I keep tiny bottles of elderflower liqueur in my purse
I have to admit something: I don’t love day drinking. Between the overly-sweet options typically available at brunch and the 3 p.m. hangover, I’m just not into it. However, come summer, there is one drink that goes down particularly easy during the daytime. I don’t know what to call it, because it’s so weird, so I’ll just tell you: it’s an ice-cold beer with a good splash of St-Germain elderflower liqueur.
Credit where credit is due, I didn’t create this drink. A beach bar somewhere near Long Branch, New Jersey, did. They’re still the only place I’ve ever seen offer the beer-elderflower pairing on a menu. Someday soon I will return to the Jersey Shore and drink this drink whilst sitting in the sand, but in the meantime, I’ll settle for making them in my apartment.
The *Culinary Editor* side of me wants to make this drink with some kind of cool, small-batch, craft beer affixed with a label that looks like an album cover. But that’s just not what this drink is. You could do it with some kind of artisanal wheat ale, sure. Technically, this drink is about making the most of whatever beers the brunch spot has available, and that means it should probably be a more universally stocked beer. The beach bar where I first had this drink made it a with a Stella Artois, a Belgian pilsner with a low-ish ABV. Last weekend, I made with a Sam Adams Summer Ale, an American pale wheat ale.
When you’re out at brunch, here’s what you do. Order a wheat ale or some kind of light Pilsner—try one of the beers I mentioned above, or go with whatever is available. Avoid really hoppy beers, like IPAs, or super-dark beers like Porters, as we’re going for a crisp, day-drinking situation here, not a liquified loaf of bread. When the beer arrives, pour it into a glass (a cold one, if possible). Stealthily, pull out the 50-milliliter bottle of St-Germain you’ve stashed in your bag—this just under two-ounce bottle honestly couldn’t be cuter, and it’s the perfect amount for your beer. Pour in the liqueur, give the mixture a stir and get sipping.