elderflower descant

Elderflower Descant

We’ve missed the last few Mixology Mondays, for various reasons, but when we saw that May’s theme was floral cocktails (hosted over at The Barman Cometh), we made a special effort to get something together. There are quite a few floral-based cocktails we like, particularly the Deep Blue Sea (violet) and the Vieux Mot (elderflower). We thought it would be fun to come up with something new with one of those flavors, so Jon did some experimenting these last couple of weeks, then wrote this:

As Jessamyn has already mentioned, I recently got a copy of the very fine book Left Coast Libations.  While many of the recipes therein have immediately grabbed me, demanding to be made, other recipes have remained more aloof.

Case in point, the Pear Sonata.  I’m just not a big fan of dusting a drink with ground cinnamon, and even if I were, there’s no way in hell I’m going to make pear foam.  Pear foam?  Really?

However, after letting the recipe percolate in my mind for a while, I began to recognize that for all of its weird trappings, the Pear Sonata has good, solid bones to it.  Gin, St. Germain, dry vermouth, and lemon juice.  Nothing wrong there.  What if I were to tweak the proportions a bit, leave off the pear foam (really?), and let the St. Germain shine through?  It seemed worth a try.

I began with a base of Bluecoat gin.  Bluecoat, made here in the US, has quickly become one of our very favorite gins, with a distinctly citrusy note to it, which I thought would work well with the St. Germain, which I boosted to a full jigger’s worth.  Lemon juice and dry vermouth, and in a nod to the original Pear Sonata recipe, just a dash of Clear Creek pear brandy.

A twist of orange to garnish.  I find that I have grown very fond of using orange to garnish drinks containing lemon juice – it’s similar enough not to clash, yet different enough to add a little extra dimension to the drink.  And as I was about to present it, Jessamyn added her own touch: a single lilac flower.

Elderflower Descant

  • 1 oz. Bluecoat gin
  • ¾ oz. St Germain
  • ½ oz. lemon juice
  • ½ oz. Dolin dry vermouth
  • dash Clear Creek pear brandy

Shake well with ice and strain.  Garnish with a long twist of orange and a lilac flower.

Elderflower Descant

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5 thoughts on “elderflower descant

    1. Let us know how you like it! Yours looks good, too – we recently had a crusta for the first time and really enjoyed it. Love the idea of doing it with bourbon.

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