Since St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, I wanted to make up something to celebrate the holiday, something in addition to the Bailey’s Mint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes that I baked a few days ago. Irish soda bread is my fallback for this holiday, either plain or with raisins and carraway seeds, but even that favorite wasn’t really tempting me. I wanted something green and, taking a hint from my inclusion of Bailey’s in my cupcakes, I wanted a cocktail.
I ended up with some Grasshoppers. They’re not Irish, but they do have a beautiful light green color to them that made them fit my St. Paddy’s day bill. The retro cocktails are not nearly as popular as they once were these days. The drink is a mixture of creme de cacao and creme de menthe – both strongly flavored spirts – that is tempered with a bit of light or heavy cream to mellow out the otherwise fairly aggressive mint and chocolate flavors. Creme de menthe comes in clear and green versions, and creme de cacao comes in clear and brown. Green, obviously, is the best choice for the creme de menthe and clear is the best for creme de cacao.
For me, the best part of this drink is actually the dark chocolate shavings piled on top. They float on a thin layer of foam created by shaking the cream up in the cocktail shaker and serve to intensify the chocolate flavor of the cocktail as you drink. I piled mine up for effect in the cocktail in the photo above, but you can spread them out more evenly if you prefer. Use a microplane/zester to get the best shavings. You won’t need much chocolate, so buy a good-quality brand and feel free to snack on any leftovers.
1-oz creme de cacao
1-oz creme de menthe (green, preferably)
1-oz light cream or half and half
Combine all ingredients in a shaker and shake well. Strain into a martini glass and, using a microplane, garnish with shreds of dark chocolate.
Makes 1 drink.