I’ve been hearing so much about the liqueur called St-Germain I decided to go pick some up. The hefty fluted glass bottle with vertical strips of deep blue and gold labelling and fancy cap is reminiscent of an perfume bottle you might spot in a French Victorian “house of ill repute.” St-Germain is made from the flowers of the Sambucus nigra plant, commonly known as elder or elderberry, and it does have a wonderful tangy and slightly floral bouquet. People throughout much of Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe have been making a syrup from the so-called elderflower for centuries and versions of an elderflower cordial recipe can be traced back to Roman times. But contrary to the 18th century look of the bottle, St-Germain has only been around since 2007. Originally an artisanal created by third generation distiller Robert Cooper, the company was acquired by Bacardi in 2012.
St-Germain has a distinctive citrusy taste with pear and peach notes. It pairs almost magically well with almost every cocktail ingredient from whiskey to champagne. I happen to love grapefruit, which some palates will also detect in this liqueur, so I came up with a triple hit of it in this cocktail I’m calling a Rosy Sunset. Adding a sprig of fresh rosemary adds an herby note that blends well with the sweet notes of this drink.
2 oz. grapefruit flavored vodka, like Deep Eddy Ruby Red
½ oz. St-Germain Liqueur
1 oz. freshly squeezed or store bought grapefruit juice
3 oz. plain or grapefruit flavored seltzer
Mix first three ingredients in a tumbler, add ice and top with seltzer. Stir and garnish with a sprig of fresh rosemary.