Sunday, May 29, 2011

St. Germain

by J.S. Holland

I've been most interested in St. Germain liqueur ever since having a cocktail made with it.... where? I can't remember now. St. Germain is distilled from the Elderflower - only one of two Elderflower liqueurs I am aware of - and is named after... well, I don't know that either. I used to think it was named after this guy or this guy, but is probably someone less interesting, like this guy or this guy.

Recently I went into Evergreen Liquors with the intention of getting a bottle of Angel's Envy bourbon, but found myself walking out with St. Germain. When I got home and poured a shot of it, though, I knew I'd made a bad play. The stuff is heavy, cloyingly sweet like a nectar, and tastes like white wine or champagne. I can't stand white wine or champagne. So I checked St. Germain's website and their recipes mostly suggest mixing it with... white wine or champagne. Their other recipes seem to be just taking a conventional drink - like a Mojito or a Gin & Tonic - and adding just a touch of St. G. That sounds to me like a waste of both good rum/gin and the St. G itself.

Their site, of course, describes their peculiar product a bit more fancily:

"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?"
At least we agree on the bit about nectar.

Finally I hit upon an elegant solution - mixing it with tea. When this bottle's gone, though, I doubt I'll invest in another. I will save the bottle, in all its Pope-hat-lookin' glory, and think fondly of this elixir... while I sip something else.

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