The Original St. Germain Cocktail

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Many in the bar world associate the name St. Germain with the elderflower liqueur that can add a lovely floral aromatic to most any drink, or even make a great accompaniment to your pancakes. However, when I encountered a drink simply titled St. Germain from the Savoy Cocktail Book, I was quite intrigued to see its ingredients not only left out any mention of elderflower, but also featured the intensely herbal liqueur, Green Chartreuse as the base spirit.

Green Chartreuse is a rather mysterious spirit: produced by Monks in France, only three of whom know the secret recipe of 132 botanical extracts that comprise this 110 proof, natural chlorophyll-colored liqueur. If you haven't tasted Green Chartreuse before, you may want to start with a gateway-cocktails, like the Last Word or Greenpoint, or perhaps the Rococo Cocoa — a hot chocolate with Chartreuse at Peels in New York City. While purchasing Green (or the milder, sweeter Yellow) Chartreuse in the store can seem pricey, note that most cocktails only call for a small amount, so a bottle should last you quite a while.

For the St. Germain cocktail, after tasting it's herbal and citrus notes, ever so slightly dulled by the egg white, one can easily see why it may have been named after Comte Saint Germain, the mythical 18th Century alchemist who is believed to have discovered the secret of eternal life. While this drink may not allow you to live forever, though we'll never know, it might just get you hooked on Chartreuse for eternity.

The Original St. Germain Cocktail
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  • 1 1/2 oz Green Chartreuse
  • 1/2 oz fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 oz fresh grapefruit juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • the white of one egg
  1. Combine ingredients in a shaker and dry shake (without ice, shake vigorously for a few moments). 
  2. Add ice and shake again for about 10 seconds, then strain into chilled coupe or sour glass.
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