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Friday, March 16, 2012

Homemade Creme de Menthe and Basil Mint Chocolate Shamrock Shakes

Recently I came across a couple of different recipes for making homemade creme de menthe; with St Patrick's day right around the corner and visions of shamrock shakes clouding my judgement, how could I say no.

Both recipes are great in their own right. The first is very much a knock-off of the classic green, bottled creme de menthe and only takes minutes to make. While the other is a more refined, upscale, sipping (if you will) creme de minth. If you are short on time go with the quick option and you won't be disappointed.

For the longer, steeping version I used natural cane sugar my sister brought back from Hawaii for me (another successful secret ingredient!) and I opted to let the color be natural rather than fake green. This method takes 2 days for steeping but the result is a subtle, almost caramel-ly mint liqueur. In both cases I preferred these chilled and opted to keep in the refrigerator for storage.

Now the questions is what to do with the creme de minth. This time of year it only makes sense that a shamrock shake is warranted. But rarely can I stick with the easy options; I wasn't looking to make a difficult recipe- just to elevate this yummy shake. The simple addition of fresh basil added to layers of mint shake and chocolate cookies and you've got a fricken delicious dessert!
Choose your creme de menthe version and then decide what to do with it. You can't really go wrong. It's fat and happy alcohol treats for any time of year.

Fat and Happy Food Blog Tips and Techniques:  Make boozy minty shakes and frozen ice cream pies or add a little to cookies, cakes, coffee or hot chocolate; be creative with it!

Homemade Creme de Menthe and Basil, Mint Chocolate Shamrock Shakes

Quick Homemade Creme de Menthe
slightly modified from Boulder Locavore 

2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vodka or grain alcohol
1 tbls peppermint extract
3-5 drops green food coloring

Heat the water and sugar over the medium heat until sugar is dissolved, allow to cool. Mix in the alcohol, peppermint extract and the food coloring. Enjoy immediately. 

Two day Smooth and Luscious Homemade Creme de Minth
slightly modified from Serious Eats

3/4 cup mint leaves
3/4 cup vodka
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
green food coloring, optional

Place 1/2 cup of mint leaves with the vodka, seal and shake. Place in a cool dark place and let steep for 1 day.

Heat the sugar and water over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Strain the vodka mixture. To the vodka add in the sugar water and the remaining mint leaves, torn up. Allow the mixture to steep in a cool dark place for 1 day.

Strain the mixture, add the green food coloring if you prefer. Enjoy chilled.

Basil Mint Shamrock Shakes with Oreo Layers

This is a loose recipe- adjust to your liking!

Vanilla ice cream
Creme de minth
Fresh basil

In a blender add few scoops of ice cream along with a small handful of fresh basil (no stems) and a good pour of creme de menthe. I used about 1/4 cup of creme de menthe to 1 cup of ice cream along with 5 large basil leaves. 

You can add milk if you want, however I prefer to just add in more booze! Adjust to your thickness preference

Crush a handful of Oreo cookies, then layer in a pretty glass between the basil mint shake. Enjoy immediately!


  1. How long will the version with fresh mint leaves keep? I have a LOT of fresh mint that needs to be used up, and I would like to give out some homemade creme de menthe around Christmastime, but that is about 5 months away :)

    If I keep it in the fridge, will it be ok for that long? Or will it go bad/get a funny taste?



  2. Hi Lopa,
    As long as you strain out the mint leaves you should have no problem keeping this until the holidays. I still have mine in the fridge and it it tastes great; be sure to seal it tightly to avoid any other refrigerator sells.
    Good Luck!



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