Wednesday, August 7, 2013


First, a note on alcohol:
Despite the fact that one of the post tags on this blog is "wine," I should mention that I am not a heavy drinker.  Ironically, my interest in alcohol diminished significantly after I turned 21.  As a foodie, I like to pair drinks with food and test out different flavors or flavor combinations.  For me, beer, wine, and cocktails all have their own time and place (I look forward every Fall and Winter to the seasonal beers, while hot weather makes me crave sangria or a margarita at a beachside bar).  Aside from holidays and special occasions, I typically only have one serving of whatever kind of drink I'm having, always with food, and only when I'm already in a good mood.  This isn't so much a rule that I have as a personal preference... it just never occurs to me to drink more often or in greater quantity than that.  I don't particularly like being drunk, so that's never my goal.  My goal is to enjoy the flavor of a wine, beer, or cocktail and the experience of drinking it.  I strongly believe that a healthy life can include moderate indulgence.  (Now, if only I could be that disciplined about ice cream...)

Disclaimer over... onto the fun part!
Having said all of that, I like trying new liqueurs when they start popping up on artisinal cocktail menus at trendy bars.  Some of you may have heard of St. Germain, or other kinds of elderflower liqueur.  They sponsored the Governor's Island Jazz Age Lawn Party last summer, but I didn't get a chance to try any of their cocktails, so I've been curious to try it ever since.  The company seems to have a 1920s speakeasy vibe and the bottles look like a mix between an art deco skyscraper and a medieval potion bottle.  It tastes sort of like peaches, but with a floral undertone, and goes really well with citrus and white wine.  A lot of recipes suggest pairing it with champagne and/or grapefruit.
I bought a package of pink grapefruit flavored sparkling water and then remembered that I had this little minibar-sized bottle of St. Germain sitting unopened since last Fall.  I thought I might experiment by mixing the two together and it worked really well!  St. Germain is pretty sweet, while the sparkling water wasn't sweet at all, so the combination made a sort of peachy-grapefruit soda type of drink.  I've been calling it a grapefruit-elderflower fizz, but I'm open to ideas for catchier, less clunky titles.  This drink would probably work just as well (if not better) with unflavored sparkling water and a splash of fresh grapefruit juice (nothing with any sugar added to it or it will be too sweet).  Try it at home on the next hot day!

4 ounces grapefruit flavored sparkling water
25 mL (slightly less than one ounce... half of the minibar-sized bottle) St. Germain
4 ounces grapefruit flavored sparkling water
1/2 ounce grapefruit juice
1 ounce St. Germain

This is not a particularly strong cocktail, so if you need something with a bigger kick, Heart of Light posted the recipe for a similar cocktail that skips the sparkling water and includes vodka instead.  As always, drink responsibly, friends.  It's too nice out to drive anyway.  Stay put and enjoy the sunset.

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