Grasshopper: Easy 3-Ingrediet Cocktail [The Ultimate Guide]

What is a Grasshopper?

The Grasshopper cocktail is a classic, creamy dessert drink, named after its green color, achieved by blending equal parts of Crème de Cacao (chocolate liqueur), Crème de Menthe (mint liqueur), and fresh cream, shaken to a frothy texture. Traditionally served in a martini glass, it is garnished with a mint leaf or chocolate shavings. Its mint-chocolate flavor profile, smooth, velvety texture, and vibrant green color make it a popular choice for after-dinner indulgence, holiday celebrations, and cocktail parties. The Grasshopper pairs well with chocolate desserts and creamy cheeses, offering a delightful balance of flavors.

Why is the cocktail called a Grasshopper?

The Grasshopper cocktail gets its name primarily from its distinctive green color, which is reminiscent of the color of a grasshopper. This vibrant green hue comes from the Crème de Menthe, a mint-flavored liqueur, which is one of the drink’s key ingredients. The cocktail was first created in the early 20th century, and its name has been linked to its color ever since.

There isn’t a specific story or event that directly connects the name to the cocktail, unlike some other drinks with more direct historical associations. The naming seems to be more about the visual appeal and the fun, lighthearted nature of the drink, which aligns with the playful and somewhat whimsical name of “Grasshopper.” Over time, this name has become a staple in cocktail menus, particularly in the United States, where the drink gained notable popularity in the mid-20th century.


The classic Grasshopper cocktail is a blend of three key ingredients: white Crème de Cacao (chocolate liqueur), green Crème de Menthe (mint liqueur), and fresh cream. Each component is used in equal parts, making the recipe simple yet elegant. Specifically, you will need 1 oz (30 ml) of each. This balanced mix results in a creamy, minty, and subtly chocolatey beverage, perfect for those who love a dessert-like drink with a hint of sophistication.

  1. Crème de Cacao (White): 1 oz (30 ml)
  2. Crème de Menthe (Green): 1 oz (30 ml)
  3. Fresh Cream: 1 oz (30 ml)

Ingredient Substitutes

For those looking to tweak the Grasshopper cocktail, there are substitute options for each ingredient. Instead of Crème de Cacao, try using other chocolate liqueur for a deeper chocolate flavor. Peppermint schnapps or other mint liqueurs can replace Crème de Menthe for a stronger minty kick. And if you’re out of fresh heavy cream, half-and-half or even coconut cream can serve as great alternatives, the latter adding a vegan twist to this classic drink.

  • Chocolate Liqueur as a substitute for Crème de Cacao
  • Peppermint Schnapps instead of Crème de Menthe
  • Half-and-Half or Coconut Cream as alternatives to Fresh Cream

However, note that the white creme de cacao and green creme de menthe give the “Grasshopper” its characteristic green color, which may change with substituting ingredients.

Ingredient Proportions

The Grasshopper cocktail shines with its simple yet effective ratio of 1:1:1, using equal parts of Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, and Fresh Cream. This proportion creates a good balance between the creamy texture, chocolate sweetness, and refreshing mint. However, it’s adaptable to personal taste. For a mintier kick, increase the Crème de Menthe, or add more Crème de Cacao for a chocolatey depth. The cream’s volume and type can also be adjusted for a lighter or richer texture.

  • Standard ratio: 1:1:1 for Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, Fresh Cream
  • Equal parts of each ingredient for balance
  • Adjustable to personal preference
  • Alter ratios for more mint, chocolate, or creaminess

Best Ingredients

To craft an exquisite Grasshopper cocktail, focus on quality ingredients. Choose a smooth, rich Crème de Cacao and a vibrant, flavorful Crème de Menthe. The freshness and quality of the cream significantly impact the drink’s texture and overall experience. Opt for fresh, high-quality cream for a luxurious and velvety feel. While specific brands aren’t mentioned, selecting premium ingredients elevates the cocktail’s taste and presentation.

To give the drink its characteristic green color, use white (transparent) Crème de Cacao and green Crème de Menthe.

  • White, smooth and rich Crème de Cacao
  • Green and vibrant Crème de Menthe
  • Fresh, high-quality cream for a luxurious texture
  • Premium ingredients enhance flavor and presentation

What is the best type of cream for a Grasshopper?

