Over the summer, I passed along a recipe I’d found on Pinterest to sommelier Abi, for the Honey Badger. It involved bubbly, honey syrup, fresh orange, and St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur.
Abi, being the expert [that’s what we are calling it now? – T] that she is, honed the recipe through rigorous testing. She determined that the original recipe was too sweet, so she reduced the amount of honey syrup and swapped the orange juice for lime. I like to take credit for suggesting the switch from Korbel sparkling wine (blech) to Mirabelle (yum). With these changes, it went from overly sweet to total summer cocktail perfection. Which is why we drank it every night we were in Maine.
And thus our obsession with St. Germain began.
And since we liked the Honey Badger so much, we decided to try … all of them.
Turk and I conducted some fairly thorough “research.” The official St. Germain website was surprisingly helpful in providing recipes to get people drunk.
We invited my brother Riley and his girlfriend over to help us drink our way through a bottle. We also found a few recipes that paired well with St. Germain, including mushroom crepes, baked brie with pears, and grilled vegetable pizza. Plus plenty of cheese, of course, and desserts.
Turk and I had a long grocery list, which probably had an equal amount of booze/mixers and actual food.
We started with the Honey Badger. Actually, some of us were having beers as well ... From there, we moved onto the classic St. Germain cocktail, which is St. Germain, sparkling wine, and club soda. After that, we tried a tart and sweet cocktail with gin and grapefruit juice; plus a second rendition with sparkling wine.
After that, Turk broke out a bottle of the 2001 J. Schram, which seemed like a good idea at the time. But in retrospect … whatever [it was totally an awesome idea – T].
And then we had the concoction Riley invented in Maine, the Fox Islands Iced Tea. It involves mint sun tea, St. Germain, Grand Marnier, bourbon, muddled mint, and ice. So basically all the booze we had in the house at the time, plus tea.
Riley decided it would be fun to try St. Germain on ice. I think that, had we not had 1,000 other drinks before that, drinking straight St. Germain would have helped us really appreciate all of its flavors. But since we had, uh, I don’t really remember how it tasted.
We did manage to cook in the midst of all the drinking. After the pizza, crepes, and baked brie, we had one of Tom’s (non-alcoholic!) concoctions, St. Germain-marinated pears. As Turk put it, “Shit, that’s good!” Sadly, that was basically Tom’s last contribution to the evening as at that point he decided he was really “tired” and decided to go to “lay down” … for the night. Ahem.
We then tried a twist on the classic French 75 called the St. Honoré 75—basically sparkling wine, gin, and lemon juice, with the addition of St. Germain.
And then our final drink, which Riley also invented: the Champagne Supernova. A combination of sparkling wine, St. Germain, and Grand Marnier, it was really good. I think. And it went well with our strawberry nutella dessert crepes. Probably. [ Dude, this is all a fuzzy memory to me…- T] [And this is why Turk stayed the night with us. Which meant she got to take part in our morning-after ritual of donuts and Gatorade from 7-Eleven! - C]
In retrospect, I don’t really remember what the “challenge” aspect to this challenge was—was it staying upright the entire time? Not throwing up? Getting wasted? Check, check, and check. Was it inventing a new cocktail? Because Riley did that, but … I don’t think that counts. But if it was drinking all the booze in all the land, then: success!