What is Mint Liqueur?
Spearmint and other mint plants are some of the most hearty and available around. If you've grown it, you may be puzzled by what to do with a sudden mint leaf surplus. Why not make your own mint liqueur? It's not rocket science. But, if you're busy or don't have a green thumb, we suggest grabbing a good bottle of mint liqueur instead.
Mint liqueur, a ridiculously aromatic liqueur, is deliciously perfect though for countless mixed drinks and confections of all shapes and textures like mousses, pies, cakes, or as a colorful topping on ice cream or a milkshake.
In terms of cordials, Rumple Minze, a German liqueur in Schnapps-style fashion, features a minty-herbal flavor and is best savored as a shot. Conversely, France's Drillaud cordials will add elegance and flavor to your favorite cocktail with a liqueur that tastes as if its peppermint was just picked and muddled with a slight spiciness. And, then there are always crowd pleasers to get creative with like Baileys Irish Cream Choc Mint.
Mint liqueurs and winter holidays go hand-in-hand, whether blended cold in everyone's eggnog or warmly in your mug of hot chocolate. Before dessert though, you may be able to sink your teeth into a familiar main dish, a well-prepared, juicy rack of lamb drizzled with a hint of mint liquor.
The most famous of mint liqueurs, Crème de menthe, begins with grain alcohol or vodka that's flavored with Corsican mint or dried peppermint and sugar. It's available in both green and white varieties. If curious, food coloring is the magical ingredient that creates the green version. Thankfully it's not grasshoppers, despite implications from the famous and aptly named Grasshopper crème de menthe martini. This light drink also stars the decadent crème de cacao for chocoholics in your circle.
Fresh mint liqueur is a must-have for commercial bars but also nice to have around at home and, on average, reasonably priced. If you have some brandy on hand, you can whip up a Stinger, another popular crème de menthe cocktail that harkens back to the 1890s. You won't feel old drinking it, though.
For something more exotic, the Springbokkie from South Africa is fun. Crème de menthe and Amarula team up quite nicely together, pleasing palates as well-fashioned cocktail shooters.
Here's another minty tip. When mixing drinks or layering shots, be aware that recipes usually call for either white or green crème de menthe. That is, if you want to do it right and be forever known as 'party host extraordinaire.'
Also available in two colors (dark and white), Crème de Cacao is a sweet alcoholic liqueur that's chocolate bean-flavored and receives a tiny touch of vanilla. You can drizzle your desserts with it or make fantastic coffee drinks or chocolate martinis, too. Don't confuse it with the syrupy and sweeter 'chocolate liqueur' though, which could smack you with a sugar crash.
Where does Mint Liqueur come from?
Mint liqueurs, mostly from Europe and the U.S., can be easily found in liquor stores, restaurants, and popular drinking establishments. They can also be self-made — DIY-style — in any home kitchen.
How is Mint Liqueur made?
Crème de menthe is traditionally made with vodka or grain alcohol, sugar, water, and of course, natural mint or mint extracts. It won't typically have any dairy ingredients in it, to the delight of careful-vegans, lactose intolerant's, and dairy-allergic guests everywhere. The word 'crème' simply describes the heavy and sweet syrup character of its sugar base.
You may be wondering, what is the difference between peppermint schnapps and Crème de menthe? And, by the way, is schnapps liqueur? That's a big nope! Like its cousin brandy, schnapps is produced by first distilling and aging the grain spirits with fruit. But liqueur is usually made by steeping the fruits in alcohol after distillation and/or fermentation. Big difference between 'mint liquor' and 'mint liqueur'!
Peppermint schnapps isn't a German-style schnapps either. It has a higher alcohol content, and the minty flavor isn't comparable. This is why it's a bad idea to swap out schnapps as a substitute for Crème de menthe or drinking it straight. Within a mixed drink, the other ingredients will nicely balance out the Crème de menthe. Although it can vary by brand, typically, Crème de menthe is bottled at 25% alcohol by volume (ABV, 50 proof).
Browse our wide selection of Mint Liqueur and start exploring all this category has to offer.