Monday is Bastille Day or if you are in France, La Fête Nationale, and my block in Brooklyn celebrates the beginning of the French Revolution in a big way. The French bar I live above closes down the entire street and fills it with sand and has a Pétanque tournament (pétanque is like a french version of bocce ball). They also have food vendors, performances, bands and lots and lots of cocktails all made with St. Germain. It's a fun way to pretend you are in Paris on a summer day in New York.
Every year I look forward to waking up to the sound of sand flowing into the streets - it sort of feels like the snow day feeling you get as a kid. But the best part of living above all the celebration is that you can sit on the window ledge and take part in the festivities....in an air conditioned apartment, which is very handy in July. We usually invite friends over, eat tons of french cheese and drink Champagne and St-Germain.
St-Germain is a french liqueur made from freshly handpicked elderflower blossoms, small, white starry flowers, from the Alps - in fact each bottle is numbered, showing the year in which the flowers were picked. The bounty of elderflower is gathered in a few weeks in the spring by 40-50 men who carry the blossoms in sacks via bicycle to the distillery. It doesn't get more adorable than that. It's my favorite bright and fresh addition to a cocktail and is especially delicious during the hot summer months. The sweet and aromatic taste is so hard to describe the company says it's like "asking a hummingbird to describe the flavor of it's favorite nectar." All you need to know is - c'est bon!
So even if your street is not covered in sand and rowdy french ex-pats put on some Serge Gainsbourg, pour some St-Germain in your champagne this weekend and toast to France with this weekend with this cocktail.
Á votre santé!
(all photos, Jamie Grill Photography)