Crème de menthe is a sweet, syrupy mint liqueur that can be used in numerous cocktails. It is not expensive to buy , but it is simple and rewarding to make at home. It takes about a day to make, with very little active effort, and when you finish you can serve something you proudly made from scratch! I'm planning to update this Instructable as I experiment more.
EDIT (08JUN16): I just finished a batch made with Everclear, and I personally think it is better than the vodka one. It retains the green of the mint without food dye (at least for the first two days, if it changes I will post another update), and is simpler to make. This version does taste slightly more herbal, but it is up to personal preference whether that is an issue.
- 1.75 cups Vodka
- 1.5 cups fresh peppermint leaves (lightly packed into the measuring cup)
- 1.5 cups sugar
- 1 cup water
** Everclear Version**
- 1 cup Everclear (or similar 150 proof grain alcohol)
- 1 cup fresh peppermint leaves
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups water
Skip to Step 5 for this version.
- Measuring cups; 1 cup and 1/2 cup
- Bowl or Tupperware to hold extra mint leaves after step 1
- Sealable container able to hold at least 3 cups. I used a 32oz mason jar
- Another container able to hold at least 2 cups; doesn't have to be sealable ( I used a tall glass)
S̶t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶e̶r̶ ̶o̶r̶ ̶c̶o̶l̶a̶n̶d̶e̶r̶;̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶f̶i̶n̶e̶r̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶m̶e̶s̶h̶,̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶t̶t̶e̶r̶
- **Updated** Funnel
- **Updated** Coffee Filter
A few notes:
- You want the vodka to have a fairly neutral flavor profile, but use whichever brand you prefer.
- Turbinado sugar could be used in place of refined, but I would recommend refined.
- I used about 50/50 peppermint and chocolate mint (see pictures); the latter adds a hint of chocolate aroma and taste.
- If you want a stronger or weaker mint flavor, change the amount of leaves rather than the infusion time.
This Instructable is entered in the "Slow Food" contest, so please vote if you liked it!
Step 1: Prepare the Mint
Separate the mint leaves from the main stem. Use about a cup of fresh leaves; use more for a stronger mint flavor, but I've found that this recipe is strong enough. Rip up the leaves approximately into quarters and place them in the jar. Save the rest in the fridge (or harvest them later) for the second infusion.
Step 2: Add the Vodka
Add the vodka to the mint leaves and shake. Don't worry if the vodka doesn't completely cover the leaves. Set the jar aside for 10-12 hours, shaking it periodically to ensure all leaves are infusing.
Step 3: Add the Syrup
At this point, the infused vodka will most likely be very bitter, so if it tastes undrinkable finish this step before giving up. Add the sugar to the water and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. The mix will turn a very light yellowish brown, and thicken slightly. Allow a spoonful to cool, and taste it for consistency; you want it to syrupy, but still runny. While it is simmering, s̶t̶r̶a̶i̶n̶ place the coffee filter in the funnel, and filter the mint leaves out. Return the vodka to the jar. Once the syrup has reached the consistency you want, allow it to cool for a few minutes and add it to the vodka. Be careful adding hot liquid to the glass. Add the remaining mint leaves, and shake to mix. Let it stand for 8 to 10 more hours.
Step 4: Enjoy
Strain or filter the liqueur twice to ensure all the mint leaves are removed. Break out the shaker, and enjoy your cocktails! Ive added a list of simple ideas to try, but experiment and have fun with it. The minty flavor can complement a lot of other flavors, so find what works for you. Some of the drinks use the green color for the aesthetic.
- Girl Scout Cookie
- Irish Flag (calls for green coloring)
- Bob Marley (calls for green coloring)
- Fernet Hot Chocolate (or just add to normal hot chocolate)
Thanks to the following sites:
Step 5: Step 5: Everclear
To make this liqueur with Everclear, all you need to do is coarsely chop the mint leaves, add them into the container with the Everclear and shake every few hours up to around 20-22 hours.
Place a coffee filter inside the funnel, and pour the liquid and mint leaves in. It is important that you do not let any leaves or particles get into the final product, so if you want to filter again go ahead.
From here, follow the same steps as the vodka version for the simple syrup. I used a 1:1 sugar to water ratio, and just over a cup of syrup added to the filtered infusion.