The Ethereal Flavor of a Summer Moment

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We hit on another splashy summer cocktail last week: the St.-Germaine Cocktail.

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A simple mixture of sparkling wine, club soda and St.-Germaine (a liqueur said to be made from dainty French elderflowers gathered by grizzled farmers in the foothills of the Alps), it is light and slightly sweet, fragrant and fizzy. It's good for drinking slowly on a hot evening. However, if you're thirsty and distracted and inadvertently bolt it, it's weak enough that your knees don't buckle. It even looks cool and composed. It's like the seersucker of drinks.

We had no idea we were tippling the "it" beverage. Introduced here in 2007, St.-Germaine is in the tradition of European herb and flower liqueurs like millefiori or Strega. Its flavor, which brings to mind hints of pear, lychee and citrus, was a natural with gin, lemon and wines. An ideal summer-weight ingredient, and it's been quickly taken up by mixologists. "It screams refreshing" one bartender told the New York Times, which recently wrote up St.-Germaine cocktails in its "Noticed" column.

I'll raise my glass to that. And I'd love to hear what other glorious cocktail concoctions are possible with my new favorite liqueur.

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