It’s June 16th, which means I’m supposed to be at the beach house of my friend Chucky, in Freeport, Bahamas. Between the scourge of Covid19 and last September’s horrible, terrible, tragic, and destructive Hurricane Dorian, which parked itself over the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island for almost three days, that trip didn’t happen this year.
So, nevertheless, I’m contenting myself on my couch, with my handsome Pitbull boy Popeye looking at me warily, holding (I am, not Popeye) a lovely cocktail that I was introduced to during my first visit there four years ago: The St. Germain.
This is about as simple as it comes—a base of sparkling wine, with a dose of St. Germain, a spritz of sparkling water and a lemon twist. St. Germain is the most interesting liqueur I’ve ever tasted, made from elderflower, a small, white starry flower that blooms through the spring and summer. Extracting the flavors of this flower is evidently a difficult process and the Company ain’t tellin’ how they do it. The flavor is hard to describe, but it has a very enticing, floral aroma and adds body and sweetness.
Of course, you can amp it up in several ways, and as I learned from Chuck, the easiest way to do that without really changing the taste is to substitute a neutral vodka for the sparkling wine. In his imitable fashion, Chuck used Veuve Cliquot Brut Yellow Label as the base wine, and it’s a favorite of mine in the sparkling category of the big Champagne marques. But you can also use a less expensive sparkler, such as Prosecco, Cava, Sekt, or even a French Crémant de Limoux Brut at maybe 1/3 the cost. Either way, this is a drink to enjoy on a warm summer night, sitting on your deck, drinking through a straw inserted in a hole cut in your mask.