HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >

St. Germain Elderflower Liquer

lynnlato Apr 10, 2009 02:39 PM

I just returned from a wknd trip to nyc and we hit several restaurants and lounge/bar places and a began to notice a recurring theme on their cocktail menus - St. Germain Elderflower liquer. It was in everything. I had some amazing cocktails, including a pear cosmo at Bar Boulud, the mosquito at The Rose Bar @ Gramercy Park Hotel and red pepper, red pepper at Pegu Club. All were exquisite. I also saw many cocktails made with lillet blanc, a favorite summer treat for me.

I know very little about St. Germain and am thinking of buying a bottle. I've read a little on the internet. What do you use it in?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. capeanne RE: lynnlato Apr 10, 2009 02:58 PM

    I love it . There is an interesting story re the inventor and his brother who also concocted a new liquer Will try to locate. Last night in Cambridge at Rendezvous I had what bartender Scott calls a " Boutoneirre "(sp) Apple Jack, Sweet Vermouth and St Germaine shaken served up with a twist of orange Wonderful....there is also a Parisian Orchid at Green Street that has vodka St germaine and lemon...another hit

    1 Reply
    1. re: capeanne
      YAYME RE: capeanne Nov 6, 2009 06:20 AM

      By far this is my faovrite liqueur to date.

    2. c
      Cinnamon RE: lynnlato Apr 10, 2009 09:33 PM

      We just bought our third bottle... the bottles are gorgeous by the way. At The Wine House when we were there burning a gift certificate they had a product demo girl passing out little St. Germain sorbets. Yes it was great! Would make a lovely snocone too! We'd previously bought a bottle - never having had tasted it - as a gift for the host of a party we went to. So we picked up a bottle at Wine House and tried it. Very nice. Mostly we've had it with champagne - if I recall, I think there's a little recipe booklet around the neck of the bottle and if not there are recipes at their Website. We do need to branch out to other uses, but it's nice and light and unique.

      1. jerryc123 RE: lynnlato Apr 11, 2009 04:53 AM

        St. Germain is next on my list of purchases.

        Jamie Boudreau writes a blog that I follow, and a while back he did a good piece about St. Germain. If you are interested in spirits, his whole blog is worth following.

        There are some recipes there, and in the comment section as well.

        I've read that it is also a good add-in for a variation on a pisco sour, or an aviation.

        1. MC Slim JB RE: lynnlato Apr 11, 2009 11:49 AM

          Made this one last night:

          L'amour en fuite (Love on the Run)

          1.5 Plymouth gin
          1.0 Lillet blanc
          0.5 St. Germain

          Shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass given a rinse of Kübler absinthe (pastis, like Henri Bardouin, will do, too). Garnish with a shaving of lemon peel.

          Very smooth, balanced.


          7 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB
            white light RE: MC Slim JB Apr 11, 2009 01:37 PM

            Weird... I made one of them Thursday night! Good, but even just a wash absinthe seemed to take over the drink (I used lucid)

            1. re: white light
              MC Slim JB RE: white light Apr 11, 2009 02:55 PM

              Time to bust out the eye-dropper! I really liked the accent that the absinthe added. I think the drink would have lacked depth without it.


              1. re: MC Slim JB
                Cinnamon RE: MC Slim JB Apr 11, 2009 03:11 PM

                "bust out the eyedropper" - excellent

                1. re: Cinnamon
                  MC Slim JB RE: Cinnamon Apr 11, 2009 04:32 PM

                  Not really my idea: there's an outstanding high-craft cocktail bar in Boston called Drink that stores all its bitters in uniform bottles with pipette caps. The working areas look like chemistry labs, everything measured with precision. Very cool place.


                  1. re: MC Slim JB
                    JMF RE: MC Slim JB Apr 12, 2009 07:02 AM

                    try using a spray mister to cover just the surface of a drink with hint of absinthe or bitters, liqueurs, etc. Works better than an eye dropper.

                    1. re: JMF
                      curseofleisure RE: JMF May 14, 2012 09:33 PM

                      I just tried this cocktail, with a heavy rinse of absinthe, and found it to be quite nice, and well balanced. The play between the absinthe and the St. Germain was lovely and complex, and the gin and lillet (actually, I had to substitute Noilly Prat vermouth) provided a nice backdrop. One of the few really well-balanced cocktails I have tried with St. Germain.

            2. re: MC Slim JB
              lynnlato RE: MC Slim JB Apr 11, 2009 06:07 PM

              Okay, yum. I don't know about the absinthe though. How about a little green chartreuse?

            3. c
              Cinnamon RE: lynnlato Apr 11, 2009 02:22 PM

              Just tried this and it's very tasty and very light:

              shochu (Japanese equivalent but probably better, of soju, a light sake-esque spirit)
              coconut water
              St. Germain
              tiny bit of cane sugar syrup
              lemongrass stalk to chew on

              I'll make this again. The coconut water and shochu are both light and delicate enough to not overwhelm the St. Germain. I am also wondering how St. Germain would pair with rosewater or rose syrup in something.

