The Hermès Garden Cocktail
Are you enjoying the lovely spring weather? It’s a time for weekend picnics and afternoon cocktail parties.
We wanted to share a scrumptious-sounding cocktail recipe, but sourcing the two essential ingredients almost turned into an impossible quest. Hardly anyone stocks Gentian (but Cru Bar + Cellar on James Street can order it for you). As for geranium syrup, none of the city’s providores have it, and many didn’t even seem to know what it is. Fortunately, if you’re determined, you can make some yourself. There are many species of geranium and there are subtle differences in fragrance (reminiscent of apple, lemon, lime, peppermint, ginger, nutmeg, rose, even frankincense), which means the flavour of your syrup will vary depending on which kind you use. The next challenge is to find geranium leaves!
Geranium Syrup – makes about 1 cup (240 ml)
½ cup sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup water
8-10 scented geranium leaves
Heat sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat. Lightly crush geranium leaves and stir in. Cover and let steep for about 4 hours. Strain into a jar and refrigerate.
Once you’ve made your syrup and bought the Gentian, then you can try this brew by Élisabeth Larquetoux-Thiry, which appeared in Le Monde D’Hermès (Automne-Hiver 2011).
The Hermès Garden Cocktail (serves 6)
Juice of 1 small lemon
130 ml geranium syrup
1 tbsp Gentian liqueur
Put unpeeled, whole fruit through juicer to obtain about 1 litre frothy juice. Quickly add lemon juice, then geranium syrup, and finally Gentian liqueur. Whisk briskly and enjoy immediately.
Of course, why be limited by recipes or the lack of ingredients? Use your imagination and rely on your tastes (the flavours you like) to come up with your own refreshing flower and/or herbal concoctions.