10 Crème de Menthe Substitutes [For Non-Alcoholics & Cocktails]

What sounds better than finishing a meal or kicking off cocktail hour with the cool, warming sensation of peppermint?

If this sounds heavenly to you, you must try the ingredient every bartender keeps on standby: Crème de Menthe.

There are few things that compare to peppermint’s powerful flavor and exhilarating taste, making it a hallmark of delicious cocktails.

But what happens if you’re out of Crème de Menthe and can’t find more in stores? While Crème de Menthe tastes like it’s irreplaceable, there are many ingredients you can use instead in a pinch.

Try Torani or peppermint coffee creamer for Non-alcoholic substitutes. Peppermint extract, peppermint oil, and peppermint tea make good all-natural substitutions that are also nonalcoholic. For cocktails, try Smirnoff Peppermint Twist, vodka, and Phillips White Peppermint Alcoholic Cordial. For gluten-free substitutions, try Torani, peppermint extract, peppermint tea, or peppermint oil. If you’re looking for a Crème de Menthe substitute in baking, try Torani Peppermint Syrup or Peppermint Schnapps. 

In this article, we’ll review some of the best Crème de Menthe substitutions and what drinks they work best with.

While each is slightly different from the real thing, all taste reminiscent of Crème de Menthe and make fantastic substitutions.

Crème de Menthe Substitutes

1. Peppermint Coffee Creamer

People are often surprised to find that crème de menthe doesn’t actually contain cream!

You can use this substitution in coffee and hot chocolate. However, if you would like an option with alcohol try adding a bit of peppermint schnapps or vodka.

An advantage of buying peppermint coffee creamer from the store is that you can look for delicious flavor variations, like chocolate mint.

2. Peppermint Extract

Try using ¼- ½ teaspoon of peppermint extract as your go-to, non-alcoholic crème de menthe substitute.

Because of its strength, you only need a little bit of peppermint extract for an all-encompassing mint flavor.

Additionally, this substitute offers a multitude of health benefits. It’s known for aiding indigestion, headaches, and treating skin conditions. Peppermint extract is also gluten-free.

Try using peppermint extract in a cup of hot water for tea or add a few drops to a cocktail.

You can even use it to add a peppermint edge to baked goods by adding to the dough before baking.

3. Peppermint Oil

Like peppermint extract, peppermint oil is a healthy, non-alcoholic substitution for crème de menthe. Its potency allows you to only use a few drops for flavor.

This substitute has a cool, minty flavor that’s strong without being overwhelming. Try adding a few drops to cocktails, like a mojito.

For a nonalcoholic option, try using peppermint oil in hot chocolate and milkshakes or even in ice cream.

Peppermint Oil is a healthy, non-alcoholic substitution for crème de menthe

4. Peppermint Tea

If you’re out of mint leaves and are looking for a healthier option, try using a bag of peppermint tea.

Peppermint tea is a healthy option because it contains no sugar, reduces headaches, and is gluten-free.

To steep in cold drinks, let the tea bag sit overnight. If you want to speed up the process, try steeping in hot water and then refrigerating.

Best Crème De Menthe Substitutions For Cocktails

If you’re having a cocktail party and realize you’re out of Crème de Menthe at the last minute, don’t worry!

There are plenty of alcoholic substitutes for Crème de Menthe that pack the same flavorful punch.

Best Crème De Menthe Substitutions For Cocktails

We’ll talk about some of the best options in this section.

5. Smirnoff Peppermint Twist

For a more pronounced peppermint flavor and a less intense taste of alcohol, try using Smirnoff Peppermint Twist Vodka.

Surprisingly, this substitution is less sweet than peppermint schnapps, which makes it great for a subdued peppermint enhancement.

The burn of vodka complements the natural sharpness of peppermint. Try adding to hot chocolate for both a cool and warming experience or drink it as is.

Since they’re comparable in alcohol content, you can use what the recipe calls for. Just be mindful that vodka is less sweet. If you’re looking for a sweeter cocktail, try a 3:4 ratio.

6. Peppermint Infused Gin

If you don’t like the strong taste of vodka, try blending six peppermint candies with eight ounces of gin.

The pine-like flavor of gin works well with the coolness of peppermint, making it an underrated holiday cocktail staple.

Peppermint Infused Gin can be a good substitute if you don't like the strong taste of vodka

Using candy gives this substitute an authentically sweet taste while not being overpowering.

In addition to the unique taste, infusing gin with peppermint candy results in a festive soft pink liquid.

7. Mint-Infused Vodka

In the spirit of infused spirits (pun intended!), try steeping one cup of mint leaves to two cups of vodka.

This is a healthier option than buying peppermint-flavored vodka because you can control how much sugar is added.

Additionally, you get to choose the variety of mint leaves you use, giving you more control over flavor.

