Getting to know St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

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By now, you’ve probably spent enough time wandering around Happy Hour to find our liqueurs section and see an ever widening selection of colourful and funky looking bottles to choose from.

At the same time, you might have said to yourself, “that’s cool” and then went on with getting what you came in to get in the first place. 

Over the next little while, we’re going to do our part to help you learn a little bit more about some of the funky looking stuff we have in store and what amazing drinks you can make with them. 

This doesn’t mean you should give up your favourites, but it’s always fun to try something new, right? 

First out of the gate is perhaps one of the tallest bottles we have in the store: the St-Germain elderflower liqueur. 

Even though the bottle has this elegant design that suggests a long and interesting history, this particular liqueur only hit the market in 2007. Despite it’s relatively young age compared to some of it’s shelf buddies, St-Germain’s story is pretty interesting none the less. 

It was originally launched by the Robert Cooper Spirits Company before being sold to Bacardi in 2013. Cooper did remain on as the spirits spokesperson. 

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Yeah, that part is pretty boring, I’ll give you that. Making this liqueur is basically a lot of hurry up and wait. As the name suggests, elderflowers are one of the main ingredients used to make St- Germain, however, they can only be harvested for a short period of time every year. That’s why each bottle is individually numbered. 

Once the elderflowers are harvested, there’s also a race against the clock for getting as much flavour out of those flowers as possible. They only remain flavourful for about as long as they’re available for harvest. Unfortunately, for St-Germain’s purposes there isn’t a whole lot you can do with the elderflowers to keep them longer term. Pressing them makes them bitter, freezing them dulls the flavour. The only thing they can do is macerate them. 

While it’s a lot of technical work to make the St. Germain, it’s worth it in the end as you end up with an incredibly delicate liqueur that offers up fresh and natural flavours of elderflower along with hints of pear, peach and grapefruit. 

St-Germain is most commonly used in the St-Germain cocktail, duh. 

In this refreshing cocktail is 2 parts Brut Champagne, though different white wines are offered up as an alternative as well, 1.5 parts of St-Germain and 2 parts of sparkling water. 

The St-Germain cocktail is just the beginning, as their website has all kinds of suggestions for every type of occasion and taste. 

Check back next time as we take a deeper look at another funky looking liqueur. 

Joel Gasson