Crème de menthe
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 a digestif and used in cooking as a flavoring (see Mint chocolate). It is also a primary component of the popular South African shooter known as the Springbokkie.
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's Storm 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 Marguerite Duras's The Sailor from Gibraltar, the narrator was drinking iced coffees, cremes de menthe and Ice-cream in a cafeteria, while his girlfriend was out seeing Florence's tourist sights.
- In "Funny Girl" (1968), Omar Sharif orders Barbra Streisand a Creme De Menthe Frappe' while traveling on the ocean liner to Europe.
- 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 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.
- In Sabrina (1954) Humphrey Bogart says to Audrey Hepburn if he can't turn the light on he may make a martini with Creme de menthe.
- In the series Breaking Bad, season three, episode 13, Full Measure, the character Gale Boetticher offers Gus Fring a crème de menthe when Gus visits him at home.
- In the series Black Books, episode 2 Manny's First Day, Bernard (who is drunk at the time) inadvertently 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 episode Mrs McGinty's Dead of the British Television Drama Agatha Christie's Poirot George, the Bultler of a London gentlemen's club, serves a glass of crème de menthe to famous Detective Hercule Poirot, whereas in the episode The Affair at the Victory Ball he orders crème de banane.
- In the series Mad Men, season one, episode 12, "Nixon v. Kennedy," the Sterling Cooper workers throw an election night office party. When they run out of alcohol, they resort to crème de menthe.
- Sergei Rachmaninoff, although otherwise a teetotaler, found that a glass of crème de menthe steadied his nerves when playing the technically demanding piano score in the twenty-fourth variation of his Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. He nicknamed the twenty-fourth the "Crème de Menthe Variation."
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