5 Cocktails to Make with St. Germain Liqueur

Photo via St-Germain Facebook page

The St. Germain company was founded in 2007 with one mission in mind: to create a liqueur that truly encapsulates the French spirit of joie de vivre. Its iconic bottle harkens back to the Art Deco period of France’s history, and its name is taken from the Saint-Germain-Des-Prés neighborhood of Paris. Each bottle is emblazoned with the words, “La Vie Parisienne En Bouteille.” The Parisian Life In A Bottle.

And it lives up to its name. Every year in late spring, harvesters rush to collect the delicate elderflowers that are used to make the spirit. The period is short and workers must move quickly and carefully to avoid damaging the fragile flowers, about 1,000 of which go into each bottle. This is why each bottle is labeled with a number denoting the year of harvest, to commemorate the short lifespan of the liqueur’s quintessential ingredient.

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The distinct floral character of St. Germain makes it a bar favorite (generically called elderflower liqueur). Combining notes of peach, pear, citrus, and honeysuckle, but maintaining its unique flavor throughout, St. Germain plays well with others. So here are just a few ways to take full advantage of that inimitable golden French elixir.

1. St. Germain Cocktail

 

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Sometimes called a St. Germain Spritz, others the St. Germain Cocktail, or even a St. Germain Royale, this refreshing beverage is a simple affair. Simply combine St. Germain, champagne, and soda water in a Collins glass, stir gently, and garnish with lemon. For a true Royale, serve in a champagne flute and nix the sparkling water.

1.5 oz St. Germain
2 oz Dry Sparkling Wine or Champagne
2 oz sparkling water

2. Basil Gimlet

 

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St. Germain pairs seamlessly with gin, so why not take a classic gin cocktail like the gimlet and give it a modern twist? If you don’t have basil syrup (which you probably don’t, unless you’re a professional bartender), muddle 4 basil leaves in the bottom of your glass along with 0.5 oz of simple syrup. Then add all ingredients to a shaker and serve in a gimlet glass for a dinner party, or plastic cups for an outdoor summer cookout.

1 oz fresh lime or lemon juice
0.5 oz basil syrup
2 oz gin
0.5 oz St. Germain

Note: For tips on how to make simple syrup, you can check out the original recipe here.

3. Grapefruit Margarita

 

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This one gets shaken up like a traditional margarita, only you’ll want to substitute grapefruit for lime juice and St. Germain for Cointreau. Serve in a glass with a salt and sugar rim.

0.75 oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice (about a quarter of a grapefruit)
0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
1.75 oz tequila
0.5 oz St. Germain

4. Irish Maid

 

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You might not expect the delicate floral notes of St. Germain to pair well with whiskey. This sour, sweet, and smoky cocktail will definitely change your mind. It’s a take on a drink called the Kentucky Maid, a beverage that combines the distinct flavors of cucumber and bourbon. Muddle the cucumber in shaker, then add all other ingredients to the shaker, shake, and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with a cucumber slice or a mint leaf.

2 slices cucumber (¼ inch thick)
2 oz Irish Whiskey
0.5 oz St. Germain
0.75 oz fresh lemon juice
0.75 oz simple syrup

5. Blackberry Moscow Mule

Another twist on a classic. Muddle lime juice and blackberries in a copper mug (the copper keeps the drink cold and frosty). Add ice, St. Germain, and vodka, then fill up the rest of the mug with ginger beer.

0.5 oz freshly squeezed lime juice (about half a lime)
5 blackberries (as fresh as you can find)
1.5 oz vodka
1.5 oz St. Germain
4-6 oz ginger beer