Review: Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao and Creme de Menthe

Review: Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao and Creme de Menthe


Quick, when’s the last time you had a Grasshopper? Pink Squirrel? Brandy Alexander?

While some things never come back into vogue, for classics like these, it seems inevitable that hipsters will once again be guzzling these things by the gallon — and probably in hollowed-out coconuts and pineapples.

Creme de Cacao and Creme de Menthe are typically purchased — if they’re purchased at all — in the cheapest form available. But Petaluma, Calif.-based Tempus Fugit Spirits is dead-set on elevating the category with this pair of artisan liqueurs, recreated from well-researched historical recipes and high-end, natural ingredients (no oils or essences… or, yech, chemical flavorings here).

Thoughts follow.

Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao – Crafted from distilled raw cocoa, then flavored with additional cocoa and whole vanilla beans. A shade of light brown in color, the nose offers rich cocoa powder character, touched with the essence of barbecue spices — and other spice rack staples, including rosemary and thyme. Dark chocolate notes win out on the palate, as a dessert-friendly amalgam of cinnamon and vanilla wash over the body. By taking the focus off of pure sugar and keeping it locked in the baking cabinet and the chocolate bar, this creme de cacao is an easy winner in a maligned category. 48 proof. A / $31 

Tempus Fugit Creme de Menthe – An even more maligned category, demolished by the downfall of peppermint schnapps. But Tempus Fugit is undaunted. This liqueur distilled from winter wheat, then flavored with real peppermint and spearmint, plus added botanicals (in keeping with historical recipes). The result is both traditionally minty and surprisingly piney on the nose, leading into gentle peppermint candy notes with touches of vanilla extract and citrus peel emerging late in the game. An excellent digestif, but a bit syrupy for continued sipping. 56 proof. A- / $31

Tempus Fugit Creme de Menthe




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.


  1. Alex on September 12, 2018 at 12:31 pm

    Gotta say, I just bought a bottle of the Tempus Fugit creme de cacao (for around $39 with tax) and after bringing it home and doing a blind taste test in glencairns with a half decade old bottle Dekuyper’s, it’s not THAT big a difference. After making a 20th century with both and doing a blind taste test I found a slight difference in flavor, but nothing terribly dramatic.

  2. Hilray Cheramie on June 20, 2019 at 11:32 am

    If you are interested in Brandy Alexanders,Pink Squirrels,or grasshoppers then if you are ever in New Orleans try Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse which now features all these great classics!!!

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