It is no secret that the Shakers hold St Germain elderflower liqueur near and dear to our hearts. It has been a go-to ingredient for a number of our concoctions and a lovely addition to champagne and prosecco nights. In light of this, when Shaker One read on Caroline on Crack that The Wine House was hosting an event featuring our beloved drink we were all over it. We met up with honorary Shaker, Jenni, and settled in for the fun.
This was our first event at The Wine House, though Shaker Two especially, is no stranger to its amazing wine selection. Two of LA’s top bartenders, Aidan Demarest of the newly launched Spare Room Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel and Damian Windsor of The Roger Room along with rep Chad Wiltgen came up with a good cross section of drinks.
We started out with the Winter Punch mixed up by Chad Wiltgen. This was a lovely concoction of St Germain, Aperol, grapefruit juice and lemon zest. Flavors were nice and the Aperol, Campari’s lighter cousin, encouraged Shaker Two to give herbals a try again (we all remember her reaction the last time she tasted one.) Overall,
Shaker One gives this one 3 olives
Shaker Two bestows 3.5 since it made something she previously viewed as foul a contender for trying again at some point.
Next up was what we viewed as the star of the event – the French Pear Martini.
Hello, darling! St. Germain, spiced-pear vodka, fresh lime juice and a dash of Angostura Bitters… simply lovely. Shaker One, in all her diabolically brilliant mixology glory suggested a splash of something bubbly would even add to this already gorgeous drink. Must try that soon!
We both gave this one 4.25 stars *slurp*!
We are rather glad that we had those two first, as the next drink – the Flak Jacket – was a bit of a disappointment. Now, Shaker One is not a tequila fan unless it is in a margarita so already this was met with a bit of skepticism from her. Shaker Two and Shaker Jenni can appreciate a good sipping tequila and that is about the only thing that made this one palatable to the group. Sadly, the tequila is just too overwhelming for the St Germain, Grand Marnier, orange zest and bitters. Thankfully, they used Partida Anejo for the tequila, so it was smoother than some of the harsher brands, but this drink was still a bit of a disappointment.
Next on deck was the 40 oz Punch from Damian Windsor.
This was a larger quantity drink for parties (or a bender) consisting of sparkling wine, St. Germain, run (he chose Plantation 5 year Rum), orange and lemon juices. This was not bad, but it was a tad…. boring. Shaker Two thought it tasted like the church punchbowl before the naughty boys spiked it. Slightly pleasant, but we felt that it was a bit too diluted as far as flavors went. Perhaps half the amount of sparkling wine to start.
Shakers gave this one 2.5 olives.
Now for the drink that caused raised eyebrows from both Shakers (neither of which are particular gin fans) and had us thinking we need to revisit the spirit, The English Afterthought. It was not that the drink particularly stood out as a whole, but the flavors were nicely melded and the Plymouth Gin provided a nice accompaniment to the St. Germain, blueberries, ginger and Ginger Beer. We all felt it needed a little bit more sweet to counteract the sour, but not much. The color was lovely and the muddled blueberries looked inviting. We are going to revisit this one or a variation of it – AND gin.
The final drink was another pleasant surprise. Aidan Demarest came up with The Spare Key. This one was a mixture of St. Germain (natch) Woodford Reserve Bourbon, fresh lemon and POM Wonderful. Well done on blending the flavors. You got the slight bite of the bourbon, but it was tempered and complimented with the other flavors. Shaker Two might have toned down the POM a bit – but even that is being nitpicky. Shaker One is looking to revisit bourbon and its possibilities (this solidified it after her sidecar a week or so ago) so score another plus for our mixologists this evening!
Overall, a fun night out and a hop back into the saddle for the Shakers who have been deprived of Shaker fun for a while.
So proud of your commitment to re-explore the world of gin! Welcome mes amies, welcome. You’re right, gin is a lovely companion to our beloved St. Germain, but it also pairs well with our dear friend Lillet. In fact, my favorite martini is a classic gin martini (Plymouth or Tanq 10) with Lillet Blanc used in place of regular vermouth. You may not be ready for that one yet, but maybe try a vesper (gin, lillet, and vodka martini)
Also, for your enjoyment and experimentation, I have compiled a list of a few of my favorite tasty gin drinks for your experimentation, and it is only the beginning. I have more.
Elderflower Grapefruit Fizz
1 ounce gin
1 ounce St. Germain’s Elderflower Liqueur
1 ounce fresh pink grapefruit juice
Combine gin, liqueur, juice and ice in a shaker and shake vigorously. Strain. Serve with a splash of tonic and a garnish of grapefruit segment.
A classic cocktail gets a new twist from mixologist Toby Maloney of New York’s Alchemy Consulting. He recommends Tanqueray gin for “gin lovers” and the fuller-bodied Plymouth gin for “soon-to-be gin lovers.”
3 mint sprigs
2 ounces gin
3/4 ounce each: fresh lime juice, simple syrup
1 small dash Angostura bitters, optional
Bruise two sprigs of the mint gently in a cocktail shaker. Add ingredients. Add ice. Shake. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with remaining mint leaf.
Great w/ Hendrick’s gin, which has a crisp, cucumberlike flavor note w/ a hint of rose
3 slices cucumber, each 1/8-inch thick
1 tiny pinch salt
2 mint sprigs
2 ounces gin
1 ounce simple syrup
3/4 ounce fresh lemon juice
5 drops rose water, optional
Muddle cucumber and salt thoroughly in cocktail shaker. Add 1 sprig of the mint. Bruise gently. Add remaining ingredients. Add ice. Shake. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice. Top with soda water. Garnish with remaining mint sprig.
The Submarine Kiss
Recipe adapted from Cooper Spirits
Makes one drink
• 2 ounces gin (preferably Plymouth)
• 3?4 ounce fresh lemon juice
• 3?4 ounce simple syrup
• 1 egg white
• 1 ounce Crème Yvette
In a cocktail shaker, combine the gin, lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white and shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Add the ice and shake again. Pour the Crème Yvette into the bottom of a Champagne flute. Strain the gin fizz mixture over the Crème Yvette and serve.
3/4 oz. gin
1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice
1 strawberry, muddled
1/2 oz. St. Germain elderflower liqueur
3 oz. Champagne
Tools: shaker, strainer
1/4 lemon juice
drop of absinthe
excellent! Thanks, Kim! i see we have some starter recipes to get us on the gin track.. or try to get on it anyway.