Mixologists, and to a lesser extent the world of artisan cocktails, intimidate me. It’s neither the tattoos nor often painfully-contrived hipster facial hair, but the condescending air of ‘you know nothing about alcohol’ that gets me. It’s like they can tell right as I walk up to the bar that I have no idea what constitutes a shandy and that I only own two bottles of hard alcohol: Laird’s applejack, which I mostly use for cooking, and St-Germain elderflower liqueur, a delightful tipple and my go-to choice on any complicated cocktail menu.
Predictably distilled from elderflowers, St-Germain proudly boasts that its farmers hand-pick and often deliver the delicate blossoms to the distillery by bike. The exceedingly bucolic mental image of a French farmer pedaling through the Alps with a bag of elderflowers is almost too much to handle. It’s right up there with these sea otters holding hands. Hipster mixologists are not immune to bucolic mental images, as St-Germain is all over the cocktail menus of many trendy Bay Area bars and restaurants. Often mixed with a citrus juice and sparkling wine, St-Germain cocktails are effortlessly – and dangerously – drinkable.
Considering I have at least twice as many bottles of olive oil as I do liquor, it should come as no surprise that I lack many of the trappings of a common bar. Cocktail shaker? Please. Martini glasses? I don’t like gin (unless it’s braised with sauerkraut and butter). I always have, though, my romantic bottle of St-Germain, eight stemless Champagne flutes, a chilled bottle of sparkling wine such as Prosecco, and a bevy of Meyer lemons.
I don’t measure the ingredients when I make this cocktail, but I’ve estimated the quantities in my recipe, below. It speaks volumes about my mixology ignorance that at first I recorded these measurements in teaspoons and tablespoons. Have you ever seen a hipster mixologist pouring ANYTHING into a tablespoon? Save your measuring spoons for baking soda and vanilla extract, and gain some hipster street cred by measuring these ingredients in ounces (or eyeballing them, which is the coolest of all).
The nice thing about a cocktail like this is that it’s adaptable for individual preferences and fruit availability. Any type of citrus would be at home here, and the proportions of each ingredient can be varied based on personal preference. Try these with orange juice at brunch for an unexpected twist on mimosas.