Wednesday, April 13, 2011

St-Germain? Coming right up Milady

I have been intending on putting in some Elderberry plants although not for the berry but for the flower heads. What on earth for you might ask?  Well I shall explain.  In the evening just before supper we often enjoy an aperitif, mine being a single malt scotch and MeMa often has St-Germain, straight or added to a nice glass of champagne.  Ahhhh the explanation begins.  St-Germain is produced by fermenting the flower heads of the elderberry in unflavored Vodka. The last time I purchased a bottle for the liquor cabinet I paid just over forty dollars....ouch!  So off to the nursery around the corner I went in search of Elderberry plants.  I have been a regular fixture at the nursery for the last 36 years so when I walk through the door the first half hour is spent talking shop with the employees and the conversation usually ends with them asking what I was looking for today.  "Elderberry" I say and am soon directed to an import from England, Sambucus nigra 'Gerda', Black Beauty.  It has very dark burgundy foliage and pink flowers, a perfect contrast, as the planting bed it is destined for is filled with green.  So its almost time to get those fermenting jars out MeMa, cocktail hour approacheth.

Sambucus nigra 'Gerda'  Black Beauty


  1. We have one of those in the garden here at home. They even come in a golden leaf variety as well.

  2. Pretty neat thing to do with the Elderberry flower heads...I've never had this...sounds interesting!

  3. I will post the complete recipe when my plants are big enough to harvest the required number of flowers.