              Here is a thread on shochu:

              1 Reply
              1. re: Cinnamon
                lynnlato RE: Cinnamon Apr 11, 2009 06:08 PM

                Wow, another one - damn, this sounds good. I love the lemongrass stalk - very nice. Too bad the liquor store isn't open on Sundays!

              2. d
                dfan RE: lynnlato Apr 12, 2009 08:13 AM

                Here are two I invented and really enjoy:

                Special Snowflake - 2 oz gin, 1/2 oz Lillet, 1/2 oz St Germain
                Sans Serif - 2 oz rye, 1/2 oz Aperol, 1/2 oz St Germain

                The Special Snowflake was created independently of Jamie Boudreau's L'Amour en Fuite but I'm excited to have had the same basic idea as him!

                5 Replies
                1. re: dfan
                  Cinnamon RE: dfan Apr 13, 2009 07:49 PM

                  Nice names. Why sans serif?

                  1. re: dfan
                    white light RE: dfan Apr 13, 2009 08:42 PM

                    Just tried the Special Snowflake tonight. Very nice. In some sort of way it reminded me of lychee?!

                    1. re: white light
                      Icantread RE: white light Apr 14, 2009 08:56 AM

                      I would definitely say that St. Germain has a floral and lychee flavor profile.

                    2. re: dfan
                      EvergreenDan RE: dfan Jan 8, 2010 05:23 PM

                      dfan -- I tried both your Special Snowflake and San Serif tonight. Both were fun. Thank you.

                      I prefer a bit of sour and bitter for balance. I added about 1/4 oz Lemon juice and oil from a large piece of lemon peel to each. I also hit the Special Snowflake with a double of dashes of lemon bitters. It was more to my liking, but perhaps not to others.

                      1. re: EvergreenDan
                        dfan RE: EvergreenDan Aug 11, 2010 11:43 AM

                        I just noticed this followup today! Glad you liked them.

                        It's true that I tend to make cocktails a little on the sweet side of the spectrum (for example, I needed to add 1/4 oz of simple syrup to the Last Word to balance it to my tastes). Adding a touch of lemon juice sounds like a great idea - I'll try it.

                    3. choco_lab38 RE: lynnlato Apr 14, 2009 09:49 AM

                      St. Germaine seems to be enjoying quite a marketing blitz.
                      My favorite way to enjoy it is the simple recipe from the booklet tied to the bottle neck:
                      In a glass filled with ice-
                      2 shots white wine (or champagne)
                      1 1/2 shots St. Germaine (I prefer a bit less)
                      2 shots Sparkling water

                      As another poster said, the bottle is quite exquisite!

                      31 Replies
                      1. re: choco_lab38
                        Terahertz RE: choco_lab38 Apr 20, 2009 03:31 PM

                        My wife loves St. Germaine. I just polished off our first bottle this weekend. My favorite cocktail is basically a SG Cosmopolitan:
                        St. Germaine
                        Grapefruit juice
                        Shaken with ice...

                        The St. Germaine really meshes well with Grapefruit juice. The flavors are similar, but the St. Germaine really brings out the best in the juice.


                        1. re: Terahertz
                          davis_sq_pro RE: Terahertz May 3, 2009 04:33 PM

                          Agreed, it pairs with grapefruit quite well. I think maraschino also plays well with both St Germain and grapefruit; here's a drink I've been working on, pairing grapefruit with bourbon and both liqueurs:

                          2 ounces pink grapefruit juice
                          2 ounces bourbon (I've most recently been using Bulliet)
                          1 tsp St Germain
                          1 tsp maraschino
                          2 dashes each, Angostura and Peychauds

                          My notes from last time I worked on it (a few weeks ago) say that it was still a bit flat so if anyone has ideas for making it pop a bit more let me know. I'm intrigued by grapefruit as a drink ingredient but haven't found many recipes that use it really well.

                          1. re: davis_sq_pro
                            BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: davis_sq_pro May 3, 2009 10:35 PM

                            Tonight at Hungry Mother, I had a drink with my dessert that was St. Germain, lemon and lime juices, and sparkling wine, rimmed in Peychauds and sugar. Substituting grapefruit juice for the other citrus would work quite nicely, and I don't see why maraschino wouldn't work in there as well.

                            1. re: davis_sq_pro
                              kenito799 RE: davis_sq_pro May 4, 2009 06:43 AM

                              off-topic but my favorite use of grapefruit juice in a cocktail:
                              Hemingway Daiquiri
                              juice 1/2 pink grapefruit
                              juice 1/2 lime
                              2 oz white rum
                              1/2 oz Maraschino

                              on-topic, one of my fave St Germain uses:
                              St Germain Sidecar
                              2 oz cognac
                              1 oz St Germain
                              1/2 oz lemon juice

                              1. re: kenito799
                                isadorasmama RE: kenito799 Oct 1, 2009 04:37 PM

                                I <3 Sidecars.

