Impress your guests this holiday season with this easy homemade creme de menthe!
I’m sure you have someone in your family or circle of friends who has everything. They are impossible to shop for because they have it all!
Well, they don’t have this.
And by this, I mean a fresh, infused mint-flavored vodka that’s traditionally called crème de menthe. This homemade version is surprisingly quick to make and very delicious. You can give it away for gifts in small packages or just horde it for yourself.
As you might guess, this infusion starts with lots of fresh mint. I’m not sure you can actually overdo it here, but I would recommend using at least a packed cup of fresh mint per 750 milliliters of vodka.
To bring out the oils in the mint, whack the mint a few times with your hands. If you can smell it without trying, then you’re doing it right.
Add all of this mint to a glass container with the vodka. When it comes to vodka, I’ll be honest: You don’t need to use the nice stuff. A lower to mid-range vodka will get the job done since we are adding so much flavor to it.
Let this infusion sit overnight in the container and maybe give it a shake once or twice. If you let it sit much longer than that, it will actually start to develop some funky flavors.
A day will do the trick though!
After it sits, strain out all the mint leaves. It’s really important that you remove all the mint leaves, as any that are left will go rancid after a few days and ruin your drink!
If you try this infused vodka now it will be really intense. It will obviously be mint-flavored, but also be on the bitter side. It needs some sweetness to really make it a finished product.
To solve the bitter problem, just mix up a quick batch of mint simple syrup and add that to the vodka.
To make the syrup, add a cup of water and 1 1/2 cups of sugar to a small pot and bring it to a simmer.
Add yet more mint to this just to keep the mint flavors going.
Bring this all to a simmer and once the sugar is dissolved, remove it from the heat and let it cool down.
Then add all the syrup to your infused vodka and you’re all set.
You might notice that the color of this isn’t exactly appetizing. But it actually tastes great and you can drink it at this point if you want.
I recommend adding – literally – two drops of green food coloring, which will really make it really beautiful.
This drink's uses are many. Make a quick cocktail with a splash of the crème de menthe and club soda. My favorite use: Hot chocolate. SO good!
While you can horde this all to yourself, you can also package it in smaller jars and give it away as gifts. Once the mint leaves are filtered out, the drink will store fine for two months.
Nick had to drink a few of these just for quality control. I’m sure you understand. Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon profile.