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St. Germain


Nathan
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OT for a thread about St. Germain (which I like well enough), but the posts above about Tequila por Mi Amante have me very interested.  Any suggestions on brand/bottling of tequila to use?  Or even just thoughts on blanco vs. reposado (I'm assuming anejo would be right out)?

I agree that one should use a fine blanco tequila. The gold stuff is all caramel coloring and marketing anyway. Topping off with some reposado for depth of flavor at the end sounds great. I'll definitely be making my next batch that way...

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Thanks for the suggestions! One of my favorites is the Mexican bottling of Herradura blanco, which comes in at 46% alcohol rather than the usual 40%, and is typically available at BevMo here in California. May try it with that, and top up with a cup or so of Herradura reposado as suggested.

Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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First, I gilded the lily a bit on the choice of strawberries.  A few months ago I went to a panel discussion sponsored by Slow Foods LA on local farmer's markets and organic produce, and everyone on the panel was raving about one grower, Harry's Berries.  So that's who I bought my strawberries from this year - organic Gaviotas at $5 per basket.  About $2 per basket more than the average, yes, but absolutely THE BEST strawberries I've ever tasted.  Secondly, I used a blanco, the Hacienda de Chihuahua sotol (I was seduced by the pretty bottle, and delighted with the price), and then topped it off with a cup or so of Cazadores reposado, for no other reason than to fill the jar.  Without question, the best batch yet.

Up in Santa Barbara, I stock up on Harry's Berries twice a week. Yes, they're expensive, but everyone I've convinced to give them a shot has made the switch. They are hands down the best strawberries around (these parts, anyways). And I used to work on a farm where I could guarantee the time off the vine was only as long as it took for me to reach my mouth. There's a mason jar with Seascapes (Gaviotas just showed up this week) and Cazadores reposado in my cabinet right now. I tasted it over the weekend and it was phenomenonally good already - hard to wait another week...

 

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rubyred:

Thank you so much for the kind words.  I'd describe the St Germain as a less-sweet-than-usual liqueur that's well balanced with acidity and that has a not-too-cloying floral aspect.  But I'd certainly check the St. Germain website for their description and the accolades of various members of the Cocktail Mafia, whose opinions carry a bit more weight than mine.

I know how it feels to hoard something you think you can't ever get more of.  Been there, done that a bunch of times.  Can you have a bottle shipped to you?  Or shipped to a friend that's overdue for a visit?? Perhaps shipping is available to a <*cough*> neighboring state or province where you could pick it up?  There has to be some way for you to get your hands on it.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  I've seen retailers turn a blind eye and ship plain brown boxes labelled "gourmet supplies" or whatever, to locales that ought not to be getting them.  It isn't radioactive materials or bomb making supplies, ferchissakes!  I think if you make some discreet email inquiries and befriend the shipping manager at a major retail outlet that ships to other places, they might hook you up.  I know the international thing is tough, but perhaps a friend in another (non-controlled) province has a good relationship with their local store manager?  There has to be a way.

Katie & everyone else:

I've been trying at finding clandestine shipments since my last post. There's a liquor store just over the border in NY that is more than happy to special order some stuff (the aforementioned St. Germain, as well as the far-more-coveted-by-yours-truly, absolutely GORGEOUS, Canton liqueur) for me. I'm sure I'll take them up on it at some point, but it'll have to wait until I have a reason/excuse to remain in the States long enough to be able to bring it back to Canada. I've considered booking myself into the Motel 6 (or equivalent) for the weekend just to earn myself the right to schlep The Golden Fleece (um, I mean booze) over the border, but if you all had seen the town, you'd know how I can't possibly bear the thought!

Getting back to the liqueur itself, like I said before, I only had 50 mL of the stuff, and we decided to make Champagne cocktails (a huge passion of mine). I thought the flavour was so bright; unlike any Champagne cocktail I've made before. But there was something so very familiar to me. I couldn't put my finger on it, so I never bothered mentioning it in my original post.

Granted, it's been several months, so naturally, I suddenly fear my tastebuds are failing me! But maybe I have tasted that flavour profile before! All my life my mother has been a great fan of Asti Spumante, and I recently tasted some at her birthday celebration. My immediate reaction to the first sip of the Asti Spumante was:

Is it just me, or is St. Germain (at least when used in a Champagne cocktail) basically 'essence of Asti Spumante'?

Like with any culinary Rubik's Cube, I was initially pleased with myself for identifying the flavour profile. Likewise, I'm left with more questions than before: Is this the true flavour profile? That is to say, is it different if combined with different flavours?

