Monday, September 05, 2011

Getting Germane With St-Germain



About five years ago or so, I attended a tasting at a nearby liquor store, which included something I’d never heard of at the time – St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur. When the company representative began his spiel about the product, I was surprised that he wasn’t pushing me to immediately taste it, either on its own or in a cocktail – instead, oddly enough, he wanted me to smell it, which I did. It was then that I understood why he wanted me to take a sniff before sipping – the uniqueness of its aroma made me even more curious about its flavor. So, instead of him begging me to sample it in a cocktail, I was the one who implored him for a taste.

From that point on, I was smitten and have been a loyal customer ever since. You will always find at least one bottle of the stuff in my home – actually, one bottle in either my fridge or freezer and one gift set on the side, just in case I need to have a present ready for someone at the last minute. (The gift set, by the way, is quite nice as it includes a carafe and stirrer as well as a collection of cocktail recipes)

Some of my favorite drinks including St-Germain are the signature St-Germain cocktail, London Lemonade and something called The St-Germargarita. Here are their recipes:

The St-Germain Cocktail

This one is pretty easy to make as it is equal parts of St-Germain, club soda and Champagne in an ice-filled Collins glass; stir it up a bit and sip through a straw. For me, it’s the perfect was to spend cocktail hour on a sultry summer day.

London Lemonade

The London Lemonade is one that I happened to stumble upon at one of my favorite seafood restaurants in Manhattan; after sampling it for the first time, I asked my regular server to get me the recipe from the bartender and he supplied me with what follows:

Fill a pint glass or shaker with ice, then squeeze the juice from an entire lemon into it. Add 2 ounces of gin (the restaurant recommends Hendricks, but I prefer Bulldog), then 1 ounce of St-Germain and shake. Pour into an ice-filled Collins glass (or simply use the ice from your shaker/pint glass) and finally, top it all off with Champagne (i.e., any sparkling wine, preferably something dry).

The St-Germargarita

As you may have guessed, this is merely your basic margarita which uses St-Germain instead of triple sec, Cointreau or whatever it is you normally would use for a sweet liqueur in your recipe.

If you’ve never heard of or tried St-Germain in your cocktails, I strongly urge you to do so as soon as you possibly can. While it might be hyperbole to insist that it’s impossible to make a bad cocktail with St-Germain, I’ll maintain that even if you wanted to, you’d have to try really, really hard.

Are you on Facebook? If so, then you might want to consider visiting St-Germain’s Fan Page and adding them among your “Likes” because they have a tendency to post many other interesting cocktail recipes there as well.

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