Food & Spirits: Gin and Tonic “Royale”

2016-02-05 18_40_19-st. germain elderflower - Google SearchIt’s a cocktail that will change your life. Well, not really to that extent, but at least your summer drinking habits. There might be another name for this, I don’t know. Having bought a bottle of the flowery French liqueur known as St. Germain a few weeks ago, I needed to find some use for the highly potent elderflower liquor which can be seen by many to be an acquired taste. It’s not exactly high in alcohol content, but it has a finish that tastes like you are drinking juice directly from an elderflower. Cocktails require just a splash because of its potency, and I don’t know anyone who drinks it straight. So, what kind of drink could we come up with using St. Germain? There are thousands of recipes. My friend introduced me to a wine cocktail which consisted of about an ounce each of St. Germain and gin, then topped off with champagne. It was very flavorful, though quite packed with alcohol and a little too strong if you’re having more than one.

How about a gin and tonic then? It may be my all-time favorite cocktail, especially in the summer. Beefeater or New Amsterdam gin, some diet tonic to save on the calories, and then a little-more-than-usual Rose’s Lime Juice—the British way. What if we replaced the lime juice with St. Germain? Well, I gave it a shot and I was so impressed with the finished result that it was almost hard to comprehend. This was a drink that blew a regular gin and tonic right out of the water. The first time I put a little too much St. Germain, but soon perfected it. I’m not really going to post an actual recipe here. Just make your G & T how you normally do and add a splash—literally—of St. Germain. If it isn’t flowery enough, then add more, but I think you’ll find the flavor breaks through quite well. No lime or garnish necessary. I’m calling it the “Royale” for now because of how luxurious it is. Your summer will never be the same. Let me know how you like it.

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