I'm sure you've all been terribly concerned that I'll never manage to get my hands on some St. Germain. Rest assured that I expect to be travelling to the States this summer. (Dates pending, based on availability of seats at Minibar. Please pray for me!)

Slightly O.T.: While I may have missed the 'trendy boat' on procuring a bottle of St. Germain, does anyone have a recommendation for a different trendy/specialty bottle that I may want to consider? Imagine this: You suddenly find yourself in Communist China. Your local state run liquor store carries only a few specialty products. That's what the liquor store is like in Quebec. Sad. All that to say, the bottle I may be looking for may not the the rarest bottle to you...

Thanks for any input anyone has!

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Sounds like a date. Speaking of which, that Quatroni is sort of like hooking up with some roughneck and finding out s/he's the softest kisser in the world -- but still sticks tongue down your throat.

If this were your Facebook status, I think I'd 'like' this!

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Desert island back bar stash:

St. Germain, Canton, Carpano Antica, creme de Violette, a nice aged rum, a really good reposado tequila, a single batch bourbon, I could go on forever...

You're correct. That very floral quality in Asti is also present in the St. Germain. Even more so, I think, in Moscato d'Asti. It's a sweet/summmery/honeyed sort of scent. St. Germain basically adds deliciousness, for lack of a better term. It's a flavor that seems to appeal to virtually everyone. And it mixes with almost anything as well. Just a splash can turn a simple gin & tonic into something more complex and interesting.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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  • 2 months later...

Exploring the smoke & St. Germain connection some more....

I just tried a 3:1 Laphroaig 10 cask strength to St. Germain. The combination is pretty interesting as the elderflower comes in first and is then overwhelmed by the peat and smoke. I think I'll play with this combination a bit, probably dial down the scotch.

I think Islay scotch is just too smoky, and doesn't mix well. So I tried using mezcal instead:

2 Monte Alban mezcal

.75 St. Germain

.5 lemon juice

I call it the Desert Flower. This works much better than scotch and has become quite a hit with my friends.

While trying to find ways to use some mezcal I got, I found this site and this recipe from Misty Kalkofen of Drink in Boston. She has a 1:1 ratio of mezcal and St. Germain; Eric Felten of the WSJ goes with 1 1/4 mezcal to 3/4 St. Germain (so says Lauren Clark at the great drinkboston blog). I made it Eric's way tonight, and I'd dial back the St. G even more (1 1/2 mezcal to 1/2 St. G?) and add a bit of cane syrup for body.

Here's Felten's version with my notes:

1 1/4 oz mezcal (I used Real de Magueyes)

3/4 oz St. Germain

1/2 oz Punt e Mes

1/4 oz lemon

Shake, (fine) strain, over big rocks with a lemon twist.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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  • 2 weeks later...

This thread is a good example of why eGullet is such a useful resource for me.

St Germain is finally carried in NH -- it apparently arrived with no fanfare, because I keep a pretty close eye on the new arrivals list and never saw it, but there it was on the shelf today next to the lemoncello. Despite having heard so much about it, I was still pretty blown away by the flavor. My first thought was that I wished it'd been available during the brief strawberry season -- second, that it would have been nice in the stone fruit sangria I made last month.

I'm going to get to the farmstand sometime before the weekend and see what fresh summer fruit is out there that would go well with this.

Drinking Chris's Quatroni now (no oranges in the house, so no flamed orange twist), and it's terrific. I'm still new to Punt e Mes (not carried here), so there's a double novelty there, but even apart from that it's just plain good.

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Drinking Chris's Quatroni now (no oranges in the house, so no flamed orange twist), and it's terrific.  I'm still new to Punt e Mes (not carried here), so there's a double novelty there, but even apart from that it's just plain good.

Try it again when you get an orange - I was surprised, but it makes a huge difference.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yet another St. G. Martini variation (YASGMV :rolleyes: ):

1 oz gin (Bombay Sapphire)

1 oz blackberry infused vodka

0.5 oz St. Germaine

good dash Regan's Orange Bitters

Stir, strain into the goofy freebee glass that came with the gin, a lemon twist would have been nice if I had a lemon.

Not much of a gin drinker but I quite like this. Next time I think I'd try dashing the bitters on the top after straining - my current theory is that I like the taste of gin better than the aroma and I've found that some bitters to hit the nose first are a good thing.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Experimented at my little cocktail party tonight with a tomato cocktail i'd had at a local restaurant. They basically made a tomato margarita - muddled cherry tomatoes, cilantro, salt, tequila, cointreau, lime. I didn't have any cointreau, but I figured St. Germain would work really well with those flavors. And I was right.

