If you need an amazing creme de menthe substitute you have come to the right place because I've listed the best options no matter the recipe! There are alcoholic and non-alcoholic alternatives so you can find what works for you. There is even an easy DIY crème de menthe recipe so you can make your own at home!
The Best Crème de Menthe Substitutes
Mint is one of the best flavors around to add to a sweet treat. Even in a cocktail! When making a fun-flavored green cocktail, crème de menthe is often the ingredient of choice. However, since it is a specialty liqueur you may not have it on hand.
Moreover, you may want to make a mocktail that doesn’t include alcohol. Whatever your need, this list of crème de menthe substitutes will help you make a delicious minty treat.
What is Crème De Menthe?
Crème De Menthe is a sweet mint-flavored liqueur. It can be found in either a green or white version. This dessert liqueur has a strong mint flavor and is quite sweet.
It originated back in 1885 in France and over a hundred years later it is still well loved. While crème de menthe can be enjoyed on its own it is mostly used in making specialty dessert cocktails.
In addition to dessert cocktails, crème de menthe is also used in making delicious desserts to eat! This mint-flavored liqueur is perfect for adding a strong flavor to frostings, truffles, brownies, and other decadent treats.
Best Substitutes with Alcohol
When making a vintage cocktail like a Grasshopper (or grasshopper brownies!) you will want to find a substitute that has a similar flavor and alcohol content. While there is not a huge selection of mint-flavored liqueurs, there are enough options to find a good substitute.
1. Peppermint Schnapps
For a simple 1:1 substitution, peppermint schnapps is your best choice. This mint-flavored liqueur shares a similar flavor profile with crème de menthe. However, while crème de menthe is often used for its green color, peppermint schnapps is clear.
Clear peppermint schnapps is a great substitute for a drink that you don’t want to be green but still want the mint flavor. Moreover, it is versatile because you can simply add a drop or two of green food coloring if you decide you want to make a green drink.
Another difference between these two liqueurs is that peppermint schnapps is often less sweet than crème de menthe. However, it often has a higher alcohol content. Therefore, the overall mint flavor is more pronounced.
If you prefer a less sugary drink with a strong mint flavor, this is a great alternative. If it’s not a sweet enough substitute you can add some extra simple syrup for a wonderfully strong and sweet drink.
2. Vodka + Peppermint Extract
If you don’t have peppermint schnapps or crème de menthe, you can make an easy substitution with vodka and peppermint extract. This is a great choice if you don’t use mint liquor regularly. It is also a good choice if you are only making one or two cocktails.
The measurements for this substitution will depend on the recipe you are following.
Replace the crème de menthe in your recipe with the same measurement of vodka. Then add half the amount of simple syrup and a small amount of peppermint extract.
For example, use the following measurements to replace 1 ounce of crème de menthe:
- 1 ounce of vodka.
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- 1-2 drops of peppermint extract (start with 1 and then add more until you find your desired taste)
3. DIY Crème De Menthe
If you can’t find crème de menthe in the store and you plan to use it frequently, you can always make your own crème de menthe. This takes a bit of time. So, if you are looking for a quick substitution this will not the be option for you.
To make your own Crème De Menthe gather the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of Vodka
- ¾ cup Fresh Mint Leaves
- ½ cup of Water
- ½ cup of Sugar
- Green Food Coloring (start with 1 -2 drops)
These measurements will make about a cup and a half of crème de menthe. You can easily double or triple it if you’d like to have more for storage.
How To Make Homemade Crème de Menthe
- Begin by infusing the vodka with mint leaves. Place vodka and washed mint leaves in a glass jar. Tear up the mint leaves as you add them so that they are in smaller pieces.
- Cover the jar tightly and place it in a cool dark place. Let sit for at least 48 hours. A couple of days later prepare your simple syrup.
- Add water and sugar to a pot and bring to a boil. Lower the seat and let simmer until the sugar is fully dissolved and the volume is about half of what you started with. Turn off the heat and let the syrup cool.
- Once your simple syrup has completely cooled, pour it into the jar of mint and vodka. Close the lid and place the jar somewhere to sit for (at least) another day. *The longer you let it sit, the stronger the flavor.
- When you are ready to finalize your homemade crème de menthe, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the mint leaves. Pour it through the strainer at least two times. The natural color will be a light caramel brown.
