When coming up with new ideas for Cocktail O'Clock, I always love trying to find ways to incorporate small-batch or artisanal liqueurs and spirits into recipes. Sometimes it means discovering new brands to share with all of you fans and readers out there. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it.
St-Germain is one of our favorite liqueurs to use when mixing cocktails here at EDF -- besides being absolutely delicious, it is also incredibly versatile. Its mild sweet, fruity flavor mixes well with almost any spirit and enhances different flavor notes. We also recently learned that it has about half the sugar content of other liqueurs, which makes it great for mixing with even sweeter bases, like Champagne.
If you haven't tried St-Germain, you may recognize its unique French-inspired bottle. The liqueur itself is French, and it is made from tiny white elderflower blossoms (which are harvested by hand and carried by bicycle by farmers in the French countryside). The quaint story and elegant branding of the product certainly sells it for us.
The elderflower liqueur is made in small batches. Each bottle is numbered and can have slight differences in flavor. There are notes of stone fruit and grapefruit -- even lychee. I like to play up those flavor notes of St-Germain when mixing drinks with it, instead of highlighting the floral and more perfumey flavors it also has. Try experimenting with different fruit juices, especially citrus, or apple, white or rose wine, and really any spirit you have on hand.
The recipe for one of our favorite cocktails featuring St-Germain can be found after the jump.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine 2 ounces Gin (we like Hendrick's for this cocktail because of its cucumber notes), 1 ounce St-Germain, and a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice. Shake well and strain into a martini glass or serve on the rocks with a cucumber slice. If this drink is a bit too strong for your taste, top it off with a splash of sparking water.