By HUNTER HILL
March is the month of St. Patrick’s Day, and while some of you may be expecting a recipe for corned beef and cabbage, I decided to share a recipe somewhat nearer and dearer to my heart. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve come to appreciate a fresh helping of corned beef and cabbage, but with recent talk of Dr. Seuss in the news, I decided to share a green, refreshing specialty that is bound to be popular—even with St. Patty’s Day behind us—through the summer months and beyond.
It’s a grasshopper! No not the insect, the cocktail. A grasshopper is a drink composed primarily of crème de menthe. For you mint lovers out there, this one’s for you. And this is coming from someone who really doesn’t love an excess of mint flavor in anything; this drink is bound to excite those of you who, like me, don’t typically seek the flavor of gum or toothpaste in their food. But I digress.
On the flipside of that coin, I am a lover of milkshakes, and for those of you who like the shamrock shakes that make their annual appearance at McDonald’s, I will say that a grasshopper outclasses the shamrock shake any day of the week. I don’t come from a family where alcohol is all that common; however, at holidays and other special occasions, a family dessert classic was a small-stemmed glass of minty green goodness. When enjoyed with friends or family, grasshoppers can be made in a blender, multiplied by the number of glasses to be dolled out. For yourself or perhaps another, I normally opt for a shaker, which is easier to quickly rinse and clean when finished. When pouring, I always pour the body of the drink into the glass before the head. If you’ve only made one serving then you just pour the whole thing out. However, if you pour two or more, it’s important to pour the body in each glass before returning to the first glass and splitting the last 20 percent or so between your glasses. This technique forms a frothy white head on the drink that lightly contrasts the sweet full minty flavor of the bottom of the drink.
To make this you need crème de menthe, crème de cocao, milk and ice. If you want to make yours as a thick milkshake, replace the milk with vanilla ice cream. If you use ice cream, it’s important to note you will need almost twice as much to equal the volume of milk. Assuming you’re reading this and wanting to try for yourself before showing off to your friends, fill your glass with ice, pour in one jigger of crème de menthe green and one more clear. Yes, they make two kinds. Look in the cordials section in your liquor store; I use Juaquin. Follow up with a jigger of crème de cocao and a double jigger of milk. I prefer whole or even raw milk, but that’s a personal preference. Cap your shaker and give it a good shake for about a minute or so until the cup becomes almost too cold to hold. You should break down the ice but not to the point where it completely disappears. Pop open your shaker and strain into a small wine glass. Why a wine glass? Because it’s fancy and fun, of course. You should see a very clear separation between the green body and the white head of the drink as it settles in the glass.
Cheers! A fresh grasshopper, ready to down.
The way out here, in the kitchen, we bring on the green springtime with a crisp minty grasshopper. As the summer heat comes, well, we keep it in the back pocket for just the right occasion, too. Try it yourself, my young grasshoppers!
1oz green crème de menthe
1oz clear crème de menthe
1oz crème de cocao
Pour all liquid ingredients over full glass of ice and shake well until blended. You may also use a blender until there is visible separation of color. Pour into glass and enjoy.