Crème de Menthe
What is Crème de Menthe?
Crème de menthe is a type of liqueur made from mint, sugar, and a neutral spirit base. It is often used in cocktails due to its strong mint flavor and sweet taste, and works well to balance the bitterness of other ingredients. In addition, it may be consumed as a shot and is sometimes used as a digestive. There are two versions of this mint liqueur: white and green.
- The former is made with mint extract without added color, and the latter obtains its color either from mint leaves or added coloring.
- Every year, this liqueur is celebrated on the 15th of September.
The most popular brands of this mint liqueur are:
- Tempus Fugit
Pharmacist Emile Giffard is generally credited with the invention of crème de menthe in 1885. While researching mint and its properties, Giffard ended up creating a mint-flavored liqueur. It became extremely popular among the patrons of the Grand Hotel in Angers, where he tried it out. However, this liqueur likely existed before that. One known instance is that of Jean and Pierre Get who invented a mint alcohol called ‘Get Peppermint’ in 1796.
A single serving of this mint liqueur has approximately:
Nonetheless, the mint may provide some micronutrients in minute quantities. Mint also has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and may help cure gastrointestinal problems. However, overconsumption of large amounts of alcohol can lead to several health problems, including affecting the brain’s functioning patterns and general lowering of immunity. Liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, stroke, and different types of cancers can also result from excessive drinking. If consumed in moderation, the liqueur is a nice addition to the palate.
To prepare crème de menthe, mint leaves, sugar, and a neutral spirit base are required. First, the mint leaves are steeped in alcohol and left to infuse over a period of several weeks. Once infused, the liquid is filtered to get a green liquid to which sugar is added. Green food coloring may or may not be added. The liqueur will then have an ABV of approximately 25 percent.
This liqueur is best stored in a cool and dark place away from moisture and direct sunlight. Once opened, the flavor may gradually decrease. Although with proper storage, it will remain fresh for a long time.
Crème de menthe recipes
This liqueur is most often used in cocktails or shots. Also, it may be used in cooking, especially baking. It imparts a sweet mint flavor to the food. For the same reason, it is also used as a good ingredient to be added to minty desserts. Here are a few recipes:
- Baileys Mint Martini
- Chocolate Mint Thumbprint Cookies
- Ice Queen
- Brownie Sandwiches
- Chocolate Mint Coffee
Alcohol is regulated by the TTB in the US. Crème de menthe is classified as a liqueur or cordial. It is defined as a liqueur or cordial with the predominant flavor of mint.
What is crème de menthe?, The Bar Cabinet, https://thebarcabinet.com/faqs/ingredients/what-is-creme-de-menthe/
Carol Galbicsek, Effects of Alcohol, Alcohol Rehab Guide, https://www.alcoholrehabguide.org/alcohol/effects/
Mikaili, Peyman et al. “Pharmacological and therapeutic effects of Mentha Longifolia L. and its main constituent, menthol.” Ancient science of life vol. 33,2 (2013): 131-8. doi:10.4103/0257-7941.139059, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4171855/