The story of how the dessert came to be is unique — it didn’t come by way of a cooking contest or random experimentation, nor was it created by a marketing department somewhere.
According to the newspaper article published below, it all started in the late 1940s, when a man named Lawrence Pugh, who worked for the Dutch liqueur distillery Bols, learned a survey had found that chocolate and mint were Americans’ favorite flavors.
He decided to see if he could combine the two in a cocktail, so he mixed a little of his company’s green creme de menthe with some deep brown creme de cacao… and got something that tasted great, but looked terrible.
He took the problem to the team at Bols, and they actually went ahead and invented a version of the liquor without the chocolate color. “So we made the first white cacao,” said Pugh. “That led to the birth of the Grasshopper cocktail.”
Soon thereafter, his wife got involved, and came up with the idea of turning the cocktail into an actual dessert. Read more about that below, and get their original recipe, too!
Couple create Grasshopper Pie: A dessert with a kick
By Camille Glen – The Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) July 28, 1966
The Lawrence Pughs of Louisville, Kentucky, have creative palates. Pugh, a native of England, is a chemist. He likes his job so well that it is also his hobby. Mrs Pugh says that more often than not one corner of their kitchen is turned into a lab for blending flavors and mixing liqueurs.
In 1949, Pugh concocted the Grasshopper Cocktail. “The American people seemed to be very fond of chocolate-covered mints,” says Pugh, “so I blended the chocolate and mint liqueurs and found it delicious.” Because of the creme de menthe, the drink was green, so it was dubbed the Grasshopper.
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As the Grasshopper was most refreshing when served very cold, it occurred to Mrs. Pugh to thicken the formula with marshmallows, put it in a chocolate crumb crust and freeze it.
Presto! “The Grasshopper” had been transformed into a pie. Good culinary news travels fast. A friend found the Grasshopper Pie in a West Coast magazine not long ago, and the fastidious Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia, has listed it on its dessert menu.
MORE: Delicious peppermint fudge with crushed candy canes is an extra festive Christmas treat
Get the classic how-to for this chocolate-mint dessert
Here you will find the Pughs’ recipe for the original Grasshopper Pie recipe, which they served frozen. We made a few modifications to allow for modern marshmallow sizes, and filled out the instructions with a bit more detail.
For the purists, however, below our recipe card, you will find the original newspaper clipping of the recipe, exactly as published.
See the 60s original Grasshopper Pie
Here’s a clipping of the 1966 original Grasshopper Pie recipe, exactly as published.
ALSO TRY: Quick creamy chocolate mint pie (1985)
For those who don’t want their socks knocked off by a pie:
OliveNation Creme de Menthe Flavor, Non Alcoholic … Olive Nation’s Creme de Menthe extract has a wonderful mint flavor with hints of dark chocolate and vanilla. Use it in baking, beverages and ice cream.
One recipe calls for Oreo Cookies another calls for FFV Chocolate Wafers. Famous Foods of Virginia Chocolate wafers are hard to find but they still out there….somewhere. Until this, I only had the Nestlé’s versions – 2 of them. Great picture, btw.