A couple of years ago while my husband and I were in Paris, two of my spouse’s former Amherst students, who live and work in the City of Light, invited us for drinks and appetizers. They set out a luscious block of foie gras with a basket of crispy baguette slices along with bowls of olives and cornichons, but the attraction of the evening was the champagne drink they served.
Ardent foodies, they offered us coupes de champagne avec St. Germain. They were certain that I would be familiar with the fragrant elderflower liqueur known as St. Germain. Mais non! This was my first experience, I confessed, and after one sip of champagne paired with St. Germain, I was in heaven.
This clear, aromatic liqueur adds an amazingly fresh, floral note to a glass of bubbly. St Germain (that’s the brand name) comes in tall, sleek bottles, and is available on this side of the Atlantic in wine and spirits stores. I had no trouble finding it in my small New England town in both large bottles and nip-sized ones.
With Christmas and New Year’s Eve almost here, I thought that my readers might like to add a little extra sparkle to their flutes of champagne. Here are two recipes to get you started. Also check out www.stgermain.fr for more recipes.
Cheers and happy holidays to everyone!
Champagne and St. Germain
1 part elderflower liqueur
3 parts champagne
1/2 strawberry, optional
Pour the elderflower liqueur into a champagne flute. Tilt the glass and add the champagne. If desired, float a strawberry half as a garnish. Serves 1
Raspberries and Champagne
2 cups fresh raspberries, plus extra berries for the garnish
2 tbsp sugar
1 750 ml bottle champagne
Place the raspberries and sugar in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is pureed. Remove and strain. Divide the strained raspberry puree evenly among 6 champagne flutes. Fill the glasses 2/3 full with champagne. Drop some raspberries in each flute as a garnish. Serves 6
Recipes adapted from Sunday Brunch by Betty Rosbottom (Chronicle Books 2012)Print This Recipe