                                Stoked to try the St Germain version as soon as my husband comes home with some cognac and the kidlets are asleep.

                              2. re: davis_sq_pro
                                barleywino RE: davis_sq_pro May 5, 2009 06:41 AM

                                substitute Campari for maraschino?

                                1. re: barleywino
                                  craigasaurus RE: barleywino May 5, 2009 08:52 AM

                                  Sure, but don't call it a Hemingway Daquiri. That's a very traditional recipe that's stood the test of time, for a reason.

                                  1. re: craigasaurus
                                    barleywino RE: craigasaurus May 5, 2009 10:14 AM

                                    actually i was referring to davis sq pro's question...another option might be a drop of Canton ginger liqueur

                                    1. re: barleywino
                                      davis_sq_pro RE: barleywino May 5, 2009 04:59 PM

                                      Good idea on the Campari. I'll give it a try next time I have some grapefruit in the house.

                                2. re: davis_sq_pro
                                  kenito799 RE: davis_sq_pro May 7, 2009 05:10 PM

                                  davis sq pro: Really liked your idea so I adapted your recipe thusly:
                                  2 oz Rittenhouse rye (100 proof)
                                  juice 1/2 pink grapefruit
                                  1/2 oz St Germain
                                  2 dashes each Peychaud's and Angostura bitters

                                  The increased amount of St Germain makes this sweet enough, and the interplay of bitterness from the two bitters and the grapefruit is really nice. That muscat-floral St Germain effect lurks beneath every sip. Nice strong spicy rye works perfectly as a base spirit. I call it a success--what would you name this?

                                  1. re: kenito799
                                    davis_sq_pro RE: kenito799 May 8, 2009 05:08 PM

                                    Wow, I really need to go buy some grapefruit so I can try this reformulation! I think even a dash of maraschino might be nice to keep around, but I love the stuff more than is probably healthy.

                                    As for naming, I'm at a loss. I'll have to drink a few of them first and get into the mode to do some serious brainstorming :-)

                                    1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                      barleywino RE: davis_sq_pro May 8, 2009 06:05 PM

                                      how about some mirto to give it more depth?

                                      1. re: barleywino
                                        davis_sq_pro RE: barleywino May 9, 2009 09:40 AM

                                        I'd never heard of "mirto" before and just Googled it. Not too many links; is it relatively available in the US?

                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                          barleywino RE: davis_sq_pro May 9, 2009 01:57 PM

                                          i haven't found it yet in Boston but have had it several places locally (Eastern Std, Franklin Southie, Umbria, Craigie...)...

                                          1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                            barleywino RE: davis_sq_pro May 10, 2009 06:38 PM

                                            another link in case you haven't seen it already http://cocktailvirgin.blogspot.com/se...

                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                              barleywino RE: davis_sq_pro May 13, 2009 04:25 PM

                                              found mirto at Federal WInes

                                            2. re: barleywino
                                              davis_sq_pro RE: barleywino Jun 14, 2009 06:18 PM

                                              OK, I finally found a bottle of mirto yesterday, and I have to say that you totally nailed it -- perfect addition to the drink (not to mention, perfect addition to my liquor cabinet; I already love the stuff). Not only does it give the drink a piquant depth, it also enhances the pink color from the grapefruit.

                                              Here's my current working version, taking into account Kenito799's suggestions, the mirto, a bit of lemon juice to lighten up the grapefruit's punch, and a few drops of absinthe to provide a tiny dab of extra background depth. This version has enough flavor that I think serving it on the rocks, rather than straining, is the way to go:

                                              2 oz rittenhouse rye
                                              1.75 oz grapefruit juice
                                              0.25 oz lemon juice
                                              0.25 oz st germain
                                              0.25 oz maraschino liqueur
                                              0.25 oz mirto
                                              4 drops absinthe
                                              2 dashes each, peychauds/angostura

                                              Shake with crushed ice and pour, with ice, into a double old fashioned glass.

                                              1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                barleywino RE: davis_sq_pro Jun 15, 2009 03:31 AM

                                                sounds excellent, glad you found it! now you have to name it! since you're in Davis square (Boston), how about...the Redline? (as in "he redlined the car..."

                                            3. re: davis_sq_pro
                                              kenito799 RE: davis_sq_pro May 8, 2009 07:59 PM

                                              Here's a name suggestion:
                                              There is a drink called a Blinker, made with rye, grapefruit juice and grenadine. Replacing the grenadine with St Germain and bitters, translate Blinker (or Winker) into French and you get the Clignotant...what do you think?
                                              see: http://www.cocktailchronicles.com/200...

                                              1. re: kenito799
                                                davis_sq_pro RE: kenito799 May 9, 2009 10:01 AM

                                                Looks promising... What's the correct phonetic pronunciation?