I still need to come up with a name for this one - any suggestions?

4 cherry tomatoes

1 sprig cilantro

sm piece serrano chile

pinch salt

1.5 oz silver tequila

.5 oz St Germain

1 oz lime

i'm finishing the last of it now. Really quite nice. And smells amazing.

I also served something I picked up from the Paramount Room in Chicago - they call it the OMFG. I didn't have proportions for it, so i had to guess. They started with the idea of an Old Fashioned, with St Germain taking hte place of the sugar. Here's how I made it.

OMFG

1 wedge orange

1 maraschino cherry

2 oz Ridgemont Reserve 1792 Bourbon

3/4 oz St Germain

1/4 oz lemon

2 dashes angostura

i started with a 1/2 oz of St. Germain, but liked it better with a bit more.

(Edited to add the salt)

Edited by tammylc (log)

Tammy's Tastings

Creating unique food and drink experiences

eGullet Foodblogs #1 and #2
Dinner for 40

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I've been playing with a variant of an El Bulli cocktail. Theirs is a hot & cold gin fizz, with a cold liquid base and a hot foam on top (recipe here). This is a little too sour for me, so I thought I'd look at using St Germain with a similar technique.

I can report considerable success - everybody who's had it (limited numbers so far, but still ...) has fallen deeply in lust with it. I'm not satisfied with the amount of contrast between the hot and cold yet, but I'll keep working on it - the cold is easy to get colder, of course, but I'd like the foam a bit hotter without cooking the egg whites.

The recipe is still evolving, but here's the story so far (for four servings) ...

Base:


    Three measures Bombay Sapphire gin
    Two measures St Germain
    Stir together and place in freezer until ready to serve

Topping:


    Two measures Bombay Sapphire
    Just under two measures St Germain
    Four measures tonic
    Heat in microwave to about 60-65 degrees C - probably no more than 20 seconds
    Mix with two egg whites, whipped to the 'soft peaks' stage
    Strain into iSi Thermowhip (warm the Thermowhip first by filling with hot water)
    Charge the Thermowhip (one NO2 cartridge) and shake vigourously

To serve, pour the chilled gin/StG mix into four Martini glasses and add an equal quantity of cold tonic. Squirt hot foam on top, sprinkle on a little fresh lemon zest and enjoy bliss immediately.

Good luck trying this. As I say, I'm still working on it, but early signs are good. By all means vary the quantities according to taste - I find I like slightly less StG than gin in my usual G&T so I do the same in this, but your tastes may well differ. If you don't have a Thermowhip but a 'normal' iSi syphon, you can sit it in a hot water bath rather than using a microwave to heat the foam ingredients - this may even give you more control.

I'll be interested in any feedback on your own experiments.

Bye,

Leslie

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

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Leslie,

Interesting idea, but I see what you're saying - that there's not enough contrast between the cold and hot components... though I think you were saying that there isn't enough contrast from a temperature perspective and I'm thinking that you might want to consider making the flavors of each layer a bit more distinct. Having specific flavors at the different layers will fool the mind into perceiving more of a temperature contrast.

My initial thought is that the idea is solid - but maybe I'd take it a little farther into the experimental side and basically build two complimentary cocktails that get served together where you're using the St. Germain as the common bond. Maybe keep the cold side exactly the way you described and then for the warm side, go a little more acidic/sour - the first thing that pops to mind is a pisco sour. Try lemon, pisco, egg whites, maybe a little gelatin to help it hold as a layer a bit better and a smaller amount of St. Germain for the sweetness and floral notes (which should play nice with the pisco. Since all of the primary flavors work well together (Pisco-Gin, Pisco-Tonic, Pisco-Lemon, Gin-Lemon, Gin-Tonic), it should work both as the layers stay separate as well as once they start to blend together.

The end result would be a St. Germain-ed Gin & Tonic meeting with a St. Germain-ed Pisco Sour.

Good Luck!

- Avery

PS: One thought - maybe I would use pasteurized egg whites in the top half or pull the egg whites out and use a little pineapple juice and more gelatin for the foamy texture (and the flavors still work) if I was doing this in a bar setting, just because holding egg whites at this temperature could be a little problematic from a food safety perspective. Plus, it should hold stable at higher temperatures for longer.

Avery Glasser

Bittermens, Inc. - Producers of Bittermens Bitters & Extracts

Bittermens Spirits, Inc. - Purveyors of Small Batch Bitter Liqueurs

Vendetta Spirits, LLC. - Nano-Importer of Hand-Produced Spirits

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Thanks for your thoughts, Avery.

