Getty Images/bhofack2

What is Creme de Menthe + 5 Yummy Ways to Use It

St. Patrick's Day gets us in the mood for leprechauns and mint-flavored things, whether that's mint chocolate ice cream or a Shamrock Shake. When it comes to alcoholic beverages, Guinness and Irish Whiskey are go-to's, but it's always fun to extend the green theme to drinks as well. One ingredient that's perfect for green cocktails is creme de menthe.

What is Creme de Menthe?

Creme de menthe is a liquor that's sweet and mint flavored, making it ideal for festive, minty cocktails. It's often used with ingredients like creme de cacao, heavy cream, Irish cream, and peppermint schnapps. There's a colorless version and a green version that taste similar, but the green one is best for drinks that need color.

This sweet mint liqueur is made from a mixture of mint leaves and neutral alcohol, which is filtered, sweetened and aged. It was made by Emile Giffard in 1885, a pharmacist doing research on mint and its digestive properties. Because of this, it was originally meant to be used as a digestif, but is now used as an ingredient in cocktails.

How to Use This Tasty Mint Liqueur

This liqueur adds a bold, minty flavor to any cocktail, and goes great with the flavors of chocolate, coffee, and cream. It typically has 15-25% ABV, but the alcohol content depends on the brand. It's easy to find creme de menthe in a liquor store or grocery store, or you can go so far as to make your own with your own hand-picked fresh mint. Homemade creme de menthe is surprisingly easy and will be ready within a day. Here's a recipe at Serious Eats.

This tasty liqueur adds a touch of deliciously minty flavor to classic cocktails or drinks. You can add a splash to your hot chocolate, coffee, or mocha, or make a drink with it. If you need inspiration, here are 5 creme de menthe cocktails that are minty and delectable.

1. Grasshopper

A grasshopper is the most classic cocktail you can make with creme de menthe. It's also very simple, containing creme de menthe, white creme de cacao, heavy cream and ice. For a drink with a chocolate-mint flavor and a creamy texture, this cocktail will make you wonder why creme de menthe wasn't in your liquor cabinet until now.

Get the recipe at All Recipes.

2. Hot Peppermint Patty

This drink is all in the name. Combining peppermint schnapps, creme de cacao liquor, creme de menthe, and hot chocolate, it's the equivalent of a peppermint patty made into an alcoholic drink. Garnish with whipped cream and chocolate shavings to get even more festive!

Get the recipe at The Spruce Eats.

3. Baileys Mint Martini

I love a good martini, and they're even better when they have a fun flavor. This Bailey's Mint Martini is made with Baileys Irish Cream, creme de menthe liqueur, vodka, half and half, and ice. It has a creamy, minty flavor ideal for the holidays or a refreshing summer drink.

Get the recipe at Lemon Tree Dwelling.

4. Slippery Frog

Those who love coffee-flavored cocktails are in luck when it comes to the Slippery Frog. This tasty drink has vodka, coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, half and half, and creme de menthe. It deliciously combines the flavors of coffee and mint, along with the sweet creaminess of Irish cream and is the minty cousin of a white Russian.

Get the recipe at All Recipes.

5. Emerald Isle

The Emerald Isle cocktail has only a few ingredients and is amazingly tasty for how simple it is. Containing gin, creme de menthe and bitters, it has a beautiful emerald color that will make you want to look at is much as you want to drink it. Enjoy this surprisingly yummy combo of gin and mint.

Get the recipe at The Spruce Eats.

READ MORE: Move Over Coffee Liqueur, Chocolate Liqueur is How We're Downing Vodka