When I walk into Omaha Wine at 114th and Dodge I am always looking for something new and different to try. By new, I mean new to me that I’ve never tried. By different, I mean unusual. What I came away with was in fact both. If you have ever tried St~Germain liqueur, you know exactly what I am talking about.
The bottle itself is a work of art. It is tall and elegant with sharp edges begging to be touched. Once it is picked up, it isn’t like a regular bottle of liquor you’d hold by the neck. No. It requires cradling and care by its design alone. That is precisely the first clue as to what is inside the bottle as well.
As is perfectly clear, what drew me to this liqueur in the first place was the spectacular bottle. Upon reading the label I discovered St~Germain is created from handpicked elderflower blossoms. Yes, flowers. I had to ask about the elderflower, since most liqueurs I’ve ever tried have a fruit base. The quick witted response of the person on duty was a little unusual, but I can play along. He said, “Hold your hand out and get ready to lick.” That isn’t something you hear every day. Then again, Omaha Wine is where you find the new and different. So, I put out my hand and sure enough, he poured a little sample of the St~Germain in the palm of my hand. It was so delicious I didn’t hesitate to buy it immediately. My brain was already concocting delicious things to try out with this new flavor.
Thinking on it, I can’t describe what the liqueur even tastes like. It is light, yet abundant, but not overpowering. It is floral, but not flowery and strong like roses. It has a hint of fruit in it, yet there is not a particular fruit to distinguish in the flavor. If you take a look at the official website they hint at the subtleties of the flavor, but can not pinpoint it either. “Neither pear nor peach, lychee nor citrus, the sublime taste of St~Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly.”
It is a complicated liqueur, yet brings a dynamic to a drink that is unmatched. It is a layering effect that happens when a drink is put together with forethought. When you drink a cocktail such as this, you take a sip and think to yourself that it tastes really good. Then you take another sip and realize there is another element in the drink you hadn’t caught the first taste around. That adds new depth and character to it and you want to taste more to see if you catch something else. That is exactly what the St~Germain does for a drink if it is added in the right proportion.
St~Germain may be on the pricier side of liqueurs, but well worth it. Play around with it in exchange for bar syrup in a mojito or in exchange for Gran Marnier in a margarita for something different. Now try this. It is my newest experiment.
St~Germain Limon Blossom
1-1/2 oz Three Olives Citrus Vodka
1 oz St Germain
½ oz Caravella Limoncello
1 oz Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice
Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker. Fill 1/3 full with ice. Shake 15 – 20 seconds. Strain into a well chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
Check out St~Germain at www.stgermain.fr