Flowers + booze: always a good combination


Here’s a flower-related gift I bet no gardening columnist has yet recommended. I was trolling the aisles of my favorite gigantic local liquor store recently, looking for interesting bottles, when I found this:


It’s St. Germain, an artisanal liquor made from elderflowers that was launched last February. I was either uncharacteristically cautious or maybe just broke that day, because I bought the little trial size first, tried it on the rocks, and later bought the full size. I’m holding onto it to use with champagne, as I agree with NYTimes critic Florence Fabricant, who says:

On its own, this 40-proof liqueur, said to be the first made from fresh elderflowers hand-picked in the Alps and macerated in eau de vie, is pretty intense unless it’s cut with ice and a splash of soda. But it adds a lush fruitiness to a glass of Champagne or white wine.

A beautiful belle epoque bottle plus a drink that smells of flowers and tastes yummy. Sounds like a fun gift to me.

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Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. AMEN to the glass of wine and printed catalog as I look out the window at my garden under snow here in Colorado. I do, however, plan to be the first on my block with Bluestone in my yard.

  2. Elizabeth, I detect a drinking game here. When I was young, impressionable and in grad school, I would only drink wine if it had architecture (loosely interpreted) on the label. (This was the 80s when the trend in labels was much less, er, free than they are now: most labels then had buildings on them to prove their drinkability.) So, maybe the game could be…anything with flowers in it? It could tide us over until sweet woodruff wine season rolls around.

  3. Ha. Good idea. Nothing but Perrier Jouet with a splash of St. Germain for me from now on. Speaking of Perrier, I also noticed that the P-J flower-imprinted bottle of brut and 2 matching glasses are on sale as a set for around $30.

    That is one good deal.

  4. My personal favourite flower-related alcoholic beverage is Lapponia Lakka Cloudberry liqueur. We call those fruits bakeapples where I hail from in Newfoundland, but much of the world knows them as Cloudberries–I figure that’s because they taste a bit like heaven!

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