When looking for cocktails made with St Germain you might be – as I was – disappointed by the surprising lack of ingenuity. Sure the light, bright elderflower fizz is always a sensational treat but one needs some variety.
- 45 ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
- 30 ml Brandy
- 15 ml Orange Liqueur
- 15 ml Fresh Lemon
- Sugar for rim (optional)
- Add all ingredients into shaker tin.
- Shake well to properly incorporate elderflower liqueur.
- Strain into a chilled coupe over fresh ice.
- Garnish if desired. Enjoy.
- More Photos & Step-by-step Instructions here
A Bottle About to Die
Here’s the back story. About a year ago I picked up a bottle of St Germaine on the way home from the bar. We had St Germaine on the wall where I worked and on more than a few occasions I tasted it – and I like it. The syrupy liqueur blossoming with fragrant elderflower was delightful.
But truth be told, I didn’t really know what to do with it and after asking around neither did any of the other staff. Occaionslally we’d pour it as an after dinner cordial but that was about it. And so the bottle sat. Which is why, after a night of exceptional tipping, I decided to take a bottle home and play with it.
I struggled at first to pair the unique liqueur with a suitable base and after a deep dive into internet land I discovered that white wine and champaign was really the only suggestion offered up. So I tried those mixtures – St Germaine and champaign. Delicious. Elderflower liqueur and white wine. A fine choice. St Germaine and soda water. See what’s going on?
Virtually all the recipes I could find (except for this one) was simply adding St Germaine to a neutral base. Where’s the complexity? The nuance?
A Welcome Departure
Somewhere in my digging I tripped on this winner. The recipe called it an Elderflower Sidecar – and I think that name works just fine.
A sidecar is a simple three ingredient cocktail with a base of congac, and mixed with equal parts lemon juice and orange liqueur – and it’s a true classic.
Ours is a take off on that recipe and but we’ll tweak the ratios as we’ll be starting off the drink with a hefty dose of St Germaine and building from there.
How to Make the Elderflower Liqueur Sidecar
It’s not necessary to use a shaker when making a traditional sidecar cocktail but with the addition of the St Germaine I find that the drink benefits from a good shake to lift the heavy liqueur off the bottom.
Add 45 ml (1.5 oz) St Germaine elderflower liqueur into your shaker.
To the elderflower liqueur add 30 ml brandy, cognac, armagnac, or any other dark, fruit based liquor in the brandy family. I used what I had on hand which was a bottle of Christian Brothers VS brandy tonight but I’ve also used Remy VSOP and a plum brandy before for different variations.
Up next is a 15 ml (0.5 oz) of orange liqueur. You’ll see that I used Cointreau tonight since I wanted something a little sweeter and I would be the one drinking it. Usually though I reach for Grand Marnier. Grand is an orange liqueur that uses cognac as the base and typically I mix like with like.
Last squeeze 15 ml (0.5 oz) of fresh lemon into your shaker tin. Add ice and give the whole thing a good hard shake to get the elderflower liqueur throughly incorperated.
Once you feel the shaker tin cool and the hard crack of the ice in the tin soften strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail coup filled with fresh ice. Garnish if you with and enjoy.
Let me know if you make this one as it’s quickly become my go to recommendation for a St. Germain cocktail.