St Germain liqueur is one of the hottest ingredient in cocktails! Here’s more about this elderflower liqueur and the best ways to use it.
Got a bottle of St Germain, or wondering whether it’s worth the purchase? St Germain is one of the hottest ingredients in cocktails, and here’s a secret: it’s also one of the newest liqueurs to hit the scene. Is it worth all the hype? We think so. Here’s more about this elderflower liqueur and how to use it in homemade cocktails of all kinds.
What is St Germain?
St Germain is a liqueur that’s made with elderflowers, the small white flowers of an elderberry plant. With its beautiful vintage bottle, it looks like a liqueur that’s been produced for centuries by French monks like Chartreuse. But turns out, it’s a lot more modern than you might expect.
St Germain liqueur was invented in 2007 by a man named Rob Cooper, inspired by a craft cocktail he tasted in a bar made in London made with elderflower syrup. He worked in the liquor business and wondered: could he made a liqueur that would bottle up that incredible sweet and floral flavor? He did, and St Germain was born. (Read more about the story behind St Germain here.)
How do you say St Germain? Don’t say “Saint”. It’s actually pronounced “Sahn-jer-MAHN.” But however you want to say it to not sound too pretentious with your friends, go for it!
What does St Germain taste like?
St Germain has become widely popular because there’s really nothing like it. The flavor is light, sweetly floral, and fragrant, with notes of citrus, pear and passionfruit. It’s hard to describe until you taste it! It adds a unique smooth finish to any drink.
Are there any substitutes? Look for elderflower syrup at the store or online. You can also make homemade elderflower liqueur or syrup if you have access to fresh elderflowers. (We don’t, but they’re more common in Europe!) For a non-alcoholic substitute, try elderflower juice: it’s available at IKEA stores or online.
Why we like it
St Germain adds an intoxicating, beautifully floral finish to any cocktail. We can’t get enough of it, around here! It has the unexpected intrigue and nuanced flavor that’s hard to put into words. It’s our favorite a French Gimlet or St Germain French 75.
How much does it cost?
Compared to other liquors, St Germain is mid-priced. It costs about $15 per 375 ml bottle and about $25 to $30 for a 750 ml bottle. The shelf life of St Germain is about 6 months, and you can store it unrefrigerated.
Most popular St Germain cocktails
St Germain features in many several great cocktails: here are some favorites worth trying!
This elderflower liqueur is also included in the following drinks:
- St Germain & Cranberry Cocktail Mix it with cranberry and lemon to make a makeshift Cosmo.
- Elderflower & Lemon Cocktail Mix it with St Germain, lemon juice, bitters, and tonic water.
- Cucumber Martini A cool, crisp take on the classic martini starring cucumber, vodka, and the floral notes of St Germain.
This St Germain champagne cocktail mixes elderflower liqueur with champagne, lemon, and gin. A sophisticated bubbly drink perfect for any occasion!
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) St Germain
- 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) gin
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) simple syrup or pure maple syrup
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) champagne (about 1/2 glass)*
- Place the St. Germain, gin, lemon juice, and syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake 15 seconds until cold. Strain the liquid into a champagne flute.
- Top off the glass with champagne (no need to measure). Garnish and serve. (Note: You can also make a large batch of the St. Germain, gin, lemon juice, and syrup ahead if desired, then measure out 6 tablespoons per glass.)
*You’ll get about 8 to 10 drinks per 1 bottle of champagne. Make it non-alcoholic by using non-alcoholic sparkling wine.
- Category: Drink
- Method: Stirred
- Cuisine: Cocktails
Keywords: St Germain
More cocktail guides
Wondering what Campari is? Or St Germain or Chartreuse? Here are a few more guides to cocktail and mixology:
- Guide to Orange Liqueur All you need to know about this somewhat confusing style of liquor.
- Quick Guide to Cointreau and Quick Guide to Grand Marnier
- Quick Guide to Chartreuse This pale green liqueur is worth adding to your collection…here’s why.
- Quick Guide to Absinthe This formerly banned liquor is now in good graces.
- Guide to Creme de Cacao This chocolate liqueur is key to many popular after dinner drinks.
- Guide to Grenadine It’s mistaken as cherry, but this bright syrup has a secret.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.