The best type of cream for a Grasshopper cocktail is heavy cream, also known as heavy whipping cream. This choice ensures the drink achieves its characteristic luxurious, creamy texture. Heavy cream provides a rich consistency and smoothness that complements the minty and chocolate flavors of the Crème de Menthe and Crème de Cacao. Its thickness and higher fat content also help balance the sweetness and potency of the liqueurs, resulting in a harmonious blend that’s both indulgent and refreshing. For those seeking a lighter version, light cream or half-and-half can be used, though the texture will be less creamy.

  • Heavy cream (whipping cream) for a luxurious, creamy texture
  • Balances liqueur flavors with its richness
  • Light cream or half-and-half as lighter alternatives

The choice of cream affects texture and overall balance of the cocktail.

Flavor Profile

The Grasshopper cocktail offers a unique tasting experience. It has a sweet, creamy base from the Crème de Cacao, complemented by the refreshing, cool notes of Crème de Menthe. The fresh cream smooths these flavors into a velvety texture, resulting in a drink that’s both indulgent and refreshing. This cocktail is perfect for those who enjoy dessert-like drinks with a sophisticated twist. Its drinkability is high, making it a favorite for after-dinner enjoyment or as a treat at social gatherings.

  • Sweet, creamy base from Crème de Cacao
  • Refreshing, cool notes from Crème de Menthe
  • Velvety texture from fresh cream
  • Ideal for dessert-like drink lovers
  • High drinkability, perfect for after-dinner or social events

Tools & Equipment

To craft the perfect Grasshopper cocktail, you’ll need a few essential tools. Use a jigger or measuring cup for accurate proportions of the liqueurs and cream. A cocktail shaker is vital for blending the ingredients smoothly and chilling the drink. A strainer is handy to ensure a smooth pour into your glass. Finally, a martini glass or any elegant stemmed glassware enhances the drinking experience, showcasing the cocktail’s appealing color and texture.

  • Jigger or measuring cup for accurate proportions
  • Cocktail shaker for blending and chilling
  • Strainer for a smooth pour
  • Martini glass or elegant stemmed glassware for serving

Instructions for Preparation

  1. Chill Glassware: Begin by chilling your martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes. This step ensures your cocktail stays cold longer.
  2. Measure Ingredients: Using a jigger, measure 1 oz (30 ml) each of Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, and fresh cream.
  3. Combine Ingredients: Pour the measured ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  4. Shake Well: Secure the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for about 15-20 seconds. This not only chills the drink but also creates a smooth, frothy texture.
  5. Strain and Serve: Strain the mixture into your chilled martini glass, ensuring a smooth, clean pour.
  6. Garnish (Optional): Garnish with a mint leaf or a sprinkle of chocolate shavings for an extra touch of elegance.

Stir or Shake

For the Grasshopper cocktail, shaking is the preferred method. Shaking not only chills the drink rapidly but also emulsifies the heavy cream with the liqueurs, creating a smooth, frothy texture that’s essential for this cocktail. Stirring, typically used for clear cocktails to maintain clarity, won’t achieve the same creamy consistency. The vigorous shaking ensures a well-blended, aerated, and perfectly chilled Grasshopper.

  • Shaking is preferred for a smooth, frothy texture
  • Emulsifies heavy cream with liqueurs
  • Provides rapid chilling and aeration
  • Stirring won’t achieve the same consistency

Ice (Chilling & Dilution)

The choice of ice and its role in chilling and dilution is crucial for the Grasshopper. Use plenty of ice cubes in the shaker to ensure the cocktail is thoroughly chilled. The ice also contributes to dilution, which is vital for softening the intensity of the liqueurs and balancing the drink’s strength. Pre-chilling the glass, preferably a martini glass, adds to the overall experience by keeping the cocktail colder for a longer duration. The type of ice used in the shaker should be regular-sized ice cubes; they provide optimal dilution and chilling.

  • Use plenty of regular-sized ice cubes in shaker
  • Ensures thorough chilling and optimal dilution
  • Pre-chill the glass for prolonged coldness

Scaling (For a Group)

To serve a Grasshopper cocktail to a group, simply scale up the ingredients in the same 1:1:1 ratio. For instance, for a group of four, use 4 oz (120 ml) of each ingredient. Mix in a larger shaker or a pitcher if a shaker isn’t available. Ensure to shake or stir in batches as necessary to maintain the quality of each drink.

