5 Cocktails to Honor St-Germain Creator Robert J. Cooper

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The death of Robert J. Cooper, the creator of elderflower liqueur St-Germain, is tough news for cocktail lovers everywhere. It's no understatement to call him a genius or pioneer (as other luminaries in the industry have in their remembrances), and that hardly scrapes the surface of the tremendous impact he had on the cocktail revival scene.

Cooper, whose family owns Philadelphia-based liqueur company Charles Jacquin et Cie, could have coasted as a benefactor of the business's success. Instead, he took a risk, and set off on his own after his father rejected his idea of creating an elderflower liqueur. The result? St-Germain, a liqueur that became so omnipresent that it was referred to it as “the bartender’s ketchup” and the New York Times credited it as a major reason for the liqueur business’s revival.

Cooper’s elderflower liqueur proved so successful and popular that he wound up selling St-Germain to Bacardi in 2012 to focus on bringing back other forgotten mixers like berry-violet liqueur Crème Yvette. Cooper left a legacy everyone can enjoy, though, so this weekend, raise a glass and remember Cooper the right way, with a boozy libation any elderflower enthusiast could get behind.

The Elder Fashioned, aka “The New Old Fashioned” 

  •  2 oz Plymouth gin
  •  1/2 oz St-Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 1 dash orange bitters

Stir in a mixing glass on ice. Strain over ice in a rocks glass with a grapefruit twist.

The Close Shave

  • 1 oz New Amsterdam Vodka
  • 1 1/2 oz Elderflower liqueur
  • prosecco
  • rosemary

Combine, shake, and strain vodka and elderflower liqueur into a chilled absinthe-washed martini glass. Top with prosecco and garnish with fresh rosemary.

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Costa Rhode Island

  • 1 1/2 oz blanco tequila
  • 3/4 oz grapefruit juice
  • 3/4 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 6 oz Budweiser

Salt the rim, shake the measured ingredients, and strain over ice. Add beer.

Horse & Carriage Punch

  • 6 oz Beefeater 24 London Dry Gin
  • 3 oz Combier Triple Sec
  • 3 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
  • 6 oz lemon juice
  • 10 oz cold chamomile tea
  • 4 tbsp citrus sugar (Zest rind from a grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange into a bowl of sugar, let sit for a couple hours, stirring occasionally.)

Dissolve sugar into lemon juice. Add to other ingredients in a punchbowl. Add a block of ice and circles of lemons. Drop some pomegranate seeds onto lemons. Edible flower garnish optional.

Burning Passion

  • 4 oz Plantation Original Dark Rum
  • 4 oz Damoiseau Agricole white rum
  • 2 fresh passion fruits
  • 3 oz elderflower cordial
  • 1/2 oz Ricard pastis
  • 10 dashes of vanilla bitters

All ingredients are shaken and then served in a punch bowl for all to enjoy.

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