St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur - Review
Respect Your Elders
by Jeff Hoyt
in the 70s, Elton John extolled the virtues of drinking "Elderberry
Wine." But one taste of St-Germain today could easily
inspire him to wax poetically on Elderflower Liqueur.
Elderflower Liqueur is the creation of Robert Cooper, third
generation distiller and former owner of Chambord liqueur.
The president of Cooper Spirits International wants us to believe that for a few spring days, when the delicate, white elderflower blossoms are at their flavorful peak, men gather sacks of them from the foothills of the Alps and transport them using specially-rigged bicycles. They are then sent to the distillery quickly and macerated—steeped in alcohol to absorb almost all of the aroma, flavor and color—in order to maximize freshness and flavor. The
manufacturing process is secret, but involves eau de vie, distillation
and the addition of citrus and cane sugar.
don’t know how much of the back-story of “the
first liqueur in the world created in the artisanal French
manner from freshly handpicked elderberry blossoms” to
trust, but the result is a delightful drink that plays
on one’s tongue. Velvety smooth with a floral
nose, the golden 40-proof liquid made in France and newly
available in the U.S. is sweet and seductive, not saccharine.
The enjoyable lychee-like flavor is very similar to that
of Soho Lychee Liqueur, but more sophisticated, with a
hint of pear. It can be substituted for non-alcoholic
elderberry flavorings in cocktails, mixed with white wine,
or enjoyed straight from its individually numbered bottle
at room temperature. Try The Can-Can martini.
$28 for 750 mL
2 oz. Vodka or Gin
1 1/2 oz. St-Germain
1/4 oz. Dry Vermouth or Dry White Wine
Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain
into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with
lemon or orange twist.
For more information visit www.stgermain.fr
(Updated 03/19/13 KNF)