St. Germain, Germane to the Champagne Cocktail


(Image of The Underground’s Table Kit via: Cheeky Chicago.)

Was it at Les Deux Magots or the Café de Flore that you overheard them? At any rate it was somewhere in the 6eme, and so it must have been Saint-Germain-des-Prés.

“I’m so bored,” she said.

“Hell is other people,” he quoted back to her.

They were obviously drinking the wrong stuff.

It is a rare occasion on which I will mix anything into Champagne or sparkling wine. More often than not it is simply to salvage an inferior bottle. The most popular combination around the Manse has been the Kir Royale. Until last weekend when all assembled discovered the delights, thanks to an unusual hostess gift, of the St. Germain and Champagne cocktail.

Suffice to say that this concoction is a revelation. Subtle, delicious and, served as an aperitif, it didn’t lay waste to the crowd by the second glass as our normal offering of dry martinis, up with a twist, will.

I’m not sure how to describe the taste to you. The elderflower liquor is something different from the usual suspects. Not a thing like Chartreuse for example. The literature will tell you that there it has a “clean floral nose with hints of pear, peach and grapefruit zest.” All tastes which will exist within or enhance the flavour of Champagne. But it’s the “juice of a few flowers” that brings this stuff to life. Elderflowers bloom in spring and for something like three weeks only.

Obviously only a limited amount of the liqueur can be produced from such a small harvest. Which makes it just the thing for a rare Champagne cocktail. I encourage you to sip a little essence of spring this winter’s weekend. We will.

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6 Responses to St. Germain, Germane to the Champagne Cocktail

  1. ELS says:

    Nooooooooooooo! Am having a teetotal January and have resisted EVERYTHING, parties and cocktails included and along sneaks your cheeky little post “sip a little essence of spring this winter’s weekend” gah! I love elderflower and will have to find some other distraction to stop me obsessing over this one.

    Hell is other people’s good ideas.

    Harrumph.

  2. Ah, I finished off our bottle of St. Germain last weekend. We’re going into furloughs here in academia, so I guess it will be awhile before we can afford to re-stock on this fabulous elixir. Sob.

  3. Be strong ELS. They’ve been making that jazz for centuries. It’ll be there when you take the plunge.

    CashmereLibrarian, This too shall pass. What drink do you make with it?

  4. We make a St. Germain cocktail at our house that is equal parts St. Germain, gin and dry vermouth. Smooth and elegant. And, of course, the St. Germain bottle is so lovely, too.

  5. Katie says:

    You have solved another of life’s riddles for me, dear Elegantologist. I had a lovely drink at Balliceux they called “ISN’T SHE LOVELY” – basil, Cirrus Vodka, St. Germain, and Lillet Blanc. Now I can try to replicate it!

  6. Glad to help Katie. I have yet to darken the door at Balliceaux, but will surely order one of those.

    Linda, that sounds delicious! And the bottle is beautiful.

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