It's Jan. 13, and with a great sigh, I can now say I'm 40. But instead of being filled with melancholy, I decided to treat myself with the gift of flowers.
St-Germain elderflower, that is.
With hints of pear, peach and grapefruit zest, the fragrant bouquet of this French liqueur is the perfect way to swallow the notion that we all get better with age. My first introduction to St-Germain was sipping an Elderflower 75 (possibly the best drink I've ever had) during social hour at Perry's Steakhouse. And even better than this cocktail is that, from 4-6:30 Monday through Friday, you can get a trio of martinis for $6 (regular price $12) and half-price wines, martinis and appetizers.
1 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
A splash (approximately 1/4 ounce) Tanqueray No. 10 gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
3/4 ounce simple syrup
Champagne or sparkling wine (about 2 1/2 ounces)
1. Wet the outside rim of a champagne flute with a lemon wedge and dip into a plate of sugar. Set aside.
2. Combine St-Germain, gin, lemon juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into the sugar-rimmed glass.
3. Top with champagne. (The one in my drink was Moët & Chandon Imperial.) Garnish with a long lemon spiral.
Mix tip: Not a darn thing. This is heaven in a glass.
Lemon crème martini
3/4 ounce Tito's vodka
3/4 ounce limoncello
3/4 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1 ounce lemon juice
1 ounce simple syrup
A splash of half & half
3/4 ounce egg white (you can find pasteurized egg whites in cartons at most grocery stores)
Lemon wheel, for garnish
1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker without ice. Add ice and shake vigorously.
2. Strain into chilled martini glass. Garnish with a floating lemon wheel.
Mix tip: I made one drink with the egg whites, and one without, and I think you could go either way.
Source: Perry's Steakhouse
Pear tree martini
1 1/2 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
1 1/2 ounce pear vodka
1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
1 dash Angostura bitters
1. Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass.
2. Garnish with a slice of pear and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Mix tip: Top with a bit of champagne for a sparkling twist.
5 ounces pilsner beer
1 1/2 ounces St-Germain elderflower liqueur
2 lemon wedges
1. Stir ingredients together in a pint glass filled halfway to the top with ice.
2. Squeeze two wedges (or half a lemon) into the glass and submerge them into the beer.
Mix tip: I was really skeptical that this would taste good, but I had to try it. It was a pleasant surprise.
3 ounces gin
1/2 ounce St.-Germain elderflower liqueur
Dash of orange bitters
1. Stir ingredients in a shaker and pour into an ice-filled old-fashioned glass.
Mix tip: Even if you are a lover of gin, this might be a bit strong. Add a splash of orange juice and top with lemon-lime soda for a better mix.