You can try adding other herbs for an original twist or adding other ingredients like peppermint syrup for sweetness.

Mint-Infused Vodka is a healthier option than peppermint-flavored vodka

Using fresh herbs also endows your drink with natural health benefits like Vitamin A, Iron, and antioxidants.

8. Phillips White Peppermint Alcoholic Cordial

Like crème de menthe, Phillips White Peppermint is a sweet, distilled spirit that carries notes of mint.

This substitute differs slightly due to its herbal base and works well as a mixer for gin, rum, or whisky.

The only downside to this option is that it can be tricky to find in stores, so try ordering online.

Try using any of these substitutes in this recipe to make a delicious grasshopper pie!

9. Peppermint Schnapps

If you’re looking for something with a kick, try using peppermint schnapps. With more than double the alcohol content than crème de menthe, you’ll have to use this substitution sparingly.

The taste is often compared to candy cane with a sharp acidic aftertaste. Its strong flavor is a great addition to martinis, eggnog, and even hot chocolate.

Try this recipe to make a festive Holiday Cholate Candy Cane Martini. Peppermint Schnapps is an interchangeable substitute with crème de menthe and yields the same sweetness.

When baking, use the same amount that the recipe notes for crème de menthe.

10. Torani

The same syrup used in your favorite lattes, Torani is an apt substitute for crème de menthe in a pinch.

In addition to being nonalcoholic, this option is also gluten-free – though it has a considerable amount of sugar.

While Torani makes a flavorful coffee, I’ve found that baking with it subdues its peppermint flavor.

To make sure your desserts are perfectly minty, try adding a teaspoon of peppermint extract in addition to this substitute.

Torani is a gluten-free and non alcoholic substitute for baking

Since Torani packs an abundance of sweetness, you can use a 2:3 ratio when substituting for creme de menthe.

How To Choose The Best Crème de Menthe Substitute?

For more health-conscious substitutes, opt for peppermint extract, peppermint oil, or peppermint tea. Each of these options has little sugar and carries tremendous health benefits.

If you’re looking for a boozy additive, try gin, vodka, or peppermint schnapps. Those looking for a sugar rush should try Torani or peppermint coffee creamer.

The Health Benefits Of Peppermint

No matter how you use it, peppermint yields numerous health benefits. Due to its herbal compounds, peppermint is renowned for aiding in digestion and soothing upset stomachs.

The menthol in peppermint is proven to ease headaches and migraines while dually thwarting nausea.

Additionally, peppermint is great to use as a home remedy for colds because it eases sinus pressure and congestion.

Making peppermint a part of your daily diet can help increase energy levels. Though experts have yet to prove the exact process, repeated exposure to peppermint increases alertness during the day.

The result of this increased alertness is often an improved mood. Fortunately, any of our substitutions can give you these benefits. Consuming these substitutes regularly can improve your health.

If you decide to incorporate these ingredients into your regular diet, be mindful of sugar and alcohol content. Peppermint extract, oil, and tea are the healthiest options for routine consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Flavor Is Crème De Menthe?

Corsican mint is the primary ingredient in Crème de Menthe, which gives it a strong, minty flavor.

Additionally, the mint is infused with grain alcohol, which yields a powerful aftertaste.

Contrary to its name, there is no dairy in crème de menthe. Instead, crème denotes the high quantity of sugar that’s added to give it a distinctive sweetness.

Does Crème De Menthe Expire?

Crème de Menthe is made from grain alcohol and does not actually contain cream, despite its name.

Because of these properties, the shelf life of crème de menthe is indefinite. If you notice the color or flavor is off, it’s safest to throw away the bottle.

Additionally, it is not necessary to refrigerate crème de menthe. As with any hard liquor, it can be stored at room temperature.

Is Crème de Menthe Good For Digestion?

Crème de Menthe is wonderful for digestion because of its high mint content. Mint works as a digestive aid by strengthening digestive organs and triggering digestive enzymes.

Its beneficial digestive properties make it great for an after-dinner cocktail.

Final Considerations

Peaking in the twentieth century, Crème de Menthe is a favorite old-fashioned addition to any cocktail or dessert. However, its vintage notoriety can make it difficult to find in stores.

Fortunately, there are many substitutions that recreate the intense flavors of Crème de Menthe.

The variety of substitutes gives you the option to control how sweet or minty you want to make your drink or pastry.

Additionally, you don’t have to sacrifice health benefits for flexibility if you can’t find Crème de Menthe in stores.

Luckily, many substitutes carry similar health properties to Crème de Menthe by using peppermint or peppermint extract.

This old favorite offers a multitude of possibilities for adding unique flavors to new dishes.

By utilizing the much-lauded flavor of peppermint, you can add an edge to virtually any dish.

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