Crème de Menthe is a distinctive alcoholic beverage whose flavor is primarily derived from Corsican mint. The sweet, mint liqueur is commercially available in a colorless, or white, variety and a vibrant green variety colored by the mint leaves, or the addition of coloring if mint extract rather than mint leaves have been used. The two varieties have a very similar flavor and are interchangeable in most recipes except where the green color is important.
The top three brands of Crème de Menthe available in the United States are:
Crème de Menthe is produced using oil extracted from fresh mint leaves, most commonly peppermint, which is then distilled and infused with alcohol and the other ingredients including sugar and colorings as required. The liqueur is generally around 24% ABV, although this can vary between manufacturers. The green variety of the liqueur is much more common, in fact white Crème de Menthe is increasingly difficult to find in shops, it is more commonly found in specialist cocktail bars.
Crème de Menthe is used in cooking as a mint flavoring. One common use is to mix the liqueur with ice cream to create a mint flavor shake which is often topped with nuts or pecans. In other recipes it is often used in conjunction with chocolate to create mint brownies, cakes and confectionery.
When it comes to drinking Crème de Menthe, serving it straight up is an acquired taste. It is much more common for the liqueur to be combined with other beverages to create cocktails with a hint of mint. While most cocktails will not be affected by choosing either white or green Crème de Menthe when it comes to taste, often the color is important to determine the look of the drink. Some popular Crème de Menthe cocktails and shooters along with their recipes are listed below.