Written by Chris Benjamin, director of food and beverage at the Essex Resort and Spa.

As the snow melts from the mountaintops, and the fresh, vibrant green leaves emerge from their buds, it’s wonderful to see the endless stream of people walking along the roads looking out for Mother Nature (and their community) through the simple act of picking up trash.

Earth Day is an important day in keeping our beautiful land clean, and I always appreciate those folks who take the time to get out and help keep things neat. Of course, creating a drink that tastes like earth is probably not in any bartender’s best interest. (Let’s face it– ‘dirt’ might be all the rage in the tabloids, but it doesn’t cut it in drinks)

Adding green to a drink is also a challenge, though. I’ve written about chartreuse and absinthe (and I just can’t bring myself to use Apple Pucker in anything), so one of the only options left is crème de menthe.

Commonly added to milk for a holiday treat, crème de menthe is made from Corsican mint and is famous as a key ingredient in Stingers and Grasshoppers. It’s also widely used in candies, chocolates, ice cream, and mousses.

There are two kinds, essentially– white and green. White is colorless and boosted by flavoring agents. Green used leaves steeped in grain alcohol to absorb color. Both create the desired effect.

So this week, I’m reviving an old favorite: the Grasshopper.

Traditionally made with crème de menthe, crème de cacao, and half-and-half, a Grasshopper becomes a Praying Mantis when you add vodka. This week’s drink is a variation on that—the Green Mountain Grasshopper.

Cheers to the volunteers who help keep Vermont clean. Enjoy a Green Mountain Grasshopper in their honor.

Green Mountain Grasshopper
1 oz. Green Mountain Sunshine Vodka
½ oz. green crème de menthe
½ oz. crème de cacao (clear)
5 oz. half-and-half

Combine ingredients over ice. Serve over rocks or strain into a martini glass (rimmed with chocolate, of course).

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