City girls are just country girls with cuter outfits.
~ Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
Ahhhhh, champagne… Left to my own devices (and unlimited budget!), I would drink great champagne every day and three times on a Sunday. But while in my dream world great champagne is an every day occurrence, no one can deny that for most people it is definitely celebratory. Weddings are no exception. We raise a glass of bubbly to toast the bride and groom, then move on to the open bar. While great bubbly for the toast isn’t all that rare an event, open bars generally don’t offer much in terms of champagne. It just isn’t cost effective to pour high quality bubbly in an open bar setting. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility to ply your guests with champagne all night long, but it will definitely cost ya. So, what’s a budget-conscious bubbly connoisseur to do?
Meet match made in heaven: sparkling wine and St-Germain. St-Germain is elderflower liqueur that stars in many a delicious cocktail these days. It is pretty special stuff, made of handpicked wild elderflower blossoms. What does it taste like? I looked it up. Below is the description on St-Germain website:
And what of the taste of St-Germain? It has been said that Paris is a mélange curieux, a curious mixture of flavors, styles and influences. So it is with St-Germain. Neither passionfruit nor pear, grapefruit nor lemon, the sublime taste of St-Germain hints at each of these and yet none of them exactly. It is a flavor as subtle and delicate as it is captivating. A little like asking a hummingbird to describe the flavor of its favorite nectar. Très curieux indeed, n’est-ce pas?
Simply put, St-Germain tastes of delicate fruit and flowers, it is intensely perfumed and used to dress up cocktails at just about any place that takes pride in its drinks. Best part? A little St-Germain goes a long way. So, if great champagne for everyone isn’t in your price range, introduce your favorite budget sparkler, the one you’d use in mimosas, to the magic of St-Germain. Without it your sparkling wine may be a plain Jane. With just a few drops the transformation is unmistakable. You’ve got yourself a Cinderella story: plain Jane, all dressed up and ready for the ball!
Things don’t have to be any more complicated than that: sparkling wine and St-Germain. Just ask the bar patrons at The Bedford in Chicago, where Jessica’s St-Germain Cocktail (sparkling wine with St-Germain and a splash of soda served in a carafe with a slice of lemon) flies out of the bar by the dozen. I myself have been known to partake in a couple of them on occasion. It is a simple cocktail that makes people happy. What more can you ask for?
Should you want to dress up your bubbly even further, consider the concoction I tried on my recent romp around New York. Clover Club in Brooklyn is known for its great cocktail program. Their version of Champagne Punch makes great use of sparkling wine, a touch of cassis, St-Germain and fresh berries. Sounds complicated? It isn’t. Best news of all? This ravishing beauty can be made in large batches, making it a real crowd friendly cocktail.
Sparkling wine meets St-Germain. A real life Cinderella story. Only with infinitely better cocktails! No uncomfortable glass slippers required.