|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 8g||3%|
|Dietary Fiber 0g||0%|
|Total Sugars 8g|
|Vitamin C 0mg||1%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
Sweet and minty, crème de menthe creates delicious drinks. With an infusion of fresh mint in vodka and homemade simple syrup, it's surprisingly easy to make crème de menthe from scratch, and it's ready within a few days.
Crème de menthe is one of the best-known mint-flavored liqueurs. Commonly found among other cordials at any liquor store, it's very sweet and comes in white and green varieties, the latter of which is used to create green cocktails. The store-bought liqueur is also notoriously cheap and uses artificial flavors and coloring agents.
With this homemade crème de menthe recipe, you can control all of the ingredients to make a naturally-flavored liqueur with a fresh mint taste you won't find at any store. It's also not as cloying as the commercial options and has a nice, gentle sweetness that wonderfully plays up the cool mint flavor.
Made with a two-part infusion that takes a total of three days, the first step creates mint vodka, and then you'll add syrup and let it infuse for another day to turn it into liqueur. The entire process is mostly hands-off, and you can keep the natural light brown color or add food coloring for the green crème de menthe you are used to buying. To get a clear liqueur like white crème de menthe, you need to use the mint extract variation.
The finished liqueur keeps well, makes a delightful after-dinner sipper on its own, and it's excellent for minty cocktails. This recipe fills a standard 750-milliliter liquor bottle and can be divided into smaller bottles for gifting.
2 cups 80-proof vodka
1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves, unpacked
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
3 to 5 drops food coloring, optional
Gather the ingredients.
In a one-quart jar, pour the vodka and tear the mint leaves as you add them. Shake well to immerse the herbs. Let infuse for 48 hours, shaking once a day.
Bring the water to a boil in a small or medium saucepan. Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved, then reduce to a simmer. After 5 minutes, remove the simple syrup from the heat and let cool completely. If making ahead, refrigerate in a sealed container until ready to blend the liqueur.
After 2 days, add the cooled simple syrup to the mint-infused liquor. Shake and infuse for another 24 hours.
Strain out the mint using a fine-mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth. Discard the mint and strain one or two more times to remove extra sediment.
Funnel the crème de menthe into a 750-milliliter bottle or several smaller bottles.
To color the liqueur, add 3 to 5 drops of green food coloring and shake well to incorporate.
How to Store Homemade Crème de Menthe
The vodka acts as a preservative, so your homemade crème de menthe will last up to a year. Keep the bottle under a tight seal to avoid oxidation and store it in a cool, dark place alongside other liqueurs. If you notice crystallization, it's best to make a new batch.
How to Serve Homemade Crème de Menthe
You can drink crème de menthe straight; it's a cooling dessert drink at room temperature or when served in a chilled cordial glass. The homemade liqueur is an excellent ingredient in any crème de menthe cocktail. If you choose to keep the natural color, it will not create green drinks and slightly alter the color of recipes that typically use white crème de menthe. As a homemade recipe that doesn't have the precision of a laboratory, the specific gravity likely differs from commercial versions. It may not work as well in layered drinks (try it to see what happens, though).
This minty liqueur is also delicious poured over vanilla ice cream for an easy yet party-worthy dessert.
- Rather than fresh mint, skip the infusion and add one teaspoon of peppermint extract to the simple syrup, let it cool and mix it with the vodka. This version is ready as soon as the syrup cools and comes out with a transparent color (one that you can also make green with food coloring). Add 1/8 teaspoon at a time to the finished liqueur, shake, test, and add more if desired.
- Make a sugar-free crème de menthe using a keto simple syrup with an allulose-based sugar alternative.
How Strong Is Homemade Crème de Menthe?
Crème de menthe has a relatively low amount of alcohol compared to other distilled spirits. It's typically 25 percent alcohol by volume (ABV, 50 proof), and this homemade liqueur falls in the same range. Adding more syrup will create a lighter liqueur, and using high-proof vodka will make it stronger.
Are crème de menthe and peppermint schnapps the same?
While both are mint liqueurs, crème de menthe tends to be sweeter and have a less intense mint flavor than peppermint schnapps. Rarely green, the schnapps can also be much more potent, with some bottles reaching 100 proof, which exaggerates the taste. When using the two as substitutes for one another, you may have to adjust the mint liqueur and any other sweeteners in the recipe to create a well-balanced drink.