We’re staring down the barrel of a late-winter storm, but plenty of other signs point to spring’s imminent arrival. Clocks have sprung forward an hour. Guys are playing baseball down south. Birds are flying back north. Days are getting longer. Drunken college kids are stumbling around Spring Break locales.
With warmer weather, we turn our eyes to lighter, more refreshing libations. We switch from whiskey and brandy to gin, rum, and tequila. We prefer sparkling water and citrus juice to egg whites, milk, and apple cider, and whenever possible, we’ll look to integrate springlike flavors into our drinks.
One of the best ways to do that is with St. Germain, a French liqueur flavored with elderberry flowers. The liqueur has been around for over a hundred years, according to the product website, but it’s only caught on in the last few years (probably due to a successful marketing push.) The flowers sprout in the spring, and are hand-picked. Due to the relative scarcity of its ingredients, St. Germain can be pricey, but its flavor is strong enough that just a small amount of the liqueur completely alters the flavor of a cocktail.
Today, we’re mixing St. Germain with gin and grapefruit juice, which are somewhat typical cocktail-mates for St. Germain, but with good reason. We’re also adding a bit of Moscato d’Asti, which is a particularly sweet sparkling wine springing with spring-like flavors. (It also has a relatively low amount of alcohol by volume, which helps to keep this drink from becoming too strong.) Altogether, we’re left with a nice reminder of what’s to come — and, maybe, a drink that can help us to endure the last gasps of winter.
- 1.5 oz. gin
- .5 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
- 2 oz. grapefruit juice
- 4 oz. Moscato d’Asti, or another sweet sparkling wine
- Combine the gin, St. Germain, and grapefruit juice in a cocktail shaker over ice, and shake to combine.
- Strain mixture into a highball glass, and top with Moscato d’Asti.