Elderflower Lemonade


My older daughter, who is much hipper than I am, obviously, forced me to have a drink at a bar a few years ago made by the bar’s mixologist. Well, no one has to force me to drink, but I would have ordered my standard gin and tonic, but she strongly suggested I try out one of the fancy drinks. Many of the drinks were named after Mad Men characters, which was a show I’d not yet watched. (I am terribly un-hip.)

For those of you who aren’t aware of this mixology trend, it’s just about making expensive, strange drinks. Most of them I’m not interested in because I want to keep thyme in stews and soups, and out of my cocktails.

Beyond making expensive, strange fancy drinks, I don’t really know how to describe mixologists. The drinks are quite unique, which is a nice way of saying odd, and the bartenders, ahem, I mean mixologists, really slap their mint instead of muddling it. They use liqueurs like green Chartreuse, Luxardo, and creme de Violette. Oh, and some drinks are infused with bacon. Are you getting the picture?

Actually, since Oklahoma is probably ten years behind in food and drink trends, you’ve all probably already passed through the mixology concept and moved on to something new, but this just happened in my life.

So I reluctantly ordered the only drink that sounded palatable, and was pleasantly surprised. It was a little floral and herby at the same time, and I discovered the source of these flavors – St. Germain.

St. Germain is a French liqueur made from elderflower blossoms that are picked in the Alps! Therefore, it is an elderflower liqueur. It’s quite fascinating.

I'm definitely re-using this bottle!

I’m definitely re-using this bottle!

So, of course, I ordered some so I could play around with it. I’ve added it to white wine and champagne, and even made a version of a mimosa with it.

But then, in the beautiful cookbook Polpo, I come across the recipe for elderflower lemonade. I knew I had to make it.

Not only did it require St. Germain, but also ginger beer, which I’ve never tried but have always been intrigued by it. So, here’s the recipe.

Elderflower Lemonade

25 ml fresh lemon juice
15 ml St. Germain
Ginger beer

Measure the lemon juice and St. Germain, and pour it in the serving glass. germain

Add some ice, then top with the beer.


Ugh. It was terrible. I finally figured out that ginger beer is nasty. I think I’m done experimenting with ginger beer. But I will continue to play around with St. Germain.

Even when I follow recipes, I seem to be the worst bartender. Now I know I’ll never be a mixologist.