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Grasshopper Cocktail – A New Orleans Classic

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More than just a novelty drink imbibed at Christmas parties and on St. Patrick’s Day, the Grasshopper cocktail is a sweet pre-prohibition classic with a history rooted in New Orleans. And, yes, it’s green. Very green.

Grasshopper Cocktail on Colorful Plate

Kermit the Frog famously sang “it’s not easy being green…”. While true for the verdant muppet, these lyrics don’t apply to the Grasshopper cocktail.

Despite its creamy, chocolaty, minty flavor, the distinctly pastel green Grasshopper is incredibly easy to craft at home. If you can measure, pour and shake, then you can craft this drink in just three minutes. And, if you’re so inclined, you can sip low-alcohol Grasshoppers all night long.

Fun Fact
Beyond being green, frogs and grasshoppers are both excellent leapers. You can learn why in this fascinating ScienceDaily article.

What Is a Grasshopper Cocktail?

Grasshopper Cocktail on Green Plate
Go ahead and embrace the color green when you drink a Grasshopper cocktail. It’s the way to go.

The Grasshopper is a classic cocktail that combines three disparate ingredients to create a potable after dinner mint. If you enjoy American candies like Andes Mints and Peppermint Patties, then this is the drink for you.

It’s also a cocktail with a definitive origin story. And it’s green!

History of the Grasshopper Cocktail

Old Tujagues sign in New Orleans
Remnants of the original Tujaque’s remain including this vintage sign on Decatur Street.

Like many iconic cocktails, the Grasshopper was invented by a New Orleans bartender.

In this case, the bartender was the owner of legendary Tujague’s and the year was around 1918. Records are a bit shady prior to Prohibition. Regardless of the exact date. the Grasshopper was created eight decades after the Sazerac debuted in the Crescent City.

Records reveal that Philip Guichet created the Grasshopper for a cocktail competition in New York City. While Guichet didn’t win the grand prize, placing second instead, he won an even bigger reward. More than a century after the competition, his Grasshopper remains a staple at bars, including Tujague’s, across America.

Discover more iconic New Orleans cocktails and the city’s most iconic bars.

Grasshopper at Tujagues in New Orleans
We drank this tasty Grasshopper cocktail at the ‘new’ Tujaque’s. Its ingredients included white and green Crème de Menthe, white and dark Crème de Cacao, heavy whipping cream and brandy.

Tujague’s has been a restaurant fixture in the French Quarter since it opened in 1856. We found its bar to be delightfully dark and oozing with history during our initial 2011 New Orleans bar crawl. Although the bar moved to the former Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. space in 2020 after its Decatur Street building changed owners, the Grasshopper is still the cocktail to drink at Tujague’s.

When we returned in 2021, our Tujague’s Grasshopper tasted creamier and less minty than the bar’s original prize-winning recipe. Plus, it had what appeared to be a brandy flip on top. Apparently bartender Maxton Kennedy had a few tricks up his sleeve, giving new life to this old cocktail and inspiring us to craft the classic Grasshopper recipe at home.

Click here to buy Tujague’s Cookbook: Creole Recipes and Lore in the New Orleans Grand Tradition to learn more about Tujaque’s storied past.

Grasshopper Drink Ingredients

Grasshopper Ingredients on Wooden Board
These are the only ingredients in our Grasshopper cocktail recipe. They include white Crème de Cacao, green Crème de Menthe, cream and ice.

The traditional Grasshopper recipe includes the following four ingredients:

  • Crème de Cacao (White)
  • Crème de Menthe (Green)
  • Cream
  • Ice (for shaking)

The first three ingredients are included in a 1:1:1 ratio, specifically one ounce of each. Ice is only technically an ingredient since it’s necessary when shaking the cocktail.

Grasshopper Cocktail Liqueurs
White Crème de Cacao and green Crème de Menthe are the two alcoholic ingredients in our Grasshopper cocktail.

Although two of its three ingredients are liqueurs, the Grasshopper is a relatively low-alcohol cocktail. We easily found the liqueurs, both produced by Bols in the Netherlands and clocking in with a 24% ABV, at our local liquor store.

Bols’ White Crème de Cacao smells exactly like what it is – a milk chocolate liqueur with added hints of vanilla and apricot. The pleasant aroma hit us as soon as we opened the bottle. This liqueur gives the Grasshopper its chocolate flavor.

