Lush Life

To be a lush chef, does not mean to drink in excess - this can result in scary fires and bad dishes. A lush chef is one who enjoys gourmet cooking/baking, often with fresh ingredients and the smart use of one's home bar. If there happens to be half a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, or a sip of brandy left over...well, one cannot be wasteful. I give you permission to imbibe.

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The Lush Chef
Twitter: @thelushchef Provenance: Santa Monica Dish: Coq au Vin Spirit: Whiskey Wine: Malbec Beer: Hefeweizen Farmer's Market: Santa Monica on Main Street
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Aug 23, 2011

Libation Education: St. Germain

One of my favorite spring/summer liqueurs is St. Germain, a golden-colored French libation made from elderflower blossoms.  Aww, heck—who are we kidding?  I drink this stuff with my girl friends all year-round, as evidenced by the nearly empty (and very pretty) bottle above.  Yeah...that's my second bottle of the year.  What I love about St. Germain is how incredibly subtle it is, which lends to its versatility.  The flavor is slightly floral with hints of peach, pear, grapefruit and grape.  I like to add this to champagne on special occasions, or jazz up the usual gin & tonic/vodka soda.  You may have also seen this liqueur mentioned when I made the Kew Garden Cocktail earlier this spring.

St. Germain is made by a company that's been around since 1884, and the elderflowers are harvested fresh in a small 4-6 week blossoming period.  They're incredibly delicate and lose their flavor within a couple days, so the maceration process begins immediately.  If you look at the label, you'll find a little man riding a bicycle right above the "S."  You may think, "Oh!  How very French!"

Well, there are indeed old (or maybe young), darling French men peddling through the countryside on bikes laden with fresh elderflower blossoms to make the very bottle of St. Germain you will soon be holding.  Hmm...perhaps this is the perfect retirement gig for the Lush Chef's bike-loving father?  He can provide his dear daughter with an unlimited supply of hand-crafted St. Germain.  Now if that isn't love, I don't know what is...