                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                  kenito799 RE: davis_sq_pro May 10, 2009 07:37 AM

                                                  something like "CLEEN-yo-tahng"

                                                  1. re: kenito799
                                                    kenito799 RE: kenito799 May 21, 2009 08:33 PM

                                                    Follow-up cocktail:

                                                    2oz gin (I used Seagram's)
                                                    1/2 oz St Germain
                                                    juice 1/2 grapefruit
                                                    juice 1/2 lime
                                                    2 dashes Peychaud's bitters

                                                    this is a riff on the Hemingway Daiquiri and the Clignotant (see above), it is terrifically refershing and goes down way too easy. What to name it. I like it enough to call it after the place I mixed it first: Bayside, Queens. Therefore I will call it the Bayside. If anyone has seen this simple but effective concoction before, let me know.

                                          2. re: davis_sq_pro
                                            pcdarnell RE: davis_sq_pro Jun 19, 2009 02:46 PM

                                            I had a very similar cocktail at Gramercy Tavern called a Ruby Rye.
                                            I don't have the exact proportions with me right now, but the bartender did write the recipe down for me.
                                            It was made with Rittenhouse rye, Campari, ruby grapefruit juice, simple syrup, and bitters. It was fabulous, but I really like your idea of using the St. Germain instead of the simple syrup. I'll post the exact recipe if you want.
                                            St. Germain is my new favorite, but it sure is dangerous!

                                            1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                              EvergreenDan RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 4, 2010 03:48 AM

                                              Davis_Sq_Pro: I tried your recipe above last night. Delicious. I served it on the rocks and thought that it got even better as the ice melted a bit, although I used Knob Creek so that might be why. I thought that even at 1 tsp the Maraschino was a little prominent and I wouldn't have objected to more bitters, so that's the direction I'm going to play with. I also thought of substituting Campari for Maraschino since the grapefruit makes me think of Campari, as does the lychee--like lavor of the St Germain. A really good drink. Did you ever come up with a name or revise your recipe? Thanks for sharing.

                                              1. re: EvergreenDan
                                                davis_sq_pro RE: EvergreenDan Jan 4, 2010 07:35 AM

                                                If you're referring to the latter version, with the Mirto, I've been using Barleywino's suggested name, "Redline".

                                                Maraschino in interesting stuff; some people seem to be very sensitive to it. I think it's kind of the drinks equivalent of cilantro, where some people love it in overabundance (like me), and others can only handle it in tiny amounts, if at all. Anyway, I'm sure Campari would be good as well, especially if you don't have Mirto, which brings a somewhat bitter/fruity flavor as well as a red color.

                                                1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                  EvergreenDan RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 4, 2010 10:09 AM

                                                  Sorry -- I didn't realize when I posted the post would end up separated from the recipe. I was referring to the first one here. However, having given me courage, I'll try your Campari-for-Mirto substitution since I'm trying to resist buying more bottles. I just reorganized my cabinets, since the bottles were overflowing. :)

                                                  You may be right about Maraschino. I like it in minute quantities, but I don't want it to dominate. Likewise with the Creme de Violette: I make my Aviation with more gin than usual.
                                                  2 ounces pink grapefruit juice
                                                  2 ounces bourbon (I've most recently been using Bulliet)
                                                  1 tsp St Germain
                                                  1 tsp maraschino
                                                  2 dashes each, Angostura and Peychauds

                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                    EvergreenDan RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 8, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                    I tried your Redline (substituting Campari for the Mirto I didn't have). A really excellent cocktail.

                                                    BTW, does the Bourbon one have a name? I want to give it the credit it's due and I'm sure I'll be making it with some frequency.

                                                    1. re: EvergreenDan
                                                      davis_sq_pro RE: EvergreenDan Jan 9, 2010 06:58 AM

                                                      I never gave it a name. But how about "Second Bounce", since it was my second attempt at creating a bourbon and grapefruit cocktail.

                                                      1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                        EvergreenDan RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 9, 2010 08:36 AM

                                                        It's off topic, but as long as you're making up names, I have a Margarita w/ Creme de Violette recipe from you, as well as your delicious gin/aperol/maraschino/lemon recipe. Margarita Violette seems obvious, if not creative. The other drink definitely deserved a name and to be made often.

                                                        1. re: EvergreenDan
                                                          davis_sq_pro RE: EvergreenDan Jan 9, 2010 02:35 PM

                                                          Glad you like the drink, but I can't take credit for any recipe containing Aperol as I've never owned a bottle. Keep meaning to buy some, and as soon as I do I'll track down that drink on here and mix it up! (I assume it's this one? http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5837...


                                                          As for the Margarita, sounds good... I can't think of anything better at the moment.

                                                2. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                  KingOfCandyLand RE: davis_sq_pro Sep 6, 2010 03:51 PM

                                                  Search "Blinker Cocktail".
                                                  Sub Raspberry Syrup with the St Germain and Maraschino mixture.

