First, pigs. Wrote last week (previous entry) about new food: pork from Mangalitsas. Drool over this great recipe blog by Matt Wright.
Onward, new drinks. St. Germain has come marching into Belltown. Not the café from Madison Park, which closed earlier this year, but a French artisanal liqueur subtitled "Délice de Sureau," distilled from freshly picked elderflower blossoms. (The website, stgermain.fr, tells the story, probably apocryphal, of a cohort of old men on bicycles gathering the flowers.)
Many drinks are based on the elder, a common name for shrubs that grow in northern Europe, most with fragrant blossoms. Steep them in hot water, you get a very pleasant concoction. Coca Cola sells a Fanta called Shokata (only in eastern Europe) that's flavored with elderblossom.
Yamihll Valley Vineyards smuggled some cuttings into Oregon a few years back, made a delicious elderberry-scented riesling.
Anyway, St. Germain is but the latest use of the elderberry blossom. It won best-of-show at the World Spirits Competition in San Francisco last summer, and is now available in Seattle, at the Basque wine bar Txori, where barman Brett Paulson tops off a shot of the liqueur with bright pink cava rosada. Smells like honeysuckle and pear blossoms, tastes lemony. Very refreshing summer cocktail, just the thing for Txori's open-any-day-now back patio. Now all we need is summer.
Posted by Ronald Holden at April 21, 2008 5:30 PM