Elderflower Martini & Sparkling Cranberry & Elderflower Pitcher Cocktail

When I am invited to a cocktail party, “bring your own beverage to share”, I promise I will be most inclined to bring a cocktail rather than a bottle of wine.

While making appetizers for the party, my husband decided to mix up the Elderflower Martini. What I like about this drink is that it it uses vodka and gin – so I think that it appeals to both sorts of martini lovers. And, we are using a new variety of gin, St. George’s Botanivore.  As described by them, this gin “is comprised of 19 different botanicals working in concert. Think of a meadow in bloom—herbaceous, fresh, and elegant.”  I like botanical gins for mixing in drinks.  My husband is a purist when it comes to gin for making martinis – he likes it dry (Hendrick’s and Plymouth seem to be his current favorites).  From what I have tasted of St. George’s Botanivore, I think I will like using it in my drinks.

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Ingredients: 1 oz gin, 1 oz vodka, 1 oz St. Germain (or other elderflower liqueur), 2 oz sweet and sour, lime wedges.

This recipe (found here) calls for homemade sweet and sour, for which they give the recipe.  I did not make homemade sweet and sour for this, but that is on my bucket list for the summer.  Start by pouring the ingredients into an ice-filled shaker and shake vigorously.  Squeeze a wedge of lime into a martini glass.  Strain the shaker contents into the glass and enjoy.

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As I said, I do think this will appeal to both gin and vodka martini lovers.  I will note that the St. Germain certainly adds a floral sweetness that some may not prefer to the traditional martini.  But, it is very pleasant to drink – and more like a martini than some drinks that go by that name.  I found it refreshing.  I did not drink more than a few sips because, well, it was his and I was focused on making my own drink to take along.  However, I plan to make one for myself in the near future.

My husband did not make his drink for sharing.  I, on the other hand, felt that I could not show up empty-handed – imagine the shock if word of that got around!  I figured the Sparkling Cranberry & St. Germain Pitcher Cocktail would be perfect and fit the theme for this month’s experiments.  I made some slight modifications to the original recipe, found here.

Ingredients: 1 cup vodka, 3.5 oz elderflower liqueur, 1 cup cranberry juice, 1.5 cups club soda, ice

Pour the ingredients in a pitcher and stir.  Add ice.

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I found the vodka flavor to be a little overpowering in this drink.  I would recommend adjusting the elderflower liqueur and cranberry juice to your tastes – I added more of both.  Be forewarned that, especially in the summer, the ice will melt fast and dilute the cocktail.  It is good, but I found the taste a little strong. Once the ice melted, it was easier to drink – I even added more ice.  Overall, a good drink option for a party when you are looking for something different than the traditional punch or sangria.

Cheers!

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