                                            2. r
                                              rmperry RE: lynnlato May 4, 2009 10:03 AM

                                              My brother had a St. Germain cocktail in NYC and duplicated it at home. It's called the Grapes of Wrath. His recipe:

                                              3 Kirkland brand vodka
                                              1 St. Germain
                                              1 apple juice
                                              1 sauvignon blanc

                                              Shake over ice and pour into cocktail glass. Add 1 or 2 frozen red grapes. Yum!

                                              1. k
                                                kathryn RE: lynnlato May 4, 2009 04:47 PM

                                                What about the Vieux Mot from PDT?

                                                1 1/2 ounces Plymouth gin
                                                1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
                                                1/4 ounce (1 1/2 teaspoons) simple syrup
                                                3/4 ounce (1 1/2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice

                                                Refreshing, and a total crowd pleaser. It's one of my favorites in warm weather.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: kathryn
                                                  lynnlato RE: kathryn May 8, 2009 07:28 PM

                                                  This sounds lovely. Although, I have to say, I thought PDT was the most ridiculous place EVER! Waiting in a phone booth to get into a lounge - HA!

                                                  1. re: kathryn
                                                    EvergreenDan RE: kathryn Mar 10, 2010 09:42 AM

                                                    Old post, but this drink has become a household favorite. I cut back the simple to 1 tsp and add 1/4 oz of Campari. For groups, I make it without the Campari and add it as a "float" (more like a "sink") for anyone wants it. The St Germain / Campari combo is fantastic.

                                                    I also use a dry Gin like Tanqueray to keep it from getting too sweet. The extra proof doesn't hurt, either.

                                                  2. yamalam RE: lynnlato May 12, 2009 03:35 PM

                                                    I have Elderflower syrup...anyone have any experience using this in place of St. Germain? I know, I know it won't be the same, but maybe something close? Or is elderflower syrup completely different?

                                                    2 Replies
                                                    1. re: yamalam
                                                      Cinnamon RE: yamalam May 12, 2009 08:49 PM

                                                      Is it light colored or dark? (If it's dark it may have elderberry in it too, which tastes generally different.)

                                                      1. re: yamalam
                                                        JohnE O RE: yamalam Oct 4, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                        This is a nice, easy recipe.


                                                        If you have the syrup you need to dilute it as indicated on the bottle (at least the directions were on my bottle).

                                                      2. d
                                                        DMW RE: lynnlato Jun 11, 2009 10:54 AM

                                                        I make a "spritzer" using St. Germaine that is wonderful and light, great for the warm summer days coming up.

                                                        1 jigger St. Germaine
                                                        Good squeeze of lemon
                                                        Top if off with seltzer
                                                        Served over ice in a highball with a slice of lemon for garnish

                                                        1. s
                                                          sirenanathalie RE: lynnlato Jun 30, 2009 04:04 PM

                                                          My Favorite is the Dragon Fly... made for me by my favorite bartender Mark at the Abbey Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. The Dragon Fly transformed my whole summer last year!
                                                          I am guessing here...
                                                          Over ice shake
                                                          1 shot of St Germain
                                                          A generous splash Orange Liquier like Cointreau... (my addition Blood Orange Liquior)
                                                          and Prosecco.
                                                          Pour over crushed ice in a martini class with a spiral of orange rind...
                                                          The most delightful fresh experience.

                                                          I am now experimenting with St Germain with Acai... adds the sweet and works very well with the raw pulpyness of Acai.... great potential! Might add a sparkle or blood orange to this!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: sirenanathalie
                                                            Terahertz RE: sirenanathalie Jul 17, 2009 04:33 PM

                                                            I made a Basil Mojito with SG last weekend that came out great:

                                                            Muddle 1/2 lime and Basil
                                                            1 jigger Rum
                                                            2/3 jigger SG
                                                            2/3 jigger Simple Syrup
                                                            1 jigger Grapefruit
                                                            Shake and Serve

                                                            We all liked it quite a lot, although I am still playing with the simple syrup amount


                                                            1. re: sirenanathalie
                                                              invinotheresverde RE: sirenanathalie Jul 21, 2009 08:22 AM

                                                              Bubbles and ice in a "martini" glass? Blasphemy!

                                                            2. i
                                                              isadorasmama RE: lynnlato Jul 28, 2009 02:02 PM

                                                              @ 116 Crown in New Haven, CT

                                                              The Belmont
                                                              bluecoat american dry gin, st. germain elderflower liqueur, rothman & winter creme de violette, soda - served on the rocks

                                                              No idea what the ratios were but it was DELICIOUS, particularly after it sat for a bit.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: isadorasmama
                                                                lynnlato RE: isadorasmama Oct 2, 2009 07:51 AM

                                                                Jeebus, that sounds lovely. I've never had creme de violette, but I looked it up and wow, how interesting. The cocktail you described is like and effervescent bouquet of blossoms!

