by Marta Szumiata
on May 25, 2020

St-Germain, the best refreshing summer liquor

When it’s boiling hot outside, a single sip of refreshing St-Germain, combined with Gin and Tonic, will bring you immediate relief. This beverage is usually used in cocktails, but Foodpairing® analysed it and found that there are many more interesting combinations to be explored.

St-Germain is a French liquor made with freshly hand-picked elderflowers. The flowers are harvested when the aroma of the flowers is at its peak—the quality of the liqueur depends entirely on this. Each bottle contains the aromas of thousands of the best blossoms, producing a stunningly refined and balanced beverage. Tip: if you want to make your own infusion or syrup, it is very important to treat the delicate elderflower blossoms with great care. If the blossom is damaged in any way, it can affect its aroma and taste. The pollen of the flowers are crucial in this. The more of the golden-yellow pollen there is on the flowers, the fuller and more complex aroma your drink will have. Pollen gives your infusion a golden yellow color. The freshness of the flower is, naturally, also crucial for great flavor. The sooner the flowers can be infused after picking, the better.

St-Germain and its ingredient pairings

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Three main aroma categories can be identified in St-Germain. The dominant category is floral, with scents of rose and violet. Because of this, it pairs well with dried plums, tangerine, hibiscus, tamarind, galangal, and sencha tea. There are also notes of honey. Obviously it goes well with this bee’s product, especially when the honey has been harvested from eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, and citrus trees. It also pairs well with baked sweet potato, pistachio nuts, black olives, Parmesan, and chorizo as well. The addition of eau-de-vie de vin and grain spirit makes the aroma profile extra floral and complex, but also fruitier than its main component, the elderflower. Esters provide apple / pear-like notes and some more tropical / pineapple-like aromas, while lactones contributes to a peachy smell. You can mix it boldly with strawberry, orange, bael fruit, noni, and more tropical fruits like babaco, cattley guava, Mexican ceriman, or passion fruit. If you’re feeling adventurous, try it with Brazilian ants or durian. There are also some spicy notes, especially anise and clove. Therefore, St. Germain will make a good match with cinnamon, mustard, fennel, marigold flowers, and juniper berry. You can also add it to boiled adzuki beans to make tasty paste for Japanese sweets.

St-Germain tonic

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by Marta Szumiata
A confectioner, food technologist and culinary reenactor. Loving food, Marta is still exploring culinary world looking for new inspirations and bewildering dishes. She likes to try her created recipes on her family and friends, especially fermented ones

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