St Germain – The Salt and Pepper in my Cocktail:
It’s London Cocktail Week and that means it’s time to put your glad rags on and get out into the city’s many bars and clubs and get drinking – sensibly of course! I was invited to the bijou Petit Pois Bistro in trendy Hoxton Square where four of London’s best French bartenders were creating and serving a selection of thirst-quenching cocktails all featuring St Germain. That’s the delicious elderflower-based spirit that has become a staple ingredient in the mixologist’s armoury- it’s been described as the bartender’s “salt and pepper’’.I arrived to find a hipsterish throng happily knocking back cocktails with the crack team of alcohol artists hard at work. Margaux Picard from Happiness Forgets, Jerome Allaguillemette from Sexy Fish, Sara Lecoyer from The Artesian and Steve Lawson from Bassoon Bar at the Corinthia Hotel were all working their magic at the bar throughout the day creating a special St-Germain cocktail menu. Earlier visitors were encouraged to try their hand at Pétanque (a posh rebranding of boules) in Hoxton Square, to complete the ultimate French experience. But by the time I arrived, the balls had been banished and it was time to drink. I tried three of the five cocktails on the menu. The St-Germain Spritz was a long cool summer’s drink – a classic Spritz with the spirit given its fizz by sparkling wine and soda water. Next up was the Castillon Fizz – a take on the gin fizz with breakfast tea, lime, amontillado, absinthe, egg white and soda adding an astringent edge to the elderflower’s natural sweetness. My final tipple was Steve Lawson’s imaginatively titled ‘Steve Was Here’. It was redolent of Norwegian Fjords in the springtime blending St Germain with Grey Goose vodka, verjus and pine soda. Food should always be taken with alcohol and as dinner was at least half an hour away we were treated to a pair of Petit Pois’ petit plats. A delicate assembly of citrus cured salmon with sorrel and bitter leaf showcased the quality of the thick-cut fish. But my favourite was an umami fest of wild mussels cooked with cabbage, seaweed, Breton cider and sprinkled with nori. It made me feel like I was a hard-working fisherman maybe living in St Malo with a Japanese culinary wizard in the galley. It was the perfect end to a lovely early evening’s shenanigans. For more London Cocktail Week and St Germain experiences you could try the St-Germain Flower Wall at The Cocktail Village
From Wednesday 3rd to Sunday 7th October, visitors will be handed a delicious St-Germain Spritz through a blossoming flower wall in return for a token. The St-Germain Citroën H Camionette will also be in residence throughout the week, festooned with stunning flowers in honour of the 1,000 hand-picked elderflowers that go into each bottle of St-Germain.
St-Germain Brunch at Bourne & Hollingsworth
On Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th October, St-Germain is teaming up with stylish brunch spot Bourne & Hollingsworth to offer a delightfully decadent menu featuring refreshing St-Germain cocktails and sharing platters with an array of elegant dishes. Guests can indulge in the bottomless menu for only £25 from 10:00 to 12:00 or 12:30 to 14:30 on Saturday, and 10:00 to 12:00 or 15:00 to 17:00 on Sunday.