a small spoon to drizzle extra chocolate down the sides of the glass in random places to get the effect you see. It was closer to my vision, and it added a delicious chocolate taste as I sipped the cocktail. And how cute are these balloon glasses? I break them out every chance I get!
I did a little extra garnishing for my Grasshopper, so I went over the total time listed of 10 minutes. Here’s how my time was spent:
- 10 minutes to add the chocolate drip
- 5 minutes to blend the cocktail
- 2 minutes to add the whipped cream (mostly adding it to a pastry bag)
- 17 minutes total
I have a feeling that I would have been at or under the time listed if I had simply swirled the glass with chocolate syrup like the author’s photos. But I had fun doing something a little extra, so worth it in my book.