- St-Germain is a liqueur made from elderflowers.
- It has a light and fragrant flavor profile, with notes of passion fruit, pineapple, and guava.
- St-Germain is an easy, approachable way to add a sweet floral finish to any drink.
St-Germain is a French elderflower liqueur known for its subtly sweet and floral flavor. First bottled in 2007, it is the first elderflower liqueur ever produced.
“There’s really nothing like St-Germain,” says Moses Laboy, award-winning bartender and beverage director with Gerber Group. To help introduce you to the versatile spirit, we compiled a list of 8 cocktails, including some original creations of Laboy, that showcase the liqueur in a variety of settings.
What is St-Germain?
St-Germain is made from a neutral spirit distilled from grapes, which is then flavored by freshly picked elderflowers. This imparts the liqueur with a floral aroma and fruity flavor. “It has a lot of tropical fruit notes,” Laboy says, who cites the flavors of “passion fruit, pineapple, and even guava.”
After the elderflowers have been infused, the liqueur is sweetened with sugar, which also gives it a syrupy texture that can add body to cocktails or even replace simple syrups altogether.
Since its introduction to the modern cocktail world, St-Germain has become a popular liqueur, earning itself the nickname “bartender’s ketchup” for its versatility and ability to make any drink taste better.
“St-Germain is really versatile and can be used in many ways,” says Laboy. “It pairs best with the lighter, brighter, spirits — your gins, tequilas, and vodkas.” It also pairs nicely with champagne, sparkling wine, and you can even simply have it on the rocks or with a splash of club soda.
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1. French Gimlet
The French Gimlet is a variation on the classic gin gimlet that swaps out the simple syrup for St-Germain. “It’s a great twist,” Laboy says. “You get all of the sweetness and the elderflower really brings it up a level.”
To make the French Gimlet, combine all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake vigorously until chilled. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lime wheel.
2. LES Spritz
The LES Spritz is an original cocktail served at Mr. Purple one of the bar programs that Laboy developed in New York City. It’s similar to both the classic Aperol Spritz and the St-Germain cocktail, but with the addition of vodka.
To make the LES Spritz, shake the vodka, St-Germain, and lime juice in a shaker with ice. Strain into a Bordeaux-style wine glass over ice, then top with equal parts prosecco and garnish with a lemon twist. Perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening at a rooftop bar.
3. St-Germain Spritz
This drink, also known as the elderflower spritz, was invented by Rob Cooper in 2007. “It’s a delicious and festive drink,” Laboy says. “It just makes people happy.”
To make the refreshing St-Germain spritz, first fill a collins glass with ice. Pour in the St-Germain and wine and stir lightly to combine. Top with club soda and garnish with a twist of lemon.
The Sunflower, invented by renowned bartender Sam Ross, is a twist of the classic gin cocktail the Corpse Reviver No. 2. “This one can be a bit sweet and tart, so I pump up the gin to 1 ½ oz. to balance it out,” Laboy says.
To make a sunflower, put a small amount of absinthe in your chilled serving glass and swirl it around the glass to coat the interior. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake until the ingredients are combined and chilled. Strain the cocktail into the absinthe rinsed glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
This cocktail is an original of Laboy’s inspired by watching movies with his daughter. The Wazowski gets its name from the popular one-eyed character from the movie “Monsters Inc.” “When you juice a fresh whole zucchini, you get this beautiful bright green juice,” Laboy says. “It’s just a delicious, playful St-Germain cocktail.”
To make Laboy’s Wazowski, combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until chilled. Strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with the cucumber, “I roll the cucumber up, stick a pick through it, and put it in the middle of the glass so it looks like one eye,” Laboy says.
6. Dear Jane
This cocktail takes the classic three-ingredient Negroni and splits the sweet vermouth with a touch of St-Germain.
The Dear Jane is a creation of Zachary Gelnaw-Rubin, who developed it while working at the bar Attaboy in 2015. The elderflower liqueur works with the vermouth to balance sweetness against the more bitter Campari while simultaneously adding more floral complexity to the drink.
To make this drink, put all of the ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and stir until the ingredients are combined and the drink is properly chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube and garnish with a citrus twist.
7. Elder Fashioned
This version of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail was invented by Simon Difford at The Cabinet Room in London shortly after St-Germain started to appear behind bars.
To make this drink combine all of the ingredients in a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled and thoroughly mixed. Strain into a rocks glass over a large piece of ice. Garnish with a swath of orange peel.
St-Germain is a versatile and accessible elderflower liqueur that is loved by bartenders and home mixologists alike. Its sweet, floral, and fruity flavors are perfect for adding a new twist to a classic cocktail.