A sweet Elderflower flavored liqueur that has seemingly overnight become an indispensable, must have ingredient, St. Germain is as good substituted into classics as it is in newer creations.
How is it made?
This short harvest window yields a years supply of St. Germain.
The elderflower blossoms are hand picked in the spring during a 4-6 week period in the French Alps. The 50 or so harvesters, often carry the flowers on bicycles back to collecting stations. These harvesters are independent contractors of sorts, paid based on the weight of product they bring, thus those on bicycles tend to collect more. This pay for weight also motivates the harvesters to seek out more elderflowers than a flat “salary” type of wage.
Each bottle of St. Germain is individually numbered, based on year of production.
As soon as the flowers reach the collection station, they are immediately macerated using a “secret” family technique, which is said to give them the best flavor, while not being too bitter, too sweet or as inconsistent as other methods, such as freeze drying or pressing the flowers.
Eau-de-Vie = Unaged Brandy.
These are then infused into Eau-de-Vie, although this part of the process is not well elucidated by the company. The spirit is then sweetened lightly, but is said to contain less sugar than a typical liqueur. The liqueur is then bottled in beautiful French inspired bottles.
Since St. Germain is made without any preservatives, it is recommended that you use the bottle within 6 months of opening. But, I’m sure that once you taste St. Germain, you will have no problem finishing the bottle well before it “expires.”
What does it taste like?
- I’m not sure I can say it any better than the folks at St. Germain do:
“Neither passionfruit nor pear, grapefruit nor lemon, the sublime taste of St-Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly. It is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating. A little like asking a hummingbird to describe the flavor of its favorite nectar. Très curieux indeed, n’est-ce pas?”
- I also get a flavor similar to lychee, yet more refined, clean and refreshing.
St. Germain is 40 Proof (20% ABV).
A Few St. Germain Cocktails:
- The Classics:
- New Originals:
- The Borrowed:
- None yet. In the meantime, check out the Cocktails List at St. Germain’s official site, for many more recipes, including the St. Germain Cocktail.
Cooper Spirits International has also revived Creme Yvette, a violet liquor that was lost for many decades.
St. Germain was created by Cooper Spirits International. It first produced in 2007, to much critical acclaim. In fact, St. Germain was named “Best in Show” in the 2007 San Francisco Spirits championship and in 2008, took home the double gold medal.
St. Germain is the most popular Elderflower liqueur ever produced. Again this is likely due to the difficulty in extracting the flavor from the elderflowers, a process which the folks at St. Germain have certainly mastered.
An essential new spirit, St. Germain belongs in every modern bar and is sure to become an indispensable part of your repertoire.