Today is International crème de menthe day! There really is a day for almost anything and everything! Below we tell you all about crème de menthe and some different crèmes de menthe and even a cocktail to try it in.
What is Crème de menthe
Crème de menthe is made with water, sugar, 188-proof grain alcohol, pure extract of peppermint or spearmint and an optional green edible colouring which could be synthetic or extracted from mint leaves.
Traditionally, Crème de menthe is made by steeping the dried leaves of mint in the grain alcohol for many weeks, which creates a green colour in the liqueur, after which, the liqueur is filtered and mixed with sugar.
Other Crème de menthe recipes call for water, glycerine and vodka as the base of the liqueur, all are boiled together with sugar and mint leaves and aged for about a month before being bottled.
The history of Créme de Menthe
There are some conflicting stories as to who first invented Crème de Menthe. Many refer to dispensing pharmacist Emile Giffard as being the inventor. It is said that while researching mint and its digestive and refreshing values, Giffard invented a white coloured, minty flavoured, pure and clear liqueur, which she distributed to the customers of the Grand Hotel in Angers and it soon became immensely popular. That was in 1885.
However, Emile Giffard was not the first. It was Jean and Pierre Get, heirs to one of the largest French distilleries, who had a vision to create the ultimate Crème de Menthe and in 1796, as a result of combining alcohol with strong mint, Get Peppermint (pronounced ‘Jet’) was born.
’27’ referred to the original alcohol percentage which has subsequently been reduced. Get 27 is now sold in over 122 countries and since 1995 it has been produced in Beaucaire in the South of France by a subsidiary of the Bacardi Group.
But which Crème de Menthe shall we drink?
Did you know that there’s an Australian made Crème de Menthe?
TASTING NOTES FOR BAITZ GREEN CRÈME DE MENTHE
Crème De Menthe is a brilliant green colour and has a refreshing mint flavour to match. Crème de Menthe is produced by blending together peppermints grown in several different countries, citrus flavours such as lemon or lime and often spices for variety.
The peppermint grown in different countries varies in its aroma and flavour even though in commercial production the same plant is used.
The “Mitcham Black Mint” (Mentha Piperita Vulgaris) is a native of Mitcham in the County of Surrey, England. Roots of the plant were introduced to most European countries, South America and the United States, all of which are now producing very high-quality Black Mitcham Peppermint.
Baitz use a finely balanced blend of peppermints from England, Italy and America, resulting in a liqueur of the highest quality. The flavour is of refreshing mint and the colour brilliant green.
Piotr Kuzmicki, Spirits Ambassador at Baitz has created a cocktail called the Neon Knight featuring Baitz Green Crème de Menthe.
45ml London No. 1 Gin
20ml Baitz Crème de Menthe Green
20ml Gonzalez Byass Extra Dry Vermouth
Dash peach bitters
You can find Baitz Crème de Menthe Green in most major Australian liquor retailers.
Emmanuel Conde, Ambassador NSW & TAS at Cerbaco spoke to us ahead of International Crème de menthe Day:
Crème de menthe (or mint liqueur) is a key ingredient for bartenders, notably for the Stinger and Grasshopper cocktails. The natural colour is clear but a colorant gives it its green hue. They both taste the same regardless of the variation in colour.
Outside of its use in cocktails, quality brands produce mint liqueurs with only a little sugar, that are low in alcohol, that are more aromatic, with a concentration in flavour which makes you think of limoncellos. Such liqueurs can be appreciated as an aperitif with tonic or sparkling water, or as digestives, shaken when taken out of the freezer, or over ice.
To appreciate in moderation all year long!
What’s your favourite Crème de menthe cocktail?
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