                                                                1. re: lynnlato
                                                                  isadorasmama RE: lynnlato Oct 5, 2009 07:43 AM

                                                                  you need to try it, lynniato. it's everything you'd expect it to taste like only better. :)

                                                              2. ted RE: lynnlato Nov 8, 2009 05:28 AM

                                                                A buddy recently got me a copy of the Food & Wine Cocktails '09 book, which he sent with a long list of boutique booze for me to procure at GA's much-lower tax rates.

                                                                The St. Germain cocktail we tried and liked was the "Boris Karloff" credited to Todd Thrasher:

                                                                3/4 oz gin
                                                                3/4 oz St Germain
                                                                1 oz lime juice
                                                                1 T confectioner's sugar
                                                                1 egg white
                                                                1 oz chilled club soda

                                                                Shake the first 5. Add the ice. Shake again. Strain into a collins glass with ice. Top w/ club soda.

                                                                I was surprised that it was balanced despite the sweet elderflower liqueur and the sugar. I also tried the "Maximilian Affair" (Misty Kalkofen), which has mezcal (sub. tequila since I didn't have any), St Germain, Punt e Mes, and lemon juice. Found it too sweet/floral.

                                                                I also noticed the Thatcher's organic elderflower liqueur in one shop. Cheaper than St. Germain, and I found one review online (liquorsnobs.com) that thought it was better and less cloying. Didn't try it yet.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: ted
                                                                  Katherine H RE: ted Mar 10, 2010 08:17 AM

                                                                  Has anyone tried the Thatcher's elderflower liqueur? I recently saw it at BevMo for significantly less than St. Germain ($19.99 vs. $34.99, I believe). I love St. Germain, but this piqued my curiosity.

                                                                  1. re: Katherine H
                                                                    ted RE: Katherine H Mar 10, 2010 10:07 AM

                                                                    I haven't tried it yet. Did have a bartender tell me that they didn't use as much elderflower as St. Germain. I'm not sure if that was really the case or rather that it wasn't as syrupy as the St. Germain. The issue seemed to relate to how much he needed to use of one vs. the other to get the desired flavor in the drink.

                                                                    1. re: Katherine H
                                                                      perrywillis RE: Katherine H Jul 8, 2011 02:25 PM

                                                                      I just picked up a bottle of Thatcher's Elderflower liqueur. Paid around $20. My bottle of St. Germain had become cloudy and wanted to experiment w/ something less expensive.
                                                                      1. The packaging is WAY cheaper. Standard bottle w/ metal screw-top. I'm not a packaging snob so no points off there. Especially if more is put toward product. Maybe producer will write his memoir entitled... "It's not about the Bottle".
                                                                      2. Nose is pretty light w/ floral notes dominating; no surprise there.
                                                                      3. Color: a little opacity (cloudy). Whitish with just a hint of pale yellow.
                                                                      3. Taste: Simple, elegant. Much less sweet than St. Germain. I'm tasting them side by side. This is definitely NOT a substitute for St. Germain.
                                                                      I'm off to make an Apperant Sour: 1.5 oz Aperol, 3/4 oz St. Germain, 3/4 Lime Juice. I'll try a straight up subbing of Thatcher's, then again I'll try it w/ some simple syrup if I find it lacking sweetness.
                                                                      It might be a nice touch to sparkling wine of some sort a 'la Germain w/out the extra sweetness . Thatcher's had some other intriguing liqueurs (cucumber?).

                                                                      I do not work for or have any affiliation w/ the Thatcher's folks. Just honest comments from someone who makes cocktails in my home.

                                                                  2. JMF RE: lynnlato Jan 9, 2010 06:58 PM

                                                                    St. Germain is so 2 years ago. I am sick of it in so many cocktails. I'm glad that all the top places are backing away from it now. It really isn't that great a liqueur. Yes, it is ok when you get a new fresh bottle, but they have such horrible consistency, and major problems with discoloration, muddying of flavor, and sediment as time goes by. An unopened bottle is only good for a year max, and an opened one has to be used within several months.

                                                                    12 Replies
                                                                    1. re: JMF
                                                                      EvergreenDan RE: JMF Jan 9, 2010 07:55 PM

                                                                      Yes, it's a bummer that some bottles don't keep well. Cassis is this way too. Refrigeration helps, I think. I had an idea of mirroring a CSA: a group of people get together any buy large bottles of little-used or perishable ingredients and split them up so that your home stock stays fresh. For example, I just bought a small bottle of Benedictine (for much more per ounce than the big bottle), and it don't use it often. I'd be very happy with a 150ml bottle that I could buy whenever I needed it (and at a reasonable price).

                                                                      Obviously would have to be a regional thing.

                                                                      As for being 2 years ago, the taste is as fresh today for someone who hasn't had it as it was for you 2 years ago. I agree that it isn't a really classic flavor. I think it's best used subtly or sporadically.

                                                                      1. re: JMF
                                                                        davis_sq_pro RE: JMF Jan 10, 2010 05:08 AM

                                                                        I have a bottle that's been open for several months. No apparent sediment or discoloration, and it seems to taste fine (of course, I haven't compared it side-by-side with a brand-new bottle so it may be totally off). Is this a problem with only certain batches? (The consistency issue you mentioned?)

