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“The gin kept my heart alive but bemazed my brain”― Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

Summer in a glass!

Summer in a glass!

“We’re having adult drinks tonight,” stated my sister-in-law, Mirna. My curiosity was aroused. Mirna, offering me a cocktail? I knew this must be something special. She is a creative genius with food, plants and now drinks.

Breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Breathe in the fresh mountain air.

I was visiting my brother, sister-in-law and nephew in Colorado for a few days of R&R. Up high in the Rockies near Winter Park, we all perched on their balcony admiring the white-capped peaks and dense forest of layering greens. The evening was taking hold, a cool wind ruffling the Granny Smith green aspens. Hummingbirds swooped in to flutter nearby, then bravely take multiple drinks from the hanging feeders.

It's happy hour for all of us!

It’s happy hour for all of us!

I was handed the cocktail and took a sip. The soft zing of this drink made me take notice. What was this delightful, refreshing, crisp concoction? The earthy bitterness of the gin on my tongue preludes a soft flowery after glow with hints of citrus that linger. What else but a mixture of herbs, berries and flowers all native to this landscape. The Meyer Flower Cooler (a name and recipe that resembles the cocktail Mirna stirred up) combines Boulder-bred RoundHouse gin, St. Germain liqueur, and fresh lemon juice. Raw botanicals of juniper, coriander, citrus peel, star anise, angelica and orris root are infused with the micro distilled gin and bottled by hand in small batches. Impressive.

St. Germain's citrus-forward with hints of floral essence tames the bolt of gin.

St. Germain’s citrus-forward with hints of floral essence tames the bolt of gin.

The St. Germain is birthed from freshly picked, early spring elderflower blossoms grown in France near the Alps. This French liqueur hints of citrus and tropical fruits and is famous for its inclusion in an apéritif called The St. Germain Cocktail, a pairing of champagne, St. Germain and sparkling water, served over ice in a Collins glass. Another enticing summer drink idea???

Not-quite-ripe juniper berries dot the mountain scape.

Not-quite-ripe juniper berries dot the mountain scape.

On our mountain hike earlier in the day, we spotted many juvenile juniper berry bushes and also elderflowers. So, how appropriate to celebrate the evening with tastes of nature.

Elderflowers growing near a stream. The website stgermain.fr has lovely photos of their harvest in France.

Elderflowers growing near a stream. The website stgermain.fr has lovely photos of their harvest in France.

The Recipe: Meyer Flower Cooler

1.5 parts gin

1 part St. Germain

.5 part Meyer or other lemon juice

Shake all liquids together with ice. Strain into ice-filled Collins glasses. If the gin is too much for you, dress with a floater of St. Germain. Sip with good company. You will not be disappointed.

These two websites tell the stories behind the spirits and include cocktail recipes~they are fabulous.

roundhousespirits.com

stgermain.fr

“We were not a hugging people. In terms of emotional comfort it was our belief that no amount of physical contact could match the healing powers of a well made cocktail.”― David Sedaris, Naked

Ciao and Happy Summer Solstice! May all your wishes come true.

Love,

Mary