September 15th is National Crème de Menthe Day. Crème de menthe, French for “mint cream,” is a mint liqueur made with dried peppermint or spearmint, steeped in grain alcohol for several weeks. The mint is then filtered out and the infused alcohol is mixed with sugar. The liqueur is aged for a month before bottling.
It’s typically 25% alcohol by volume (A.B.V.), which translates to 50 proof.
There is no crème (cream) in crème de menthe. “Crème” refers to the higher amount of sugar used to make it.
Note that crème de menthe is not the same as peppermint schnapps. Peppermint schnapps has a higher alcohol content and a more intense, less sweet flavor.
A good brand of crème de menthe is absolutely delicious. Mint lovers will, well, love it.
There are two varieties of crème de menthe. Both taste pretty much the same, with a fresh mint flavor.
We love mint flavor, so we use crème de menthe:
As with many other liquers, crème de menthe was developed as a digestif, sipped from a small glass after a big meal.
It was created in France in 1885 by in France, by Émile Giffard, a pharmacist in Angers, in the Val de Loire.
He researched the digestive and refreshment qualities of mint, then crafted the liqueur into the colorless (white) variety.
In those days, liqueurs were commonly drunk after dinner to help with digestion. Giffard made his mint liqueur available to the Grand Hotel in Angers. It was a great hit with the guests [source].
Thanks to Taste Of Home for this yummy recipe.
There is no alcohol in it. The alcohol would evaporate in the oven heat, leaving only the flavor of mint. The mint extract serves that purpose here.
However, you can certainly sip a glass of crème de menthe as you enjoy a brownie.
Ingredients For The Brownies
1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5-7 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the syrup and vanilla. Add the flour and salt; mix well.
2. POUR into a greased 13×9-inch baking pan. Bake for 30 minutes (top of brownies will still appear wet). Cool on a wire rack.
3. MAKE the filling. In a small bowl, cream the butter and confectioners sugar; add the water, extract and food coloring until blended. Spread over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until set.
4. MAKE the topping. Melt the chocolate chips and butter. Cool for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread over the filling. Chill. Cut into 72 bars. Store in the fridge.
*Homemade Crème De Menthe Recipe. Ingredients: 1-1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, 1-1/2 cups vodka, 1-1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup water. Preparation: (1) Measure out 1 cup of the mint leaves, tear them into quarters, and add them to a 750 ml glass jar with a tight cap (for the jar, note that a 750 ml bottle of vodka is 25 ounces). Pour the vodka on top. Shake and let steep for 12 hours; then strain the mint leaves and return the infused vodka to the jar. Note that because the leaves have not been commercially macerated, the color will be more yellowish than green. You can adjust it with food color later. (2) Bring the water and sugar to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cool, and add to the vodka. Tear the remaining 1/2 cup of mint leaves and add them to the jar. Shake and let steep for 10 hours. Strain twice to remove all pieces of mint leaves. You’re ready to enjoy your crème de menthe.
†If you can’t find mint chocolate chips, place 2 cups (12 ounces) of semisweet chocolate chips and 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract in a plastic bag. Seal and toss to coat. Allow the chips to stand for 24-48 hours.