                                                                        Agreed that it has been overused, but that may be a sign that it is indeed a great liqueur. Much like an overplayed song on the radio, it's easy to get jaded after hearing/tasting 10,000 times, but there's a reason these things are overdone and it's usually because they're well-liked by a large segment of the population. Which is a fairly strong indicator that they've done something right...

                                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                          JMF RE: davis_sq_pro Jan 10, 2010 08:34 AM

                                                                          They have been working on the consistency, discoloration, and sediment problems for several years. Plenty of us have given good solid feedback about the problems, and they have made progress. The flavor stability seems to be one of the most difficult problems. I've worked on designing flower based liqueurs myself and they are very difficult to work with. The problems aren't batch to batch, but every batch. We will see if they get next years batch down right. It's hard to make changes because the flowers are only picked once a year within a two week span and the liqueur has to be made immediately. So new methods can only be tried once a year.

                                                                          It's overused in part because it became the darling of the moment for mixologists. Part was fabulous marketing by Robert Cooper, another other was great deals offered to bars that used the product and had recipes on the menu for at least three months. Also mixologists were looking for elderflower because it was an ingredient in quite a few golden age cocktails from the 19th century.

                                                                          It isn't a bad liqueur, in fact it is good, but it became a fad ingredient because it can be used to make intro-cocktails that are light and approachable. But it doesn't stand up to complexity, the trademark of a good cocktail. I'm not saying all cocktails should always be complex, but there should be some depth to them that makes you come back and say, I'll have another of those. in some ways it is used as a simple syrup to add sweetness and a hint of floral, but it tends to get lost in most of the cocktails it is used in.

                                                                          1. re: JMF
                                                                            BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: JMF Jan 10, 2010 12:09 PM

                                                                            That's actually how I most often use it, as a simple syrup replacement. Does wonders in place of the sugar cube in a French 75, for example.

                                                                            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                              ballardtender RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Jan 24, 2010 04:58 PM

                                                                              I often just add it to a French 75 rather than replacing any ingredients. Muddle half a lemon with ice, add gin and a splash of sour sour (equal parts lemon juice and simple syrup). Throw in some St. Germain to taste. Shake, strain, top with champagne and garnish with a twist.

                                                                              1. re: ballardtender
                                                                                JMF RE: ballardtender Feb 11, 2010 02:40 PM

                                                                                What the heck type of recipe is that? muddle half a lemon with ice? add gin? a splash of sour sour? Sour??? who uses sour mix? simple syrup and lemon juice as separate ingredients, but sour mix? that's so last century. throw in St. Germain to taste? how about some actual proportions?

                                                                                1. re: JMF
                                                                                  davis_sq_pro RE: JMF Feb 12, 2010 06:40 AM

                                                                                  Having a bad day? Don't worry, it will get better. Go have a glass of "sour sour" and vodka or something.

                                                                                  1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                    JMF RE: davis_sq_pro Feb 12, 2010 01:30 PM

                                                                                    Yeah, I was having a bad day. Someone tried to serve me a vodka sour sour with a dash of St. Bernard. Then things got better after I had a nice View Carre.

                                                                                    1. re: JMF
                                                                                      EvergreenDan RE: JMF Feb 12, 2010 03:53 PM

                                                                                      Can't decide if that's a "Slobber" or a "Hair of the Dog".

                                                                                      1. re: JMF
                                                                                        davis_sq_pro RE: JMF Feb 12, 2010 05:33 PM

                                                                                        I'm always fond of a nice view.

                                                                                        1. re: davis_sq_pro
                                                                                          JMF RE: davis_sq_pro Feb 13, 2010 09:32 AM

                                                                                          Go ahead dsp, make fun of my typos. I always enjoy the view, while sipping a vieux carre.

                                                                                2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                                                                                  EvergreenDan RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Feb 12, 2010 03:49 AM

                                                                                  Great idea (using it in lieu of simple). I always think that adding simple is a lost opportunity to add flavor. Sometimes you don't want to alter the flavor, of course.

                                                                          2. j
                                                                            jnachow1 RE: lynnlato Jul 23, 2010 03:06 PM

                                                                            I had a white sangria that they make at the sky bar at the Hudson terrace that uses st. germain. They mix 1 bottle of sauvignon blanc with 4 oz of absolut pear vodka and 4 oz of st. germain in a pitcher with ice. They add strawberries and blueberrys-was terrific and refreshing. The 4oz is my guess-you could use 2-3 ounces-experiment for your taste.

                                                                            1. mtoo RE: lynnlato Jul 11, 2011 08:06 AM

                                                                              My favorite bartender here in St. Louis had this drink on the menu last summer. It's my favorite St. Germain drink. Imbibe featured it as a Drink of the Week last year.

