I've been seeing St. Germain Elderflower liqueur popping up on cocktail menus everywhere. St. Germain is a handcrafted artisinal liqueur from France made from elderflowers, which grow wild in most of Europe and have a short blooming period. Historically, it's been difficult to turn elderflowers into alcohol, but the makers of St. Germain discovered a method. They won't divulge it, though - it's a secret.
Since St. Germain is made in small batches, it's a bit hard to find sometimes. I've seen a few bottles at BevMo and my favorite liquor store in San Francisco, K&L Wines. It comes bottled in a beautiful Art Deco-style bottle, which looks like a lovely addition to any bar.
Last night, I had the chance to try it for the first time at the Slow Club in San Francisco. I ordered a Bicyclette, which is a signature Slow Club cocktail with St. Germain and sparkling wine, and served in a champagne glass with a curl of orange peel.
The first thing I noticed was the scent. It smelled very delicate, like grapefruit, almost. It didn't taste like grapefruit, though. It's hard to describe the taste, but it was somewhat tart and yet sweet, with definite floral and fruity notes. The cocktail was delicious.
I'm definitely going to be adding a bottle to my bar and experimenting with this liqueur.