Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 188.5 Lemon Elderflower Martini

Every once in a while, recipe ingredients come along that awaken the senses to such a degree that mere mortal words do not begin to describe the experience. Everyone's heard of "foodgasms" - the oft-used hybrid word that describes the sublime pleasure one gets when eating something, well, sublimely sublime. But yesterday's discovery of St. Germain elderflower liquor caused a full-on sensorygasm. That's the equivalent of the big "O", not to be confused with Oprah or the run-of-the-mill "o", ergo, sensorygasm in a bottle. Made from the blossoms of elderflowers that are harvested by hand in the foothills of the Alps, St. Germain is one of the most interesting and intense liqueurs I know of. Vraiment.
Image Courtesy of Crave

Here's how the sensory thing went down:  First, the beautiful light golden color of the liqueur is a feast for the eyes and the bottle design is one of the coolest I've ever seen. Next, the smell (with my eyes closed), was floral, Meyer-lemony, passion-fruit-sweet, pear-clean, and vanilla-warm. I am not a sophisticated connoisseur of liqueur (in fact, I'm a total libation plebeian and admit to choosing booze based mostly on groovy label design), but this is one of the most unique and romantic liqueurs I've ever tasted: sweet, but not cloying, floral on the tongue at first, then simultaneously citrusy and pearish (yes, that's a word). All the while the scent imparts the taste of flowers to the olfactory senses, sending the brain crazy-sensual perfume signals. This is not an uber thick glycerin liqueur, and I love that it didn't coat my tongue and mouth with thick syrup - it had just the right feel from sip to swallow. Finally, the sound - that would be me, sighing in pleasure and surprise with my first taste, then exclaiming out loud (to myself) Holy Sh*t, that's amazing" whilst going back for a second sip.

Making this cocktail took less than 30 minutes from start to finish. The end product is a complex blend of florals, exotic citrus and juniper berries (from the Bombay gin), and the lemon garnish adds just that little bit of bite to off-set the sweetness of the liqueur. One is plenty, and a salty dish of roasted peanuts is a perfect accompaniment. A BIG shout-out to Andrea at The Depot Package Store for her expert consultation!

Juniper berries give Bombay Gin a distinctive flavor
Peel lemons with a zester, then slice thin
 Add sugar and water to lemons to make simple syrup
 Bring to a boil, then take off heat to cool
 Strain simple syrup, discard lemons
Pour gin over ice in a pitcher
 Add St. Germain
 Add lemon simple syrup
 Stir until icy cold, strain, pour and...
Serve, garnished with lemon

Lemon Elderflower Martinis (Adapted from foodnetwork)

1 lemon
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups gin
3/4 cup elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germain
1 1/2 cups ice

1. Remove 8 thin strips of zest from the lemon using a vegetable peeler and set aside. Thinly slice the lemon and place in a small pot with the sugar and 1/3 cup water. Bring to a boil and cook until the sugar dissolves. Let cool and strain the syrup.

2. For each of 8 martini glasses, rub a strip of zest around the rim and then drop in the bottom of the glass for garnish. Combine the gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon syrup and ice in a measuring cup or pitcher and stir until very cold. Remove any unmelted ice or strain into the prepared glasses. Serve icy cold.

© 2010-2011, What's Cooking in Your World? Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved


Laraine said...

So, what time should I be there?

sadie said...

You should make them tonight!!! :)

OysterCulture said...

You got yourself a winner here. This looks like a bit of heaven.

OysterCulture said...

You got yourself a winner here. This looks like a bit of heaven.

sadie said...

Merci, Ms. OC - Coming from you that means a lot! xox