This week we are exploring elderflower liqueur. As our author starts off reminding us, there are so many fads that come and go, and so few that actually stay. Elderflower liqueur is one of the few that took hold and has become known as the “bartender’s ketchup” because it will fix just about anything.
It is for that very reason that it has been something I have avoided. Avoided may be too strong, but steered away from. I can appreciate the floral flavor and sweetness it can add to a drink. On it’s own, I found it reminiscent of children’s cough syrup, with a familiar, but undetermined, flavor that lingered in the back of my throat.
I enjoy a cocktail that has balance and nuance, and if it needs ketchup, then it generally isn’t for me. Brother C sent me a Cucumber Basil Martini recipe with the following quote
Martinis- the first one is divine; the second will make a third seem like a good idea which, I assure, it is not.
This is one of the few cocktails I have had where the elderflower liqueur is a complement, and not a cover-up. With all of the strong flavors in this cocktail, the only sweetness is from the liqueur, and it marries everything together. I expected it to come on strong and had dialed back the liqueur a touch, but found that the full amount brought balance to the picture.
2 oz Vodka
1/2 oz St. Germain
1/2 oz Vermouth
¼ Large Cucumber
3 Large Basil Leaves
¼ Lime Juice
Muddle cucumber, lime juice, and basil together in a cocktail shaker.
Add vodka, St. Germain, and vermouth.
Fill with ice and shake well.
Strain into a martini glass or coupe.
While there are now a few different brands on the shelves, the first, and most distinctive, is St Germain. The bottle is beautiful and that alone is worth buying it for. Sadly, the creator of St Germain died earlier this year, a fact I learned while purchasing this week’s bottle.
So, this Tuesday, we Toast to St Germain, and the fad that stuck around. Be sure to visit Meg and see what she came up with this week.
Here’s my little monster who photo-bombed my cocktail photo-shoot.