Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Happy Birthday Page St. Germain Elderflower Sangria

In the world of mixology, St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is Kind of a Big Deal. In the 2009 edition of the book of cocktail recipes that Food & Wine magazine publishes every year, there are 10 different cocktails featuring St. Germain. (For comparison, there were only 9 with vodka.) So St. Germain is new now and super trendy, and, like many people who were nerds in high school, I have a certain suspicion of anything incredibly popular. So it was with a bit of reluctlance that I bought my first bottle.

My mind began to change when I first held the bottle in my hand. I know, it's a bottle of liquor, not a baby, but seriously - this bottle is gorgeous. Just it being on the counter was enough to give my kitchen a certain air of sophistication. And the taste - is beyond incredible. Fruity and floral, sweet without being too heavy. Other bloggers have attempted to break it down into its component parts, but I just thought - "I bet this is what ambrosia tastes like". (I just looked up ambrosia on Wikipedia, to make certain it was what I thought it was, and the article described it as "a kind of divine exhalation of the earth". St. Germain elderflower liqueur is a divine exhalation of the earth.)

It has a pretty cool story, too - the flowers used to make the liqueur are handpicked, in the foothills of the Alps, during only a few days every spring, by only 40 or 50 different guys, and then transported to the distillery by bicycle. By bicycle. Each bottle has a little label with the vintage year and its own individual number, which should make you feel a little better about paying as much for it as you did.

In other news, Page had a birthday (on July 3rd, which tells you how behind I am with these posts), and Jessie had a party for her, part of which was a talent show. Well, my talents are...singing Total Eclipse of the Heart at the top of my lungs, and making cat noises. So I made sangria. Of course it had to be something original, since Page is an original, and I had that lovely bottle of St. Germain sitting on the counter, beckoning to me. And it was right there on the box, all helpful-like, how great St. Germain is with white wine. And St-Germain is light and fruity and sweet, just like the wines Page likes (I've drunk a lot of wine with Page), so really it was a no-brainer.

People keep asking me how I knew which fruits to add to the sangria, and the answer is: I am a culinary genius. No, the answer is, I looked at a few other blog posts about St. Germain, and people were saying things like "hints of peach!" "hints of pear!" "hints of citrus!", so I started there. The one thing I didn't see was "hints of elderflower!" because apparently nobody else knows what an elderflower is supposed to taste like, either.

St. Germain White Sangria
1 bottle dry white wine*
1 cup Gt. Germain
3/4 cup pear nectar
1/4 cup poire william eau-de-vie (pear-flavored brandy), if you have it**
2 peaches, pitted and sliced***
1 pear, cored and sliced****
1 cup red grapefruit, cut into wedges
1 cup green grapes, cut in half
2 tablespoons simple syrup

*Sauvignon blanc and pinot grigio are good choices for a white sangria. I used Messina Hof's pinot grigio. Yay Texas!
**If not, go ahead and add a full cup of pear nectar.
***I used white peaches, for a more subtle peach flavor, but yellow will work, too.
****Pears aren't very good at infusing, hence the eau-de-vie and the pear nectar. The sliced pear is really more for looks (and post-sangria snacking).

Mix it all up (make sure your pitcher is big enough before you start adding the ingredients!), cover the pitcher, and allow to steep in the fridge overnight (or for at least eight hours).

Verdict: Peach and pear and all sorts of flavors meld together seamlessly into something indescribably sweet and light. Pretty much the perfect summer drink.


  1. dude, is this the same sangria we had at my goodbye party? i know i should have been able to tell by the taste but we all know that i'm a poor little nose-handicapped girl. either way, this recipe sounds amazing. and i can definitely agree on the beauty of the liquor bottle, even if i wasn't much help in breaking down the flavors of the liquor itself. how would that stuff taste in a champagne cocktail?

  2. Yes'm, it's the same recipe, with a few tweaks. And I can vouch that St. Germain tastes amazing with champagne - but that's the one I was telling you about that isn't available in St. Louis. Poop.

  3. Thanks for sharing another delicious recipe. I don't have peaches in the house, so I'm using white nectarines instead for this batch. So far, so good! MMMmmmm... tasty!

  4. This sounds amazing. I will have to try it. I doubt that we can get St. Germain here in podunk ND, but, once we're in Germany I think I'll have to make that.

  5. I'm thinking about doing this as one of my signature drinks for my wedding this year. Do you have an idea of about how many people this recipe serves?

  6. If you're considering a serving to be the same as a standard glass of wine (5 oz), about 8.