Grasshopper Cocktail Next to Liqueur Bottles
Bols has been producing liqueurs in the Netherlands since 1574. We used these two bottles in our Grasshopper cocktail recipe.

Made with fresh mint leaves and infused with natural botanicals, Bols’ peppermint green Crème de Menthe has a vibrant green color and a somewhat medicinal aroma. While we wouldn’t want to drink this liqueur on its own, it gets credit for giving the Grasshopper its minty fresh taste.

Pro Tip
Using the wrong color liqueurs will result in a murky Grasshopper. Be sure to buy WHITE Crème de Cacao and GREEN Crème do Menthe.

How To Make a Grasshopper Cocktail

Grasshopper Cocktail Ingredients
Once you organize your ingredients, you’re ready craft a Grasshopper cocktail at home.

You don’t need any special tools to craft Grasshopper drinks at home. We use a Japanese jigger , cocktail strainer and Boston shaker in our recipe but you can be creative if you don’t have these tools on hand.

Discover 10 necessary bar tools for lazy mixologists.

Pouring Creme de Menthe for a Grasshopper Cocktail
We use a Japanese jigger to measure the three liquid ingredients in this recipe.

The first step is to measure each of the three liquid ingredients. Our recipe calls for exactly one ounce of each liquid. We typically measure each with a Japanese jigger for ease and accuracy.

→ Click here to purchase a Japanese jigger from Amazon.

Pouring Cream for a Grasshopper Cocktail
We pour the liquids into a Boston shaker after measuring each.

The second step is to pour each liquid into a shaker. We like to use a Boston shaker to avoid spillage and minimize clean up time.

→ Click here to purchase a Boston Shaker from Amazon.

Shaking a Grasshopper Cocktail
Mindi got a miniature workout when she shook the Grasshopper to creamy perfection.

The third step is to shake the drink with ice until the ingredients are mixed and chilled. This step should take about 30 seconds.

Straining a Grasshopper Cocktail
Straining the Grasshopper cocktail into a glass is the final step. We like to pour ours into coupe glasses.

The final step is to strain the frothy mixture into a coupe glass or other elegant vessel. If you’re feeling creative, you can garnish the drink with fresh mint or grated nutmeg.

→ Click here to purchase coupe glasses from Amazon.

Grasshopper Drink Alternatives

Grasshopper Cocktail with Fresh Mint
We topped this Grasshopper with fresh mint. How you top yours is up to you.

Adjusting the Grasshopper ingredients is a fun experiment but be warned that even slight changes can alter the cocktail’s minty green color. Perhaps the better option is to try one of the following Grasshopper variations:

  • Add extra cream to craft a creamier, less minty Grasshopper.
  • Add chocolate shavings to ramp up the chocolate flavor.
  • Add vodka to craft a Flying Grasshopper.
  • Replace the cream with ice cream to craft a Frozen Grasshopper.
  • Replace the white Crème de Cacao with dark Crème de Cacao and the Crème de Menthe with Cognac to craft a Brandy Alexander.
  • Replace the Crème de Menthe with Crème de Noyaux to craft a Pink Squirrel.

Grasshopper Cocktail Recipe

Two Grasshopper Cocktails on Metal Tray
Two Grasshopper cocktails are better than one.
Grasshopper Cocktail with Mint Centered

Grasshopper Cocktail

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

This green, chocolaty, minty Grasshopper cocktail provides a creamy, dreamy taste of New Orleans.

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce white crème de cacao
  • 1 ounce green crème de menthe
  • 1 ounce cream
  • ice cubes

Instructions

  1. Pour liqueurs and cream into a shaker.
  2. Add ice and shake vigorously until ingredients are mixed and chilled.
  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

Notes

  • You can optionally garnish this cocktail with fresh mint or ground nutmeg.
  • You can use a champagne flute or small martini glass if you don't have a coupe glass.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 298Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 10mgCarbohydrates: 25gFiber: 0gSugar: 25gProtein: 1g

Nutrition Disclosure: We used an online calculator to calculate this information. Though 2foodtrippers.com has attempted to secure accurate data, these nutritional figures are estimates.

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About the Authors

Daryl & Mindi Hirsch

Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

Disclosure

We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.

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