Retro Cocktail for June: Grasshopper
Obviously, this month’s RETRO COCKTAIL, the “Grasshopper”, stands out because of its distinctive green color (accentuated with the addition of a sprig of fresh mint as a garnish). So, regardless of its taste, it adds some scintillating vibrancy to your cocktails’ often staid, monochromatic color palate. The “Grasshopper” was invented a hundred years ago by Philibert Guichet, the then new owner of Tujague’s in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Legend holds that Guichet won Second Prize in New York City in a cocktail competition for his beautifully green, happy and sweet after-dinner drink called the “Grasshopper”. Since then, it has been the go-to of old ladies and teen-agers and anyone who wants their drinks to taste like mint-chocolate milkshakes. But is that really a bad thing? I mean, the world’s a tough place. If a sweet, bright green cocktail can add a little happiness… There are many variations of this simple recipe. Some add fine cognac or brandy, others substitute actual ice cream for the light or heavy cream. For mine, I substituted Godiva Chocolate Liqueur for the heavy cream. Shaved chocolate is a lovely garnish, as is a rim coated in sugar and cocoa powder, but from the purely aesthetic view, I prefer the dark green mint leaf, which also adds a subtle, minty fragrance as you take a sip.
And for a variation with an even more beautiful color, as well as less sweetness and more alcohol, try my newest creation, “The Grass is Always Greener”. It has a gorgeous green color like emeralds in a glass, and a taste more sophisticated cocktail bar and less Dairy Queen. I substituted Stolichnaya Vodka for the heavy cream and added a splash of Grind Espresso Shot Liqueur, a dash of Scrappy’s Chocolate Bitters, and a sprinkling of sea salt as a counterpoint to the sweetness, with a chocolate mint leaf as a garnish. A Grasshopper for grown-ups. Enjoy… (And don’t forget to rub that mint leaf around the rim of the glass before pouring in the drink!)
GRASSHOPPER 1 part Green Crème de menthe 1 part Light Crème de Cacao 1 part Godiva Chocolate Liqueur
Shake everything over ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER 1 part Stolichnaya Vodka 1 part Crème de Menthe 1 part Light Crème de Cacao splash of Grind Espresso Shot Liqueur dash of Scrappy’s Chocolate bitters 6 to 8 grains of Sea Salt Shake* everything but the sea salt over ice. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass. Sprinkle the sea salt onto the drink. Garnish with a fresh chocolate mint leaf.
*Normally, a drink with these ingredients would be stirred over ice, but this one should be shaken so there are all those lovely floating bits of ice that appear when the drink is vigorously shook, like pieces of emerald.
The beautiful bar at Tujague's, New Orleans.