I tried to post this on Friday but ran into some technical difficulties. So, make this new cocktail on Sunday night instead, because who doesn't need a cocktail before heading back into the fray on Monday morning?
It seems like everyone is drinking St-Germain lately. And that's cool. Full disclosure: I'm not really into sweet drinks, and to my palate this elderflower liqueur tastes a tad like rotten grapefruit. I mean, not entirely rotten, but definitely on the verge of going off. I still like it, of course, because I dig strange tastes and smells, and when you need St-Germain, well, nothing else can quite fit the bill.
I think it would be nice to mascerate fresh berries in it, the way you would with limoncello, for spooning over angel food or pound cake, but CHOW gave me another idea: the Elder Fashion. It's a take on the Old-Fashioned, which is basically rum, rye, or bourbon, Angustura bitters, simple syrup, and citrus, maybe with a cherry thrown in. Like a lot of cocktails, it has many variations, and the Elder Fashion is successful, I think, in paying homage to the original while sprucing up its old ways.
This recipe is from New York City's Death & Co. They advise using Plymouth Gin, but I wanted to buy something made closer to home. I asked the main buyer at Twin Liquors if there was a gin from Central Texas and found out that there's one from Houston called ROXOR. But even though it's supposed to have a slight grapefruit flavor, I'll admit that I didn't buy it simply because of the bottle. Hey, I'm a sucker for good design, and that bottle screamed So 1990's to me. So I chose Oregon-based Ransom Old Tom Gin. With its orange and lemon peel, coriander seed, and cardmon pods, I think it paired well with the St-Germain.
I made another change, too. Since St-Germain is so sweet, I decided to play that up with a sugar rim. I just twisted the rim of my glass against a cut grapefruit and then twisted it again in some sugar. Superfine sugar would work well, but I just used regular.
I also put a generous squeeze of grapefruit in the cocktail itself, giving it a fresher and less (to my palate) moldering flavor.