4 St. Germain Cocktails for Fall

Drink Lists St. Germain cocktails
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4 St. Germain Cocktails for Fall

Although it screams “made by monks in a Medieval hill town,” St. Germain liqueur is a baby: The Bacardi-owned brand launched in 2007, at which it promptly began scoring awards and getting credit for reviving the stagnant “weird herb and flower liqueurs” category of the bevvie-world. Its unique aromatics and flowery flavor come from elderflowers (Sambucus nigra), a woody shrub or small tree that grows widely in Europe and North America, that’s prized for its huge panicles of fragrant white blossoms, its purple-black berries, which have antiviral properties, and, for some, its capacity for aiding and abetting evil deeds: If you are a Harry Potter fan you know this riverside-loving tree was the source of the mythical unbeatable wand that could only be acquired by murder. (Rowling’s Elder-phobia might be related to a childhood cough syrup issue; in actual Scandinavian mythology the elder tree is a sacred species believed to contain a healing “mother” type spirit, though there are also old beliefs that witches could transform themselves into elders. Either way, the tree’s not especially murderous.)

Meanwhile, if you prefer to slay ‘em with your mixology skills, good news: While elderflowers come into season in spring, they happen to have a flavor profile that compliments a lot of fall-palate flavors, so if you’re in need of a new house cocktail, grabbing an attractive, deco-style bottle of St. Germain is an easy way to add a twist to many simple things you probably already make. Some pairing-friends of the elderflower include: Pears (in fact, poaching these guys in an elderflower syrup is divine for dessert, and you can reserve the syrup for a decadent not-so-simple syrup for the bar). Late berries love it. It’s happy with nuts like hazel or pistachio. It’s a fan of apples, ginger, and vanilla. And it loves tart flavors from grapefruit to rhubarb to sorrel. What this means for us is that the range of combinations is pretty all-emcompassing and you can use St. Germain to add a floral, slightly nostalgic note to lots of regular-Joe cocktails, and make them feel new and different but still accessible. To start with, a dash of this stuff in a glass of champagne (or cava) is delightful. But play around! Your bar revamp starts here.

St. Germain recommends the following summer to fall transition drinks

Traditional Elderfashioned

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Ingredients
2 Parts Bourbon or Straight Rye Whiskey
½ Part St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Method: Stir ingredients in an old-fashioned glass, add ice… and stir again if you are a revolutionary. Add an orange twist.


Le Roi Robert

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Ingredients
2 Parts Blended Scotch or Single Malt Scotch
½ Part St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
½ Part Carpano Antica Vermouth
2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Method: Stir over ice and strain into a chilled coupe glass, all with head held high. Deign to garnish with a brandied or Luxardo Maraschino cherry. (Note: your mild-mannered reporter feels that if you are not a Luxardo cherry you have no place at the bar, but we respect your loyalties whatever they be.)


Left Bank Martini

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Ingredients
1 ½ Parts Gin
1 Part St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
1 Part Dry White Wine or Sauvignon Blanc

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled martini cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime zest.


Rob Collins

rob collins.jpg

Ingredients
2 Parts Gin or Vodka
1 Part St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
¾ Part Fresh-squeezed Lemon Juice (Meyer lemon is amazing if it is available in your area)
Top with Club Soda

Method: Shake first three ingredients with ice and strain the mixture into a Collins glass over fresh ice and top with soda. Garnish with a lemon or orange twist, and, if one wishes, finish with a sour cherry on top.


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