Cocktail Innovation of the Year: St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

27 August, 2008
Page 46 
Proving an instant hit with consumers and bartenders alike, the world's first elderflower liqueur was launched on to the Manhattan social scene at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, in February 2007. A UK launch followed in April and sales have been steadily rising since.

Produced by La Maison St-Germain in Paris, only fresh elderflower blossoms are used, handpicked from Savoie in the French Alps. Other elderflower products, the company says, usually use frozen or freeze-dried blossoms. The spirit used in the maceration is 18 per cent eau de vie made in a copper pot still and 82 per cent column-distilled grape spirit, from Chardonnay and Gamay grapes.

Author and mixology guru Simon Difford worked on the development of signature mixed drinks, "even before we had finalised the abv of the liqueur". Indeed, St-Germain was popular among competitors in Drinks International's Bartenders Cocktail Challenge , and the White Spirits trophy went to Pernelle, a recipe containing U'Luvka Vodka, St-Germain, pear eau de vie, lemon juice and soda.

The art deco-style bottles each carry an individual serial number and a vintage date highlights the variations, dependent on harvest conditions.

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Nick Strangeway

Hacha leads by example

Back in 2002 celebrity chef Jamie Oliver launched Fifteen, a restaurant made up of a team of trainee chefs from underprivileged backgrounds.

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