Can gin and crème de menthe find harmony in the same cocktail? Absolutely! The duo comes together wonderfully in the Emerald Isle, a minty gin cocktail that makes a great green drink. It's a good choice for after dinner and offers a sophisticated twist to St. Patrick's Day celebrations.
The recipe is incredibly easy, focusing primarily on gin and adding just a hint of green crème de menthe. You want to be careful about adding too much mint because it will overpower the gin and knock the drink out of balance. Getting the perfect taste here is a very fine line, though adding a dash or two of bitters helps the drink considerably. It marries the two contrasting flavors and creates a rather lovely (and unique) taste experience.
- 1 1/2 ounces gin
- 1 teaspoon green crème de menthe
- 2 dashes bitters
Gather the ingredients.
Serve and enjoy!
- The Emerald Isle recipe doesn't specify which bitters to use. A good default is aromatic bitters, such as Angostura, though mint bitters make an equally nice complement. If you're feeling a little wild, orange bitters are quite interesting for the palate as well.
- Green crème de menthe is preferred over the white (clear) version because of the color it brings to the drink. However, you can pour white crème de menthe and enjoy the exact same taste.
- For the gin, it's customary to shake a traditional London dry gin in this drink. You can, however, find some interesting flavors by exploring other options, including some of the newer craft gins that are a little less juniper-forward.
- The Botanist Islay Dry Gin would be an interesting bottle to try. Three types of mint are among the 22 foraged botanicals used to create this unique Scottish gin.
The Caruso is a cocktail recipe that's very similar to the Emerald Isle, though it adds dry vermouth to the mix. To make it, stir 1 ounce each of gin and dry vermouth with a dash of green crème de menthe in an ice-filled shaker. Strain it into a chilled cocktail glass. If you use white crème de menthe, it becomes a Caruso Blanco. Bitters are a good addition as well.
How Strong Is an Emerald Isle Cocktail?
The Emerald Isle is served as a very short drink because of its distinct flavor (one round will likely be enough for most people) as well as its potency. Though it will vary, the alcohol content of this cocktail should fall into the 29 percent ABV (58 proof) range. It is almost as strong as the average gin martini.