Asking for a Grasshopper cocktail is today a TV series with two distinct acts. First is the order, accompanied by giggles and the feeling that one is intentionally enjoying a bit of a vintage suit. Monday comes with unexpected joy – being surprised that an old best friend cocktail your grandparents drank can be so delicious.
“Whenever anyone orders a Grasshopper, there’s this funny nostalgic moment of ‘Did you really order that? ”” Linden Pride, owner ofDante and Dante West Village in midtown Manhattan. “Inevitably, other people want to enjoy the drink, and often someone else will take the order.”
Those who want to join this dance between the goofy and the sincere have more options these days. The drink — often made with a dessert-like combination of ice cream, crème de cacao, and crème de menthe — is being added to more menus in cities across the United States. Some people like the classic recipe, but most give the drink a new twist.
Gage & Tollner, in Brooklyn, add one ounce of vodka to the mix. Version at Etérea, in the East Village, called Saltador (Spanish for “jumper”), and brought mezcal into the mix. Dante uses Branca Menta, the mint cousin of the Italian amaro Fernet Branca.
Grasshopper’s origins are murky. Although a repeated story says it was invented in New Orleans in the early 20th century, the drink didn’t become widely available until the 1950s.
Brian Bartels, owner of Settle Down Tavern, in Madison, Wis., suggested that Grasshopper’s new involvement could be a response to recent turmoil. “I think maybe people are embracing comfort more than ever, especially in the last two years,” he said.
John Troia, founder Spirit Tempus Fugit, a California distillery that makes crème de menthe and crème de cacao popular in craft cocktail bars, said the company has seen sales of crème de menthe increase 40% since the arrival of Covid. “I have also seen an increase in cocktail shows appearing in cocktail shows,” he added, “so maybe crème de menthe is having a little time.”
Mr. Bartels, a Wisconsin native, where Grasshopper has long lived in many of the state’s dinner clubs, is a longtime fan of the drink. “I would order Grasshopper anywhere I looked,” he said. “That’s my Achilles heel.”
So he accumulated a lot of wisdom when he decided to come up with his own rendition. His dish combines crème de menthe, crème do cacao, Kahlúa, vodka and almond milk, and topped with freshly ground black pepper. He admits that the formula is purportedly inappropriate.
In Emmett’s on Grove, a new restaurant in Greenwich Village with a dinner club atmosphere, the owner, Emmett Burke, has moved across the state of Wisconsin, serving the popular Midwestern drink. One drink requires half a gallon of vanilla ice cream and costs $18.
“The trick with the Grasshopper blend is that you have to make it stand,” says Mr. Burke. “If you mix too much, it’s like a smoothie.”
Drinks at Cobble Hill Restaurant in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, may be the strangest interpretation. Called Scorpion and the Grasshopper, it brings vodka, mezcal, Branca Menta, absinthe and mint to the regular recipe. Drinks are then served on shaved ice and garnished with a small scorpion, taken from bottles of a mezcal brand that the bar carries.
“The formerly live scorpion was an interesting talking point,” said Chad Vick, a bartender at the restaurant.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/24/dining/grasshopper-cocktail-resurgence.html The Return of the Grasshopper Cocktail