Happy Hour: St. Germain Is the Best

by Diana Vilibert

Remember when I asked you guys to send me your liquor conundrums? (You still can, and should! Just email me.) I learned one main thing from your emails: All your friends are giving you bottles of alcohol pretty much all the time. My friends don’t, so I decided to dump them, which gave me some extra time to answer this query from a Hairpin reader:

So I realized I love St. Germain in cocktails. And the bottle is perhaps the prettiest thing ever. So I bought one. And now, I realize, I have no idea what to do with it. I can’t drink rum, but love pretty much all other alcohols — gin’s my favorite. Help!

Yesss, St. Germain! The bottle is gorgeous, and there’s a ton you can do with it. The elderflower liqueur is great in a simple, two- or three-ingredient drinks (everything from adding St. Germain to a gin and tonic, to mixing it with sake [4 parts sake to 1 part St. Germain], to topping it off with Champagne), but if you want to get a little fancier, try some of my favorites below. And don’t wait too long to drink it all — St. Germain is best within six months of opening (though I’ve yet to have a bottle last me more than a week, so it’s unlikely you’ll have a problem getting through it all).

Grand Autumn

2 parts rye whiskey
1 part St. Germain
3/4 part freshly squeezed lime juice
Top with ginger beer
2 dashes Angostura bitters

Directions: Shake first three ingredients in an ice-filled shaker and strain into a ice-filled glass. Top with Ginger beer and 2 dashes of Angostura bitters to garnish.

The Gentleman

1 part Spanish brandy or cognac
3/4 part St. Germain
1 cube brown sugar
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Top with Brut Rose Champagne or Brut sparkling wine

Directions: Cover a brown sugar cube with Angostura bitters at the bottom of a Champagne flute and add brandy and St. Germain. Top with Champagne or sparkling wine and garnish with a lemon twist.

Le Marseille Fruits Fizz

(Sorry, guys, I refuse to stop trying to get you into egg white cocktails.)
2 parts Plymouth gin
1 part St. Germain
3/4 part fresh lemon juice
1/4 part simple syrup
1 dash orange bitters
1 egg white
Add muddled fruit of choice (I like strawberries or blackberries for this)
Top with club soda

Directions: Add ingredients to a shaker without ice and shake vigorously to emulsify egg white. Add ice, shake again, and strain into a tall Collins glass, sans ice.

Dia del Amor

2 parts Reposado tequila (I like Espolon)
1 part St. Germain
3/4 Freshly squeezed lime juice
2 dashes hot sauce

Chili salt (you can make this by mixing sea salt and dried chili flakes)

Directions: Shake and strain into chili salt-rimmed rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel.

Previously: Trick or Treat [Please Make Me a Tequila Spice Margarita].

Diana Vilibert is a freelance writer and drinker living in Brooklyn, and no one is paying her to say any of this.

Images courtesy St. Germain