Grasshopper

Difford's Guide
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Serve in a

Coupe glass

Garnish:

Float mint leaf/sprig (or chocolate shavings)

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into chilled glass.

1 fl oz Giffard Peppermint Pastille crème de menthe
1 fl oz Dutch Cacao white crème de cacao
1 fl oz Single cream / half-and-half
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Read about cocktail measures and measuring.

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Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 16th Edition

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Review:

It's hard not to like this creamy, slightly sweet minty after-dinner treat.

History:

The Grasshopper is the signature cocktail at Tujague's, the second oldest restaurant in New Orleans, which was opened in 1856 by Guillaume Tujague. Guillaume's sister took over the running of the restaurant when he died in 1912 but a few years later, after her husband's death, she sold Tujague's to Jean-Dominic Castet and his business partner, Philip Guichet, Sr..

Legend has it, in 1919 (or some say during Prohibition in the 1920s), that Philibert Guichet won second prize in a prestigious New York cocktail competition for his Grasshopper cocktail. Sadly, there is no documentary evidence to support this win or his creation of the cocktail.

A recipe for a drink called the Grasshopper, consisting of equal parts crème de menthe layered over crème de cacao appears in William "Cocktail Bill" Boothby's 1908 World's Drinks and How to Mix Them where its creation is attributed to "Harry O'Brien, late of the Palace Hotel, San Francisco."

At some point (perhaps even by Philibert Guichet at Tujague's) cream is added as a third ingredient to the 1908 two-ingredient layered Grasshopper to make the shaken cocktail we recognise today.

Several newspapers from the 1950s point to the modern-day Grasshopper's creation being in the late 1940s in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA, including a piece in the Sunday 19th February 1950 Monroe Morning World (Monroe, Louisiana, USA).

"New Idea Introduced by Restaurant Owner" [who uses his artistic talent to illustrate his menus and found his drawing of a Mexican sombrero increased sales of Mexican dishes] "Later he tried the same procedure for the cocktail lounge at the Hollywood. This time it was a grasshopper perched on a cocktail glass, drawn to order for the purpose of introducing a new dink, the "grasshopper", originated a year ago in Milwaukee. Wisconsin. The first night the drink was served at the Hollywood, sales pushed up. The same thing occurred when Reagan introduced another beverage, the Moscow mule....."

Monroe Morning World, 19-February-1950

An 8th September 1950 piece titled "Grasshopper Cocktail" by Clementine Paddleford in the The Baltimore Sun disputes the cocktail's creation at Fazio's Town Room in Milwaukee, and introduces "Charlie's in Minneapolis" as being home to the cocktail.

"To A Man's Heart
Grasshopper Cocktail
By Clementine Paddleford

IN MARCH we mentioned the grasshopper cocktail, met for the first time at a wine and food tasting, and credited its creation to Fazio's Restaurant in Milwaukee. The cocktail, in case you have forgotten, is made with one-third white cacao, one-third green creme de menthe and one-third light cream in a quick shake with shaved ice. The drink pours a soft pastel green, palate caressing and sweet enough to be served as dessert.
   Norden Van Home, of Rye, N.Y., writes we are wrong on the grasshopper's origin. "The drink appeared first at Charlie's in Minneapolis."'
   While at the aforementioned Charlie's, Mr. Van Home chanced upon another fine mixture which he calls a cross between a grasshopper and a brandy Alexander and a stinger. He admits it sounds sort of hideous, but promises that a sip will quell any misapprehensions. It goes under the sinister title of Didy-Wah-Didie.
   The proportions are as follows: Two parts brandy, one part green creme de menthe, one part brown for white) creme de cacao and one healthy dash of cream.

The Baltimore Sun, 08-September-1950

The Grasshopper's heyday came decades later during the 1970s and 1980s so it's not surprising that some illustrious bartender thought to add vodka to create the rather better Flying Grasshopper cocktail.

Nutrition:

One serving of Grasshopper contains 221 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 0.8 standard drinks
  • 12.1% alc./vol. (24.2° proof)
  • 10.9 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 16th Edition image

Difford’s Guide to Cocktails Book 16th Edition

Our chunky, 2.2kg heavyweight, 2 inches thick, hardback cocktail book has 3,000 recipes (with ingredients in both ml and ounces) all accompanied by a colour

Buy it here
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