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Colleen Graham

Heavy on the Mint

By November 14, 2012

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One of the favorite flavors of the season is mint, typically of the sweet liqueur variety rather than the herb that is associated more often with warmer months. There are a handful of drinks that use not one but two mint spirits - crème de menthe and peppermint schnapps - and on occasion these are a success, sometimes more of an acquired taste saved for the true mint seeking mouth.

Hot Peppermint Patty

Before we get to the drinks we should ask a question: Why two mint spirits in one drink? The simple answer is that crème de menthe is sweeter (not creamy) and more of a mellow mint while peppermint schnapps is drier and has a considerably more snappy punch. I think the idea of using both is to get a balance of those aspects, however the majority of the time it just doesn't work out.

Let's look at the good and bad among duo mint drinks...

  • Hot Peppermint Patty - Let's be honest, this schnapps/menthe combination is a lot of mint and  for most of us it will require a heavy ingredient to offset that. Hot chocolate is the perfect candidate for the job and, honestly, this is the only drink in this double mint list that I will have again. It is simply delicious.
  • Foot Tapper Sting - Not only does this drink double up on the mint with a whiskey background, but it reminds us of some of the more interesting inspirations for drinks that we come up with. Three ingredients, heavy on the mint, it's a pretty good, really simple drink.
  • Pravda Mintini - This is the drink that shows off these two spirits in their purest form because there is nothing else in it except for a clear vodka. Mint is the only flavor in it and it is strong. If that is what you're looking for, this may be the drink for you. For the majority of us, it's probably best to pass on this one.
  • Santa Shot - There are shooters that taste worse than this one and it's not really that it is horrible,  it is just too much mint. Granted, grenadine does a fair job of adding another dimension to it, but it is two against one here. On the other hand, it is also a shot and many were designed more for the gimmick and after effect rather than a quality in taste, so we can take that into account and enjoy this fun shooter if we like.

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