Moving eastward across France to Dijon, not too far from Switzerland’s mountainous border, we find a golden-hued liqueur made with tiny white blossoms picked from the French Alps each spring. Compared to spirits with centuries of heritage, St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur ($35, 20% abv) is a relative newcomer, dating back just a decade. The liqueur is delicate, with gentle floral notes balanced by citrusy sweetness. It mixes seamlessly in cocktails, which quickly made it a bartender favorite. The gorgeous Art Nouveau-inspired bottle design doesn’t hurt, either.
Courtesy Matt Tocco, Le Sel, Nashville
One of the house cocktails at sleek brasserie Le Sel, this tall refresher subtly balances delicate spice with the floral sweetness of St-Germain.
- 1 ounce Broker’s Gin
- ¾ ounce St. George Spiced Pear Liqueur
- ¼ ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 1 ounce grapefruit juice
- ¾ ounce lemon juice
- ½ ounce Saigon cinnamon syrup (recipe below)
- Soda water
- Grapefruit peel, for garnish
In a cocktail shaker, combine first six ingredients with ice. Shake well, and strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water, and garnish with grapefruit peel.
- 1 teaspoon ground Saigon cinnamon
- 1 cup granulated sugar
In 3-quart saucepan, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Stir in cinnamon and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Lower heat and simmer 15 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain through cheesecloth-lined fine-mesh sieve. Yields about 2 cups.