  • Scale ingredients in a 1:1:1 ratio for groups
  • Use a larger shaker or a pitcher
  • Shake or stir in batches as needed

Troubleshooting (Biggest Mistakes)

Common mistake when making a Grasshopper is using low-quality liqueurs or cream, which can significantly impact the drink’s flavor. Over-dilution is another issue; shaking too long with too much ice waters down the cocktail.

  • Use high-quality liqueurs and cream
  • Be mindful of over-dilution


The presentation of a Grasshopper cocktail plays a crucial role in its overall appeal. A well-presented drink enhances the drinking experience and showcases the cocktail’s elegant character.

Glassware (Classic and Alternative)

Traditionally, the Grasshopper cocktail is served in a martini glass, which perfectly complements its sophisticated and dessert-like nature. The martini glass’s wide brim allows the aroma to waft through, enhancing the sensory experience. As an alternative, coupe glasses also work wonderfully, offering a similar aesthetic with a slightly different shape. For a more modern twist, a small highball glass can be used, which is excellent for larger servings or if you prefer your cocktail on the rocks.

  • Classic: Martini glass for elegance and aroma
  • Alternative: Coupe glass for a similar aesthetic
  • Modern twist: Highball glass for larger servings or on the rocks

Garnish (Classic and Creative)

A classic garnish for the Grasshopper is a mint leaf, which complements the drink’s minty flavor. For a touch of chocolate indulgence, chocolate shavings or a thin chocolate wafer can be added atop the drink. For a creative twist, consider chocolate-mint candy (such as the “After Eight” brand) or even a sprig of mint covered in chocolate, which combine both of the key flavors. Edible flowers can also add a pop of color and an element of sophistication, while a lightly whipped cream swirl on top brings an extra layer of luxury.

  • Classic: Mint leaf for a complementary touch
  • Chocolate indulgence: Chocolate shavings or wafer
  • Luxurious option: Lightly whipped cream swirl
  • Creative twist: Chocolate-mint sprig or candy; edible flowers

These presentation tips ensure that your Grasshopper cocktail not only tastes delightful but also looks visually stunning, adding to the overall enjoyment of the drink.

Variations & Riffs

Explore the world of cocktails with popular drinks that are similar to the classic Grasshopper. Enjoy the Irish Cream Grasshopper for a whiskey-laced variation. The Frozen Grasshopper offers a refreshing, ice-cream-like alternative. For coffee lovers, the White Russian Mint infuses a minty touch into the classic. The Brandy Alexander shares similar creamy, dessert-like qualities. Chocolate Mint Martini and Peppermint Bark Martini provide delightful variations on the mint-chocolate theme, while the After Eight Cocktail mirrors the famous chocolate mint’s flavor.

  • Mint Chocolate Martini: Similar to a Grasshopper but with a stronger emphasis on the chocolate flavor, often using chocolate or mint flavored vodka.
  • Irish Cream Grasshopper: This variant introduces Irish cream for a whiskey-infused twist, blending the creamy texture with a hint of Irish charm.
  • Frozen Grasshopper: A blended, ice-cream-like version, perfect for hot summer days.
  • White Russian Mint: Combines the classic White Russian with a minty flair, using a splash of Crème de Menthe.
  • Brandy Alexander: While not minty, it shares the creamy, dessert-like qualities, using brandy and chocolate liqueur.
  • Peppermint Bark Martini: A cooler, more peppermint-forward drink, reminiscent of the candy.
  • After Eight Cocktail: Inspired by the After Eight chocolate mint, it’s a more chocolate-forward cocktail with a subtle mint undertone.

Experiment (Create Your Own Riff)

Unleash your inner mixologist by crafting a personal riff on the Grasshopper cocktail. Experiment with different base spirits like vodka or bourbon for a unique twist. Adjust the flavor profile by exploring various chocolate and mint liqueurs or adding new flavors like hazelnut or orange. Play with the texture by substituting the cream with alternatives like almond milk or coconut cream. Enhance the visual appeal and taste with innovative garnishes like cinnamon sticks or orange zest. Don’t hesitate to experiment with serving temperatures, such as a warm or frozen Grasshopper, for a distinctive experience.

