Elderflowers may not be the first things that you think of when making a Champagne cocktail. Neither is orange peel perhaps. However, these two ingredients completely transform the cocktail into a purely unique gem.
The small white elderflowers are typically used to make a sweet distilled drink called a cordial. St-Germain is the first liqueur in the world created in the artisanal French manner from these freshly handpicked blossoms. Adding St-Germain to Champagne adds a subtle floral taste.
Mixiologist Zach Wilks often substitutes a white, sparkling wine for the Champagne.
Another way to transform the cocktail is to add orange bitters and orange peel. Be careful with the bitters, as a little go a long way. And as if the cocktail was not unique enough, add an orange peel. The oils from the peel will add a subtle orange flavor to the drink.
Champagne Orange Cocktail
1 ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur
2 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine
1/2 teaspoon orange bitters
1 orange peel
1. Pour the St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur into a Champagne glass. Pour in the Champagne, leaving a little room on top. Splash in the bitters.
2. Peel the orange with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the pith or white part. Curl and place into the glass. Enjoy.
Recipe courtesy of mixologist Zach Wilks, wilksandwilson.com, 2013.