Sunday, February 21, 2010

Cocktails: St-Germain and the Main Squeeze

By Brooklyn Bill

The latest cocktail ingredient I've been playing around with is St-Germain, an incredibly delicious and wonderfully aromatic French liqueur made from elderflowers. It's captivating, beautiful, and elegant—and the perfect combination of fruity, floral, and sweet.

St-Germain is tasty enough on its own, but I had visions of combining it with flavors of orange and honey into a stellar cocktail I had planned to call the Orange Blossom. But that name has been taken. And taken. And taken.

The first version of my cocktail went thusly:

2 oz. St-Germain
2 oz. Cointreau*
2 oz. fresh-squeezed tangerine juice
1 oz. honey syrup**
Club soda

Shake the first four ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a 12-ounce glass filled with ice cubes. Top off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with an orange or tangerine slice, if desired.

*My boy Dale DeGroff says Cointreau is the only orange liqueur worth buying.
**Equal parts honey and water shaken together until well combined.

I liked this drink pretty OK for a first attempt, but it was too busy and didn't let the St-Germain shine through. And neither Cointreau nor St-Germain is exactly cheap, so it seemed too costly a preparation as well. I decided to try a simpler, second version.

3 oz. St-Germain
3 oz. orange juice, preferably fresh squeezed
Club soda

Shake the St-Germain and the orange juice in a cocktail shaker with ice. Pour, unstrained, into a 12-ounce glass. Top off with a splash of club soda. Garnish with an orange slice, if desired.

I loved this cocktail. It's utterly delicious and refreshing. I took a shakerful and my bottle of club soda to Bob and Jen's apartment the next evening to get a second opinion. They enjoyed it too and wisely pointed out that it would work best as a hot-weather drink. I can totally see myself getting hammered on these in the summer. (That's what she said.)

Yesterday I settled on a name for my creation that I'm quite pleased with: the Main Squeeze. Although it may not be as clever an application of that name as this one.


  1. When you were talking about this at the party I thought you were talking about ICE CREAM! That's why I said "ICH!" Mark Heskin

  2. Mark, I think I mentioned using St-Germain in an ice cream. But not the whole Main Squeeze.