Storied Sips, a new book illustrated by Danish artist Poul Lange, tells the stories behind some of the world's most beloved classic cocktails. Author Erica Duecy chronicles 200 years of tending bar and the resulting book of tales are a must-read for any cocktail aficionado.

In the foothills of the French Alps each spring, foragers hike into the forests with canvas sacks slung over their shoulders, in search of elderflowers. These prized white blossoms of the elder shrub — with their ephemeral lychee-pear scent — bloom for just a few weeks a year. The flowers are hand-harvested, then transformed overnight by local artisans into teas and cordials, before the delicate blossoms lose their intoxicating scent. Some elderflowers are also rushed to a distillery, where they become that year’s batch of St-Germain elderflower liqueur.

These days, St-Germain is used in myriad cocktails, but one of the most notable is an updated rendition of a Gin Fizz, a classic that is nearly forgotten. Back in the early 1950s, the Gin Fizz was Paris’ most fashionable cocktail. Lubin perfumer Henri Giboulet was captivated by the drink and another notable American export — film star Grace Kelly — that he created a perfume called Gin Fizz, said to capture the joie de vivre and chic American elegance they both represented. With its honeyed sweetness and floral notes, St-Germain adds a delicious dimension to the Gin Fizz, of which Giboulet would surely approve.

Reprinted with permission from Storied Sips