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The Grasshopper Cocktail: A Classic with a Wisconsin Twist

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Cocktails have a rich history and unique stories behind them, often reflecting the cultural influences and regional preferences of their time. One such cocktail that has stood the test of time is the Grasshopper. While it gained popularity in the mid-20th century, it continues to enchant cocktail enthusiasts to this day. In Wisconsin, particularly at the supper clubs and traditional lounges like At Random Cocktail Lounge and Bryant’s Cocktail Lounge, there is a delightful twist to this classic drink – the Grasshopper is an Ice Cream Cocktail. Join us on a journey to discover the history of the Grasshopper and its delicious ice cream rendition.

The Wisconsin grasshopper made with ice cream at At Random Cocktail Lounge in Milwaukee Wisconsin
The Grasshopper at At Random

Origins of the Grasshopper:

The Grasshopper cocktail is said to have originated in the early 1900s, with its exact birthplace still under debate. Some credit Nebraska as its birthplace, while others attribute its creation to Tujague's, a historic bar in New Orlean’s French Quarter. Regardless of its precise origins, the Grasshopper quickly gained popularity in the cocktail scene.

The Classic Grasshopper Recipe:

The traditional Grasshopper cocktail is a creamy, mint-flavored delight. It typically consists of equal parts green crème de menthe, white crème de cacao, and cream, which are shaken with ice and strained into a chilled cocktail glass. The result is a vibrant, pale green drink that is sweet, refreshing, and has a subtle hint of mint. Wayne Curtis described it beautifully as "a drink the color of a bridesmaid’s dress and which tastes like a Girl Scout cookie”.

At Random Cocktail Lounge and the Ice Cream Twist:

In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, there is a charming establishment known as the At Random Cocktail Lounge, which has been serving classic cocktails and specialty drinks since 1964. One of their standout favorites is the Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail. At Random takes the traditional Grasshopper recipe and adds a unique twist by incorporating vanilla ice cream into the mix.

Serving the Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail:

At Random Cocktail Lounge's Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail is an indulgent treat. The bartenders skillfully blend the classic Grasshopper ingredients with a generous scoop of creamy vanilla ice cream, creating a luscious, dessert-like concoction. The drink is then poured into a chilled glass, garnished with house made whipped cream, a cherry, and a butter cookie. It’s soda fountain meets cocktail lounge and it is delicious!

The Wisconsin Connection:

Wisconsin is renowned for its dairy industry, and it comes as no surprise that the Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail found a home in this state. By combining the classic cocktail with locally made vanilla ice cream, we bring together the best of Wisconsin's beverage and dairy traditions. The result is a drink that not only satisfies your palate but also celebrates the flavors and heritage of the region. Even if you don’t love dairy, we have a vegan version of the drink made with a locally made coconut/almond ice cream.

Do you LOVE the grasshopper? Make sure to swing by and grab one of our custom lapel pins designed by Pete Klockau of the Black Lagoon Room. Show off your love of the grasshopper to all!

The Grasshopper cocktail has endured for decades, and its evolution continues with delightful variations like the Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail at At Random Cocktail Lounge in Wisconsin. Whether you're a cocktail enthusiast or simply have a sweet tooth, this unique rendition is sure to impress. Next time you find yourself in Wisconsin, make sure to visit At Random and experience the creamy, minty goodness of the Grasshopper Ice Cream Cocktail—a true delight for your taste buds.

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