The Grasshopper cocktail is a pretty interesting study in cocktail trends. It was invented by Philibert Guichet of Tujague’s Restaurant in New Orleans in 1910 for a cocktail competition, which it placed second in. Tujague’s still serves Grasshoppers by the dozens today.
Here’s why the Grasshopper has drifted in and out of “coolness” over the 115 years it’s been around: it’s seen as a starter cocktail, as training wheels, because it actually doesn’t have liquor in it. Now, the Grasshopper is an alcoholic drink, but it isn’t made with vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, etc, just 2 liqueurs (sweet and low-alcohol) and cream. It’s so sweet and creamy, and it’s basically more a dessert than a cocktail.
But that’s what makes the Grasshopper cool, too. It’s the only drink of its kind, really, especially when you consider its color (creamy electric green) and the famous chocolate-mint flavor. It’s light and ferociously sweet, and it’s just a fun drink. If you’re not having fun drinking, than what’s the point, right?
So here you go, without apology, the Grasshopper cocktail:
in a cocktail shaker, add:
1 oz of Creme de Menthe (mint liqueur)
1 oz white Creme de Cacao (chocolate liqueur)
1 oz half-and-half
shake well with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Teeling is a very interesting whiskey in several ways. Firstly, the whiskey is distilled from all (or almost all) corn, making it sweet and pleasing particularly to a bourbon drinker. Next, Teeling is finished in rum casks, adding some fascinating flavor elements to the whiskey (Teeling has said it’s their goal to make an interesting Irish whiskey). If you tend towards American whiskeys, this Irish is likely to be very pleasing for you.
When I first tasted Teeling on Instagram, a few people chimed in saying they really like it, and I can see why. Though only available in the U.S. for a year or so, it’s an absolute darling with it’s fans. A 6 year old whiskey, Teeling will run you about $35-40 for a bottle. I’ve enjoyed sipping on Teeling and though it’s wonderful on its own, it also mixes really well in cocktails like the Paddy:
1 1/4 oz Irish whiskey
1 1/4 oz sweet vermouth
1 dash bitters
stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass
Since the U.S. celebrates Irish heritage annually through “cultural” overindulgence on St. Patrick’s Day, I’m going to give you some easy recipe choices for your home bar that are neither green nor lame. Let’s start this list with a Simple Cocktails first: a beer cocktail!
1 1/2 oz caramel liqueur, such as Lovoka or Godiva
fill remainder of a pint glass with Guinness Extra Stout
Benjamin Guinness single-handedly saved St. Patrick’s Cathedral from ruin in 1860 with a £150,000 donation (roughly $15 million in 2013 money), paying for the entire cost of a full restoration of the church.