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St. Germaine Liqueur

Elderflower Liqueur


By Robert Plotkin

What good you may have heard about the recently introduced St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur—well, it's actually much better than that. Few products better demonstrate how enchanting a liqueur can be than this artisanal work of art. Handcrafted in the foothills of the French Alps, St-Germain is the only liqueur created from Alpine elderflower blossoms, likely because of the significant obstacles encountered in its production.

Wild elderflowers blossom for just three to four days in late spring, during which enough must be hand-picked to meet the production needs for the year. What complicates matters is that the snowy white flowers grow in rugged, mountainous terrain accessible only on foot and that once picked, their delicate blossoms quickly lose their magnificent fragrance and flavor. The flowers must therefore be gently handpicked, brought down the steep hillsides in sacks and bicycled to the small distillery nearby where they're immediately macerated to capture their fresh, captivating essence.

Afterwards, the maceration is married with a touch of citrus, cane syrup and eau-de-vie. The result is an unprecedented tour de force, an exquisite, sun-drenched masterpiece. St-Germain has a pale golden hue, a lush curvaceous body and pronounced aromas of tart citrus, pears and honey. Its floral-induced palate is expertly balanced and features a complex of fresh, light flavors, including mango, rock candy and tangy grapefruit. The finish is long and thoroughly satisfying.

As delectable as the elixir is sipped neat, it's equally mesmerizing when presented in top-shelf cocktails or showcased in libations finished with Champagne. St-Germain is a rare and elegant taste sensation.