St. Germain hit the scene in 2007 and was an immediate smash, including with this reviewer when we formally covered it in 2010. The lychee-like flavor of elderflower proved itself to be endlessly versatile, to the point where, today, putting St. Germain in a cocktail is considered a bit passe — almost cheating, depending on the mixologist.
I tasted a fresh bottling to see if anything had changed with the brand in the last 11 years and I’m happy to say it hasn’t. It’s not a “serious” liqueur, really, filled with that pineapple-meets-lychee-meets-white-flowers character, seductively sweet with a distinct vanilla/caramel bent, but never overpoweringly sugary. The finish sees more floral notes than I remember (and the lightest hint of bitterness), but those elements meld prettily with the more tropical attack.
I gave St. Germain an A+ back in the day, and while I’m tempering that a touch here, it’s still an excellent and versatile product — one of the most essential liqueurs that anyone should have in their bar, really. As I recommended back in the day, put a splash in your favorite cocktail and see what happens. You may not be breaking new ground any more, but I’m pretty sure you’ll still have a really great time with whatever you end up with.
Note: Keep St. Germain out of the sun, as its color is prone to darkening considerably when exposed to light.
Aka St-Germain. 40 proof.