Dandy Sponsor: St. Germain Liqueur
What is St. Germain?
St. Germain is the captured essence of spring, preserved in fine spirits. Less poetically, it’s an artisanal liqueur hand made in France from elderflower blossoms. It has a sweet, subtle, airy flavor, and while the refined palette might detect hints of pear, peach and grapefruit, anyone can tell you it’s a delicious libation.
The elderflower itself is a temperamental plant that does not take well to storage or preservation, quickly losing its elusive flavor after it has been plucked. For that reason, St. Germain collects fresh elderflower blossoms each spring. The blossoms collected during this season will make up the entire batch of liqueur to be produced in a given year. Each elegantly fluted bottle is given a production number and stamped with the year in which its flowers were collected.
To ensure the blossoms freshness, St. Germain relies on local farmers to hand pick the wild blossoms, which are then brought to collection stations. Famously, many of these locals can be seen bicycling across roads and footpaths, pillowy sacks of the tender star- shaped elderflowers hanging from handlebars and piled on rear- racks. Using their bicycles, the harvesters can range farther and increase the yield of their efforts.
After the blossoms are collected, time is of the essence as the flowers are notoriously short lived, and can lose their unique flavor quickly. St. Germain uses a patented process to entice the elderflower to give up its essence while still retaining its unique flavor. The liqueur is produced using time- honored artisanal French techniques, similar to those used in the production of calvados or absinthe. The result is a deliciously sweet, refreshing liqueur that has become a vital ingredient for many upscale cocktails, but one that can also be enjoyed when mixed with water or seltzer to truly appreciate its unique and subtle flavor. One might say they are enjoying the taste of France in springtime!
So what does this have to do with D&Q? St. Germain is a quintessential Dandy drink. Its flavor is a little off the beaten path, one has to seek it out to enjoy it. It is unique, a refreshing departure from the vodka-cran swilling hoi- polloi. It has a very belle- epoch aesthetic, coming as it does in its art- nouveau inspired bottle, but here’s the thing of it… St. Germain is not a hundred- year old recipe, first produced in 2007, it’s very modern. Like the Dandy, St. Germain is stylish and unique. Like D&Q, it combines aspects of the elegant past with a very cultivated modern aesthetic. Do be sure to give it a try.
A la sante’!