                                                                              Summer Blush
                                                                              1 1/4 oz. silver tequila
                                                                              1 oz. St. Germain
                                                                              1/2 oz. fresh lime juice
                                                                              2 dashes rose water
                                                                              4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
                                                                              2 cucumber slices
                                                                              Ice cubes
                                                                              Tools: muddler, shaker, fine-mesh strainer
                                                                              Glass: cocktail
                                                                              Garnish: cucumber slice

                                                                              Muddle cucumber slices with rose water, Peychaud’s and lime juice. Add tequila, St. Germain and ice and shake. Double-strain into a cocktail glass, rub the remaining cuke slice around the rim and place on the rim for garnish.

                                                                              1. c
                                                                                Cheers14 RE: lynnlato Nov 15, 2011 08:51 AM

                                                                                Honestly, Ste Germain is more like grapefruit than anything else and the sugar is over powering that I need a citrus to cut it down in everything. The price scares me away almost $40.00 a bottle now, yikes!

                                                                                1. m
                                                                                  Malachite57 RE: lynnlato Nov 16, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                                                  Two excellent drinks with St Germaine:

                                                                                  The Exchange Elixir

                                                                                  In a shaker with ice add:

                                                                                  • 2 oz. vodka

                                                                                  • 1 oz. St. Germaine

                                                                                  • 1 oz. orange liqueur

                                                                                  • ½ oz fresh lime juice

                                                                                  • ½ oz cranberry juice for color

                                                                                  • 1 oz. grapefruit juice

                                                                                  Shake and strain into a martini glass

                                                                                  French Pear Martini

                                                                                  In a shaker with ice add:

                                                                                  2 oz. St Germaine

                                                                                  1 1/2 oz Absolut Pears Vodka

                                                                                  1/4 oz fresh lemon juice

                                                                                  Shake and strain into a martini glass

                                                                                  I can't decide which is my favorite, they're both so delicious!

                                                                                  1. JMF RE: lynnlato Nov 20, 2011 07:57 AM

                                                                                    I have to say that St-Germain is now at the top of their game. We even came up with two recipes using it, that will be put up on the St-Germain site.

                                                                                    Taryn’s Lament – created by Jake Sher and Jonathan Forester
                                                                                    2 oz. (60 ml.) Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine
                                                                                    ½ oz. (15 ml.) St-Germain
                                                                                    ½ oz. (15 ml.) Turbinado Syrup
                                                                                    ¼ oz. (7.5 ml.) Matilde Peach Liqueur
                                                                                    1 bar spoon orange marmalade
                                                                                    2 dashes Dutch’s Colonial Cocktail Bitters

                                                                                    Shake all ingredients on ice. Strain in to a chilled sling or Collins glass filled with crushed ice. Top with 3-4 dashes of Dutch’s Colonial Cocktail Bitters. Garnish with an edible flower blossom and serve with a straw.

                                                                                    Matahari - created by Jake Sher and Jonathan Forester
                                                                                    2 oz. (60 ml.) Dutch’s Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine
                                                                                    ½ oz. (15 ml.) St-Germain
                                                                                    ½ oz. (15 ml.) honey syrup (1:1 honey:water)
                                                                                    1 strip lemon zest
                                                                                    2 green cardamom pods

                                                                                    Gently muddle the cardamom pods to bruise them and release the oils. Add other ingredients and shake hard and long on ice and double strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Twist lemon zest over drink to release oil, and wipe along glass rim, then place in drink for garnish.

                                                                                    1. t
                                                                                      The Big Crunch RE: lynnlato Jun 25, 2013 10:41 AM

                                                                                      Anyone know if some of the issues with shelf life have been resolved? The place down the street from me used to sell small bottles of the stuff for about $15, which was great because it would last me many, many months. Now, however, they are only selling the big bottle, which I am sure would probably take a year for me to empty since I use St. Germain infrequently and sparingly. It used to have a rep (partially from the company's own literature) of being safely shelf stable for only six months. Anyone think a year or more would be alright to keep an open bottle around?

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: The Big Crunch
                                                                                        JMF RE: The Big Crunch Jun 25, 2013 06:58 PM

                                                                                        They fixed the problems a few years ago. I have a two year old bottle, half full, in perfect shape. I also have a 2007 bottle half full... that looks disgusting.

                                                                                      2. a
                                                                                        alice_rice RE: lynnlato Apr 15, 2014 07:54 PM

                                                                                        Okay, this is my favorite liqueur you are discussing. I'm not from New York, although I luv it. I'm from Texas. My favorite drink is a Paris Manhattan. Use a nice-sized martini glass and make it cold. Pick up 2 shots of bourbon. Maker's Mark, while it is not something I usually like in a bourbon, it is perfect for this drink. Two shots of Makers, 1 shot of St. Germain, 1/2 shot of sweet vermouth, 1/2 shot of dry vermouth, Angostura bitters. Shake it. Put it in a frosty martini glass. Add a cherry or two. Voila! Beautiful!

                                                                                        Show Hidden Posts