April 21, 2008

Elderflowers On Parade

St%20Germain%20cocktail%20at%20Txori.JPGFirst, 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.

Elderberry wine, you may recall, was the poisoned cordial in Arsenic and Old Lace; Elton John even recorded an "Elderberry Wine" video using clips from the movie.

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.

Txori Bar on Urbanspoon

Posted by Ronald Holden at April 21, 2008 5:30 PM | TrackBack

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I use a really nice elderflower syrup from Olsen's Scandinavian called Onos in some of my dishes. It's great with dill and some vinegar on raw salmon. Here's a picture of the syrup: http://flickr.com/photos/lesacooks/1471259408/in/set-72157602228188710/ It's a popular concoction among the Scandihoovians. I recently came across a nice recipe calling for elderflower syrup combined with lemon juice (as the Onos is) shaken with ice and a bit of gin. I think the next time I watch Wild Strawberries, I'll be sipping on this.

Posted by: Lesa at April 28, 2008 1:55 PM
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