- To complete your crème de menthe, put the strained liqueur in a fresh glass jar or bottle. Add 1 drop of green food coloring to start. If it’s not dark enough, add another. Store in a cool dark place and use in a 1:1 ratio for any recipe that calls for crème de menthe.
Best Non-Alcoholic Substitutes
Crème de menthe is often used as a color and flavor enhancer in desserts. In baked desserts, such as brownies, the alcohol will cook out. Therefore, you will be left with the flavor but not the alcohol in your dessert.
However, if you want to make a minty fresh frosting or filling the alcohol will still be present. This is sometimes perfect for a boozy birthday dessert. On other occasions though, you may not want the alcohol content. Moreover, if you don’t drink you might want to enjoy a mocktail with the same minty taste.
Whatever your needs may be, there are several non-alcoholic substitutes for crème de menthe. Check out the list below to find your perfect substitute.
4. Crème De Menthe Syrup
Many companies like Torani make crème de menthe syrups. These syrups have the same flavor and color as the real thing but without the alcohol. If you plan to use crème de menthe frequently, this is a great investment. The perfect choice for making any recipe into an easy non-alcoholic version.
Use in a simple 1:1 ratio.
5. Peppermint Coffee Creamer
When the holidays roll around and peppermint creamer is everywhere, consider buying an extra one for baking! Peppermint coffee creamer has a similar flavor to crème de menthe. However, it will not be green. If you want the green coloring, simply add a bit of food coloring.
In addition, the consistency will be a bit different. The creamy consistency of coffee creamer is a great substitute for recipes that call for the addition of milk or cream.
Start with a 1:1 ratio. Add more if you need a stronger flavor.
6. Peppermint Extract
Keeping peppermint extract on hand is an easy way to add flavor to any recipe. Rather than just adding the extract directly to the recipe though, dilute it with water. This will provide a more exact flavor exchange and consistency for the recipe.
Simply measure water in a 1:1 ratio for crème de menthe and then add the peppermint extract. The amount of extract you use will vary depending on how much water you use. A general guideline is ¼ teaspoon of peppermint extract for 2 tablespoons of water.
7. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is another great alternative. Like peppermint extract, add it to water before using it in your recipe. Again, measure the water in a 1:1 exchange for the crème de menthe. Then add the oil.
As with extract, the measurements will vary depending on the brand of oil and the recipe. However, a good place to start is with 1 drop of peppermint oil for every 1 -2 tablespoons of water.
8. Peppermint Tea
Peppermint tea is a good alternative to crème de menthe when you want a softer peppermint flavor. To prepare the tea, steep 1-2 tea bags.
The longer you let it steep and the more tea bags you use, the stronger the flavor. Start with using the tea in a 1:1 ratio for crème de menthe. In most cases, the flavor will be milder compared to the original recipe. If you want a stronger flavor, you can add more tea. However, be mindful that it doesn’t disrupt the consistency of your recipe.
Your cocktails, mocktails, sweets, or treats will be absolutely delicious with the right crème de menthe substitute! Let us know how your recipe turns out by sending us a message below!
Creme de Menthe Substitute: Peppermint Schnapps (+ More Great Alternatives Including Alcohol-Free Swaps!)
Best Creme de Menthe Substitutes with Alcohol
- 1 oz peppermint Schnapps
- 1 oz vodka (plus ½ ounce simple syrup & a drop of peppermint extract)
Best Crème de Menthe Substitutes without Alcohol
- 1 oz Crème de Menthe syrup
- 1 oz peppermint coffee creamer
Best Creme de Menthe Substitutes with Alcohol
- Use peppermint Schnapps in an equal 1:1 ratio as a creme de menthe substitute for drinks and recipes.1 oz peppermint Schnapps
- Combine 1 ounce of vodka with a ½ ounce of simple syrup and a drop of peppermint extract, then use in a 1:1 ratio as a creme de menthe substitute.1 oz vodka
Best Crème de Menthe Substitutes without Alcohol
- Creme de menthe syrup is a great alcohol-free alternative for the liqueur that can be used in equal parts.1 oz Crème de Menthe syrup
- Another great substitute is to use peppermint coffee creamer in any drink or recipe (that would work well with a dairy-based alternative). It can also be used in a 1:1 ratio.1 oz peppermint coffee creamer
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!