Why It Works
- A double infusion of fresh mint intensifies the flavor of the liqueur.
Crème de menthe is a sweet mint liqueur that's especially popular during candy cane season. It pairs well with chocolate and many spirits, so this super-easy homemade crème de menthe recipe is a perfect holiday project.
What's Available to Buy?
DeKuyper, Marie Brizard, Hiram Walker, and Bols all make decent crème de menthe at an affordable price, though it can be a challenge to find in smaller liquor stores. It can be scary-green or clear, but the color doesn't affect the flavor. Despite the "crème" in the name, there's no cream in this liqueur. There is, however, a ton of mint-flavored extract and often artificial flavoring. It's a pretty far cry from fresh mint.
Homemade crème de menthe tastes and smells like just-picked mint, completely blowing away the commercial stuff with a bright and natural flavor that you just can't get from extracts. DIY mint liqueur is like a delicious candy cane in alcohol form—and since it takes only three ingredients and one day to make, there's still time to make some for Christmas. The homemade version is a pale greenish-yellow, but you can add some green food coloring if you want it to look more festive.
Nothing is better in winter than adding a little crème de menthe to a cup of steaming hot chocolate or coffee. If your crème de menthe is all gone by New Year's, mix up a new batch, because it also makes a mean minty champagne cocktail.
You can also shake your creme de menthe with brandy or bourbon for a Stinger, or indulge your sweet tooth with a Grasshopper. Just shake one part crème de menthe and one part white crème de cacao with two parts cream and a bunch of ice. Crème de menthe is a great addition to desserts and cakes, like these grasshopper brownie bars.
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves (divided)
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Measure out 1 cup of mint leaves and tear them in quarters. Place mint leaves in a sealable glass jar and pour vodka on top. Shake and let steep for 12 hours.
After steeping is complete, strain mint leaves from infused vodka. Return infused vodka to the jar.
Bring water and sugar to a boil, and let simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool, then add syrup to mint-infused vodka.
Take remaining 1/2 cup mint leaves, tear them, and add them to jar. Shake and let steep for 10 hours.
Strain twice to remove all mint leaves, keep in resealable bottle.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The liqueur will keep for about two months. Refrigeration is not necessary, unless you'd like it chilled.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 12g||5%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 12g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|