I'm not sure I've ever seen Pisco here, let alone bought any, but I'll look out for it. However, I think I'm getting close to perfection with a version I did this last weekend.

Top (foamy) layer pretty much as described earlier. However, this time I heated the Bombay, St Germain and tonic in a saucepan rather than in the microwave - much better control, since I could drape my favourite thermometer over the edge. Heat to around 65 C, then pour into the Thermowhip.

Bottom layer: twice as much gin as StG (and I used an 'ordinary' gin, not Bombay Sapphire), plus a small slop of a lemon cordial my wife makes (very lemony but not sour) - about half as much of this as of StG. Pour over ice then into the freezer until ready (maybe half an hour this time, but I don't think it's critical).

Result was a definite contrast between both taste and temperature. I'm happy with this one ...

Bye,

Leslie

Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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  • 9 months later...

This may sound like an odd question, but can anyone give me approximate dimensions of a St. Germain bottle? I'm hoping to bring some back to Canada, but will need an appropriately-sized bottle-protector so I can safely pack it in my check-in luggage. I have a bottle-holder in mind, but need to make sure it's big enough.

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This may sound like an odd question, but can anyone give me approximate dimensions of a St. Germain bottle? I'm hoping to bring some back to Canada, but will need an appropriately-sized bottle-protector so I can safely pack it in my check-in luggage. I have a bottle-holder in mind, but need to make sure it's big enough.

12 1/2" tall, about 11" diameter where the bottle tapers outward at the top.

"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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This may sound like an odd question, but can anyone give me approximate dimensions of a St. Germain bottle? I'm hoping to bring some back to Canada, but will need an appropriately-sized bottle-protector so I can safely pack it in my check-in luggage. I have a bottle-holder in mind, but need to make sure it's big enough.

Just took a tape measure to a bottle, which is not going to be exact, but I got approximately 12.5" tall & 3.5" in diameter at its widest...

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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This may sound like an odd question, but can anyone give me approximate dimensions of a St. Germain bottle? I'm hoping to bring some back to Canada, but will need an appropriately-sized bottle-protector so I can safely pack it in my check-in luggage. I have a bottle-holder in mind, but need to make sure it's big enough.

12 1/2" tall, about 11" diameter where the bottle tapers outward at the top.

I think you mean 11" in circumference, not diameter.

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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Thanks to you both!

The St. Germain will either just fit in the container I have in mind, or it might be just a touch too small. It's just under 13" high and has an inner circumference of 11.6" (the diameter is about 3.5").

I guess I'll bring it anyway, and just pray it fits!

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I simply have to add this amusing anecdote. In a recent conversation with Toby Maloney, he described St. Germain as "MSG for bartenders". :laugh:

That pretty much covers it, I'd say.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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I simply have to add this amusing anecdote. In a recent conversation with Toby Maloney, he described St. Germain as "MSG for bartenders". :laugh:

That pretty much covers it, I'd say.

Not just bartenders...we encountered it from a *** Michelin chef a few months ago. It was drizzled over suprêmes of orange and grapefruit as a palate cleanser at the close of breakfast. He'd used Amer Picon in an amuse and Campari in a dessert on a previous visit, so it wasn't completely out of the blue...

True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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  • 4 months later...

As of yesterday, St. Germain has become available in Ontario. Apparently a 300 case initial allotment. I'll have to order it through the local LCBO as it's a Vintages item and there are no Vintages stores anywhere close to where I live. Since I'm completely unfamiliar with this but see the name come up a lot, is it something I want in my cabinet bad enough that I should jump on ordering it?

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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Yeah, I don't mind elderflower at all. There's an elderflower soda or flavored water or something available locally that I buy now and then. I see a lot of drinks that call for the St. Germain but, since it's never been available where I live, I've never tasted those drinks so I thought I'd rely on eGullet wisdom. A lot of my booze decisions have been altered for the better by reading and asking questions here because many things are unavailable locally and I have to order based on what I can learn without tasting.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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As of yesterday, St. Germain has become available in Ontario. Apparently a 300 case initial allotment. I'll have to order it through the local LCBO as it's a Vintages item and there are no Vintages stores anywhere close to where I live. Since I'm completely unfamiliar with this but see the name come up a lot, is it something I want in my cabinet bad enough that I should jump on ordering it?

YES !!! Get a couple of bottles, in case the supply dries up. Once you start using it, you will become hooked on it.

Granted, it's *NOT* an everyday taste, but nothing else can replace it. The threads here on eG will guide you towards many, many delightful adult beverages using it. A bottle will last you a while, as I said, since its not a taste to be used daily.

But, once you have it, and use it, you will not want to be without it.

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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