Crème de menthe (French for mint cream) is a sweet, mint-flavored alcoholic beverage. Its flavor primarily derives from Corsican mint or dried [peppermint]]. It is available commercially in a colorless version (called "white") and a green version (colored by the mint leaves, or by added coloring if made from extract instead of leaves). Both varieties have similar flavor and are interchangeable in recipes, except where color is important.
Crème de menthe is an ingredient in several cocktails, such as the Grasshopper and the Stinger. It is also served as an after-dinner drink and used in cooking as a flavoring (see Mint chocolate).
The traditional formula steeps dried peppermint or Corsican mint leaves in grain alcohol for several weeks (creating a naturally green color), followed by filtration and addition of sugar.
It gives its name to the sixth chapter of D.H. Lawrence's Women in Love and is therein mentioned as Rupert Birkin's drink: "Birkin was drinking something green [...]"
In Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle a bartender invents a cocktail on the day of the bombing of Hiroshima called the End of The World Delight—crème de menthe in a hollow pineapple with whipped cream and a cherry on top.
In Radclyffe Hall's The Well of Loneliness, Jamie, a frustrated lesbian musician, becomes an alcoholic who prefers to drink crème de menthe "...because it kept out the cold in the winter, and because, being pepperminty and sweet, it reminded her of the bulls-eyes at Beedles."
In Dodie Smith's I Capture the Castle, Rose drinks crème de menthe after going for a walk with Neil. He accuses her of drinking it because it contrasts with her hair. Cassandra later drinks it in the pub.
In Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novels, Poirot is shown to favor liqueurs in general, and crème de Menthe in particular, as his drink of choice.
In Ian Fleming's Thunderball, a crème de menthe frappé (with a maraschino cherry on top) is Emilio Largo's favorite drink.
In James Welch's Winter in the Blood, Agnes is drinking crème de menthe when the narrator talks to her at a bar in Havre.
In Ernst Jünger'sStorm of Steel, he describes keeping a bottle in a limestone niche of his trench shelter in WWI. "...my orderlies and I swore by it."
In the 1990 gangster film Goodfellas main character Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta) drinks a champagne glass of crème de menthe at a party before going to serve a long prison sentence. This is considered a traditional final alcoholic drink among mobsters before going off to serve time in jail.
In the series Black Books, episode 2 'Manny's First Day', Bernard who is drunk at the time, steals a glass of crème de menthe from an elderly woman and gives it to Manny.
In the Lee Mack series Not Going Out, Lee and Tim toast Tim's recently deceased Nan with a glass of crème de menthe when Lee fails to find any whisky. Tim then proceeds to drink it in the pub later in the episode.
In the 2002 film 28 Days Later Jim and Selena find themselves at Frank's flat and Frank, on seeing other survivors, asks his daughter to open the crème de menthe, presumably the only remaining alcohol available.