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April 6, 2009 11:01 AM

Flower power: bartenders pick St-Germain

Posted by Nancy Leson

If you hang out in bars (which I do, but only if there's great food involved), perhaps you've sipped a cocktail made with St-Germain:

St-Germain posing for its glamor-shot at the bar at Cafe Presse

Sophisticated sipsters worldwide have been impressed by this lovely liqueur. Flavored with fragrant elderflower blossoms, it's said to be gathered by hand in the Alps and delivered by Bohemiens on bikes, before being pressed and distilled for our drinking pleasure. (Vraiment? I ask, sitting at my keyboard with a mug of coffee hand-delivered on a donkey by Juan Valdez.)

The haute hooch is not exactly new. Perhaps you read about its U.S. debut two years ago in the New York Times, or last spring when a certain Belltown blogger sampled the seductive spirit at Txori. I, on the other hand, have come late to the ardor affecting so many.

My intro to St-Germain's botanical benefits came this winter via a short pour into a flute of Champagne. That bottle came courtesy of a fabulous fellow admired for his exceedingly fine palate. And if you'd like to see why this French import won his admiration, and mine, and why Seattle's besotted bartenders are grabbing that bottle around its slender waist and dancing a French twist with it in hand, here's news you can use:

Brasa, Cafe Campagne, Flying Fish and Rob Roy are sponsoring a cocktail competition staring St.-Germain liqueur. Twenty bucks buys participation in a Belltown bar-crawl Monday, April 13 from 7 to 10 p.m. (tickets and details here). Four drinks later (bicycles and berets optional), you get to vote for the best of show. Of course, while you're out lifting one it wouldn't hurt to eat something. Oysters? Pate campagne? A stinky-cheese plate? Dessert? I bet I know where you can find those seductions, too.

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