This cocktail is yet another cocktail creation from the French Quarter of New Orleans, in line with classics like the Sazerac, Ramos Gin Fizz, and the Vieux Carré. The Grasshopper is a sweet and minty drink, commonly consumed as an after-dinner drink. -A splendid mix of Creme de Menthe, Creme de Cacao, and heavy cream.
And it’s due to the sweetness that this drink is predominantly a favorite of the younger folks not used to the harsh notes of alcohol.
Today, the drink sometimes comes across as a little outdated. But it was very famous all over the country during the 1950s and 60s. Especially in the Southern part of the United States, the drink was widely popular. Reason enough for me to have a look at the history of this sweet and creamy drink.
History of the Grasshopper cocktail
New Orleans is famous for many different cocktails. And while the Grasshopper is not one of the most iconic drinks from the “Big Easy”, it still has a good story behind it. And this story is tightly knit to a restaurant with the name Tujague.
The restaurant was founded in 1856 by Guillaume and Marie Tujague. And after they successfully managed the establishment for more than 55 years, they sold it to Philibert Guichet. And that Mr. Guichet is also the one that brought the famous Grasshopper on Tujague’s menu.
The most intriguing bit of the story is that Guichet originally invented the Grasshopper for a cocktail competition in New York. And although the Grasshopper drink only won 2nd place in this competition, Guichet managed to make it a true classic by bringing it to his restaurant menu.
What we do not know is the exact time when he invented the drink. For a long time, it was a common belief it is from the 1920s. But thanks to historian Poppy Tooker we have written evidence that the drink got served at Tujague’s already in 1919. That put the birth date of the green mint cocktail somewhere in the 1910s.
Even today, Tujague’s is serving hundreds of Grasshoppers per week. That makes quite certainly the bar selling most units of this unique drink in the whole world.
What makes this drink so special
The Grasshopper drink allegedly got named after its bright and intense green color. -Would be sensible, I think. But it’s not only popular due to its visual characteristics. The sweet cocktail combines one of the most classic dessert flavor combinations – Mint & chocolate.
And unsurprisingly, these flavors also work very well in a cocktail. To enhance the taste and add a creamy note to the drink, heavy cream rounds of the cocktail.
The last thing that makes this drink so special is the low amount of alcohol. The whole cocktail consists of pretty moderate ABV ingredients. Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cacao both only contain around 25% of alcohol by volume. And Heavy cream is obviously non-alcoholic. If you mix the drink with the traditional equal parts approach, the result is a cocktail of approximately 15% ABV (calculating in the dilution). That’s the equivalent of a heavy red wine.
If you use a bit more heavy cream compared to the other two ingredients, the result will become even less alcoholic. And that’s what I decided to do in my recipe below. I want to make it a delicious dessert replacement that won’t leave your guests unable to drive home after dinner. So grab your cocktail shaker, and let’s make some Grasshoppers.
- 1.5 oz Creme de cacao
- 1.5 oz Creme de menthe
- 2 oz Heavy cream
- Shaved chocolate as garnish
- Put all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice.1.5 oz Creme de cacao, 2 oz Heavy cream, 1.5 oz Creme de menthe
- Shake until the drink is well-chilled, then strain the drink into a cocktail glass.
- Garnish the Grasshopper cocktail with shaved chocolate (optional).Shaved chocolate as garnish