The St. Germain Cocktail served with lemon garnish
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The St. Germain Cocktail

The St. Germain cocktail truly is a conundrum: it feels like a classic, but with a modern and contemporary twist. It has an incredibly complex flavor profile considering it’s only made from three ingredients.

However, it’s the elderflower liqueur that truly gives this cocktail the subtly delicate and sweet taste that is also remarkably versatile. In fact, it fits as well with vodka as it does rye whiskey, which is why it’s often known as “the bartender’s best friend.”

History of the St. Germain Cocktail

Liquor pioneer Rob Cooper created his own exclusive brand of Elderflower Liqueur in 2007. It’s made from fresh elderflowers handpicked every year in late spring. There’s only a two or three-week window, so speed is of the essence when it comes to making this delicate botanical liqueur.

Over 1,000 fresh elderflower blossoms go into one bottle! While many people tend to associate Elder trees with the English countryside, the elderflowers in this liqueur actually come from France.

When the elderflower liqueur was launched, Simon Difford created the delicious cocktail, also known as the Elderflower Spritz. The contemporary recipe calls for sparkling wine or Champagne, but the original recipe created by Difford called for Sauvignon Blanc.

Either choice works well, as the delicate elderflowers give the effervescent wine a lightly sweet and floral taste. This liqueur is also a beautiful golden yellow color, which is naturally derived from the elderflower pollen.

The Elderflower Harvest

Every year in late spring, the Elder trees on the English and French hillsides come into bloom with their amazingly fragrant yet tiny white blossoms. Once they start blooming, the race to harvest them by hand begins.

It’s tricky to get the creamy white blooms to give up their distinctive flavor without becoming bitter, but the harvesters and Cooper Spirits have tried-and-true techniques to ensure each flavor note is well-represented.

Their traditional techniques allow for the infusion of elderflower essence, which gives it the unique and balanced flavor quite unlike any other floral liqueur. Next time you want to try a surprisingly refreshing yet light and sweet cocktail, ask your local bartender for this spectacular cocktail.

It’s also effortless to make: no vigorous shaking or stirring required; just combine the ingredients in a chilled Collins glass and garnish with a lemon or lime twist.

St Germain Cocktail Ingredients

  • 11 ½ oz elderflower liqueur
  • 2 oz Champagne or dry white wine
  • 2 oz club soda
  • Garnish with a lemon or lime twist

Recipe

  1. Gather your ingredients and fill a Collins glass with ice
  2. Add the elderflower liqueur and wine/Champagne and lightly stir
  3. Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon or lime twist
  4. Serve immediately, sip, and enjoy immensely

It doesn’t take much to enjoy this cocktail—it’s so good, you’ll be reaching for seconds. The fancy liqueur is what really makes it pop with light floral flavorings from the tiny white elderflowers.

No matter what kind of mixed drink you’re looking for, this one checks all the boxes: it’s light, sweet without being sugary, has subtly complex flavor notes, and most of all, it’s downright delicious. Try this cocktail next time you want a contemporary classic!

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