  • Base Spirit Variations: While the classic Grasshopper is non-spirited, adding a base spirit like vodka, white rum, or even bourbon can introduce an exciting twist.
  • Flavor Adjustments: Experiment with different types of chocolate and mint liqueurs, or introduce new flavors like hazelnut, coffee, or orange liqueurs for complexity.
  • Texture Alterations: Swap the cream for other dairy or non-dairy alternatives like almond milk, coconut cream, or oat milk for different textures and dietary preferences.
  • Garnish and Presentation: Experiment with garnishes like cinnamon sticks, orange zest, or different chocolate forms to add visual appeal and subtle flavor changes.
  • Temperature Changes: Try serving it hot (like a hot chocolate mint) or frozen for a completely different experience.

By experimenting with these elements, you can create a unique riff on the Grasshopper cocktail that caters to your taste and adds a personal touch to this classic drink.

Serving Occasions

The Grasshopper cocktail, with its creamy, mint-chocolate flavor, is ideal for various occasions. Its sophisticated yet fun profile makes it a perfect after-dinner drink, often served as a dessert cocktail. The Grasshopper is also a hit at cocktail parties, offering a delightful alternative to the usual drink options. Its festive green color makes it a popular choice for holiday celebrations, especially around Christmas and St. Patrick’s Day. Whether it’s a cozy night in or a celebratory gathering, the Grasshopper adds a touch of elegance and indulgence.

  • Ideal as an after-dinner dessert cocktail
  • Great for cocktail parties and social gatherings
  • Festive option for holiday celebrations, like St. Patrick’s Day
  • Adds elegance to both casual and formal events

Food Pairings

When pairing food with the Grasshopper cocktail, consider flavors that complement its creamy, mint-chocolate essence. Chocolate desserts, like a rich chocolate cake or truffles, naturally pair well. For a contrast, try it with fresh fruit like strawberries or raspberries. Cheesecake, with its creamy texture, also harmonizes beautifully with the Grasshopper. For a savory twist, pair it with mildly flavored cheeses or nuts, which provide a delightful contrast without overpowering the cocktail’s flavors.

  • Chocolate desserts like cake or truffles
  • Creamy desserts like cheesecake
  • Fresh fruits such as strawberries or raspberries
  • Mild cheeses and nuts for a savory contrast
Grasshopper Cocktail

Grasshopper Cocktail

The Grasshopper cocktail, a visually striking green drink, is known for its mint-chocolate flavor and creamy texture, made with Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, and cream, served in a martini glass with optional mint or chocolate garnish, perfect for after-dinner enjoyment or festive occasions, and pairs excellently with chocolate desserts and mild cheeses.
Total Time 3 minutes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • 1 Measuring jigger
  • 1 Cocktail shaker
  • 1 Martini glass
  • 1 Strainer


  • 1 oz Crème de menthe (peppermint liqueur - green)
  • 1 oz Crème de cacao (chocolate liqueur - white/transparent)
  • 1 oz Cream (fresh; heavy)
  • Ice cubes (for shaking)
  • Fresh peppermint leaves (optional, for garnish)
  • Chocolate shavings (optional, for garnish)


  • Chill the Glass: Place a martini glass in the freezer for a few minutes before preparation.
  • Measure Ingredients: In a cocktail shaker, add equal parts of Crème de Cacao, Crème de Menthe, and fresh cream.
  • Add Ice: Fill the shaker with ice cubes.
  • Shake: Secure the lid on the shaker and shake vigorously for 15-20 seconds, ensuring the mixture is well-blended and chilled.
  • Strain: Strain the cocktail into the chilled martini glass, achieving a smooth texture.
  • Garnish: Optionally, garnish with a mint leaf or chocolate shavings for an added visual appeal.
  • Serve: Present the cocktail immediately for optimal freshness and temperature.


Calories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 1gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 32mgSodium: 9mgPotassium: 27mgSugar: 21gVitamin A: 417IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 19mgIron: 0.1mg
Calories: 300kcal
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Cocktail
Keyword: chocolate liqueur, creme de cacao, creme de menthe, peppermint liqueur
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