St-Germain: Patron Saint of Modern Cocktails?

With the recent resurgence of "classic" drinks, it's nice to see a relative newbie that combines tradition with innovation like St-Germain, an artisanal French liqueur made from handpicked elderflower blossoms found in the foothills of the Alps.

There's a charming story on the official St-Germain Web site involving a small group of "bohemiens" on specialized bicycles who painstakingly pick and transport the very elderflower blossoms you will soon be indirectly consuming.

The young liqueur first hit the scene in early 2007, but it wasn't until last year that St-Germain gained substantial popularity in Phoenix (naturally).

It may lack years of experimentation, but the liqueur is considered quite versatile. Its aroma is somewhat floral, and its taste is generally described as having hints of pear, peach and grapefruit. It has as light sweetness, but is relatively low in sugar (about half the sugar content of most liqueurs). Champagne tends to be the most popular mixer, but there are currently oodles of St-Germaine related cocktail recipes online involving a variety of fruits, juices and spirits.

Because of the elderflower's brief blooming period (2-3 weeks in late spring) and the handpicked, handmade nature of the old-world production techniques, there is a limited quantity of St-Germain produced each year; you have to jump on it while supplies last.

To taste the liqueur at its best, try a "Retro Cooler" at SideBar or a "St-Germain" cocktail at Hanny's.

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