Facts About Grasshopper Cocktail

7 Facts About Grasshopper Cocktail

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Introduction

The Grasshopper cocktail is a sweet, creamy, minty concoction with a fun origin story. Here are 7 fascinating facts about this classic drink.

With its cool, minty flavor reminiscent of mint chocolate chip ice cream, vibrant green color, and rich, velvety texture, the Grasshopper cocktail is a delightfully retro treat. This classic drink was allegedly invented over 100 years ago in New Orleans, and it continues to enchant cocktail aficionados today.

Let’s explore some intriguing details about the Grasshopper’s history, ingredients, and enduring appeal.

1. There are competing tales about its origin

While the Grasshopper is strongly associated with New Orleans drinking culture, there are conflicting stories about exactly when and where it was created.

According to one popular legend, the Grasshopper was invented in 1918 by Philibert Guichet, the owner of the famous French Quarter restaurant Tujague’s. As the story goes, Guichet first made the drink for a New York City cocktail competition where it took second place. Its catchy name and crowd-pleasing flavor ensured the minty cocktail a permanent spot on Tujague’s menu when Guichet brought it back down south.

However, other accounts challenge this narrative. Some food historians claim that similar drinks were being served years earlier, like a minty, creamy concoction called a “Moon Cocktail” listed in an 1876 bartending guide. There’s also a record of a “grasshopper” drink appearing in a Nebraska newspaper in 1874.

So while Tujague’s still proudly serves Grasshoppers today, the true origins remain uncertain. But the cocktail likely evolved from earlier recipes over many years before landing on the classic formula we know and love.

2. It celebrates two liqueurs: crème de menthe and crème de cacao

The key ingredients that give the Grasshopper its trademark flavor are crème de menthe and crème de cacao.

Crème de menthe is a sweet peppermint liqueur that provides refreshing minty notes. It can be clear or green in color.

Crème de cacao offers creamy chocolate flavors. White crème de cacao delivers a subtle hint of chocolate, while dark crème de cacao has a richer, bolder cocoa taste.

The interplay between cooling mint and velvety chocolate is what makes the combination so craveable!

Facts About Grasshopper Cocktail

3. The original recipe uses equal parts liqueurs and cream

The classic way to make a Grasshopper is with equal parts crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and heavy cream. Combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake vigorously, then strain into a chilled coupe glass.

The cream contributes rich texture and helps balance the sweetness. For an intense chocolate mint flavor, use half white and half dark crème de cacao.

This basic formula allows the liqueurs’ flavors to shine. But over the years, creative mixologists have devised many riffs on the original.

4. There are fun variations like the Frozen Grasshopper

The Grasshopper inspired a whole dance troupe of variations! To make a dessert-like Frozen Grasshopper, combine crème de menthe, crème de cacao, ice cream, and milk in a blender. For a refreshing warm weather sipper, freeze mint leaves in ice cubes before shaking the drink.

The Flying Grasshopper incorporates vodka, while the After Eight adds a splash of chocolate liqueur. And in a nod to the original legend, Tujague’s Restaurant in New Orleans prepares an elevated version with white and brown crème de cacao, a brandy float, and hand-whipped cream.

5. It became a mid-century sensation

While the Grasshopper likely originated around 1900, it wasn’t until after Prohibition in the 1930s that it took off across the country. As Americans returned to legal cocktail culture, the Grasshopper recipe spread like its namesake high-jumping insect!

By the 1950s, Grasshoppers were a sensation, especially in the South. During this era, they were sometimes made with lower-quality liqueurs artificially colored bright green. But modern renditions typically skip the food coloring for a more natural, subtler hue.

This cute cocktail made quite a mark mid-century. There was even a Grasshopper Pie with an Oreo crust and mint chiffon filling inspired by the drink!

6. You can enjoy it year-round

Part of the Grasshopper’s appeal is its versatility. While its creamy mint profile may bring to mind cool weather and winter holidays, it’s just as enjoyable in the spring or summer.

For a warm weather twist, incorporate seasonal ingredients like fresh mint leaves, a splash of ginger ale, or a few muddled berries. Or freeze part of the drink into mint ice cubes before mixing it with chilled liqueurs and cream.

Thanks to endless riff possibilities, Grasshoppers can be customized for any time of year.

7. It’s an official IBA cocktail

The Grasshopper is more than just a kitschy retro relic. This storied drink holds an important place in cocktail history as one of the International Bartenders Association’s (IBA) Official Cocktails1.

To make the IBA list, which includes classics like the Negroni, Manhattan, and Martini, a cocktail must meet specific criteria related to its creation, ingredients, and preparation method. The fact that the Grasshopper earned this honor proves its lasting impact!

Conclusion

With its refreshing minty kick balanced by sweet cream and chocolate, the Grasshopper cocktail has been hopping back into the spotlight. As you can see, this dainty green drink has quite a rich backstory!

From its questionable origins to its mid-century fame and crisscrossing variations, the Grasshopper has left an indelible mark on drinking culture. And over 100 years since its creation, mixologists and cocktail lovers still can’t resist this tempting potion.

The next time you crave a little after-dinner indulgence or a unique twist on dessert, don’t overlook the charms of this enduring classic – it will instantly transport you back in time!

  1. https://iba-world.com/grasshopper/ []

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