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Court of Elders

The legacy of St-Germain
Astor Wines

Get ready for an onslaught of elderflower.

The market leader in elderflower liqueur, St-Germain, was sold to liquor giant Bacardi late last year, in a deal that is sure to send brands rushing to their stills to join this newly minted niche.

The market's movements are our boon: Revisiting the ingredient, in both new and old forms, has inspired some delicious drinking. Time for a trail map through this flowery world.

St-Germain ($34 for 750 ml): This now ubiquitous bottling made its debut in 2007 and quickly gained popularity for sweet, tropical notes that appealed to both consumers and bartenders. It also set the stage for a golden age of liqueurs, which are now being more widely produced and consumed.

Chase Elderflower Liqueur ($30 for 750 ml): This English rival arrived Stateside a few years ago and has been slowly creeping behind bars across the country. It is more concentrated than St-Germain, but contains less sugar.

The Bitter Truth Elderflower Liqueur ($30 for 750 ml): As the company's name suggests, this version is decidedly less sweet than most other elderflower liqueurs; with a spiced, almost oxidized scent and a dry finish, it is a kissing cousin to sherry.

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