When you need a light and refreshing sipper, this very best St. Germain elderflower spritz is your perfect drink! You’ll love how this cocktail perfectly balances bright citrus and floral notes and shows off an effervescent finish. In just minutes, you can whip up this bubbly drink for happy hour on the patio, and it’s so simple to batch for spring and summer parties.
What Is St. Germain?
St. Germain, founded in 2007 by distiller Robert J. Cooper, is a French elderflower liqueur. According to the St. Germain website, this liqueur is distilled with full-bloom, handpicked elderflower blossoms in late spring. In just one bottle, St. Germain uses up to 1,000 elderflowers to make one liqueur that’s loaded with floral flavor.
Along with the fresh elderflower, you’ll notice honey-like notes that make it especially great with vodka, gin and sparkling wine, like in the French 77. For such a distinct tasting profile, you’ll find it surprisingly versatile.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
That burst of citrus: When I first tested this recipe, I didn’t add the lemon juice. The drink was nice, but elderflower liqueur is so sweet that it needed some acidity to cut the syrupy flavor — a little lemon juice made all the difference. Most St. Germain spritz recipes don’t call for lemon juice, but that citrus addition truly puts this drink above the rest.
Elegant yet simple: St. Germain always adds a sophisticated touch to any cocktail, but you don’t need to be a professional bartender to perfect this drink. You don't even need a cocktail shaker. If you can stir, you can make this drink like a pro.
Party-perfect drink: Pitcher-style drinks take a load off your hosting duties, and you can easily turn this refreshing spritz into a large batch. But you can also make single drinks at a time for smaller gatherings.
Related: For more elderflower cocktails, you'll also love this Irish Maid.
St. Germain: This is the original elderflower liqueur, and as of today, I believe it’s the best on the market. That said, you can substitute another brand if you’d like. Keep in mind that a drink is only as good as its ingredients.
Lemon juice: Make sure you use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Bottled juice lacks the bright flavor we want.
Sparkling white wine: You can use your favorite type, whether that’s a California sparkling wine, cava, prosecco or Champagne. Just don’t use anything that’s too expensive — you should definitely save a fine bottle of sparkling wine for drinking unadorned.
Let’s show you how truly easy it is to make this refreshing St. Germain spritz.
Step 1: We add the St. Germain, lemon juice and a handful or two of ice to a wine glass (photo 1).
Step 2: Now we pour in the sparkling wine (photo 2).
Step 3: On top of the sparkling wine layer, we add a splash of club soda (photo 3) and gently stir the mixture to combine.
Step 4: For the perfect finishing touch, we add a lemon wheel or lemon twist to the rim of our glass (photo 4).
See? I told you it was easy. Grab a spot on the patio, take a sip of this perfectly crafted St. Germain spritz and enjoy that bubbly goodness.
How to Make a Pitcher
Now let’s make your party planning that much easier. Here’s how to convert this single-drink recipe into a pitcher.
- Pour the elderflower liqueur and lemon juice into a large pitcher.
- Add the sparkling wine and club soda to the pitcher.
- Gently stir to mix.
- Fill each wine glass with ice and pour the spritz into the glasses.
If you’d like, you can go ahead and measure out the elderflower liqueur and lemon juice in the pitcher up to 24 hours before serving time and refrigerate. After that, the lemon juice starts to lose its brightness. You can find the exact ingredient proportions in the recipe card.
A classic spritz ratio is 3 parts sparkling wine, 2 parts liqueur and 1 part soda water. From there, you can add your own twist, such as the fresh lemon juice.
A large wine glass or goblet works perfectly when serving spritzes. Stem or stemless — it’s up to you. If you’d like to get extra fancy, you can even use a specifically designed spritz glass. A Collins glass also works well.
This drink is similar to a Hugo spritz but with two key differences — this recipe includes lemon juice while a Hugo spritz uses muddled fresh mint leaves and no additional citrus.
Variations and Substitutions
While this drink is perfect as is, you can certainly put your own stamp on it. You'll just love these ideas for something different.
- Add 2 ounces of cucumber juice or fruit juice.
- Muddle some fresh herbs or fruit with the St. Germain and lemon juice.
- Swap freshly squeezed lime juice for lemon juice.
- Substitute sparkling rosè for the white wine.
- For variation inspiration, see my blackberry-cucumber spritzer and grapefruit-rosemary spritz.
Serve in a chilled glass: Simply place your serving glass in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before mixing, and you have a perfectly chilled glass. This makes your drink extra refreshing on those hot days.
Use ripe lemons: The lemons should have a bit of give when you press into them to ensure they're plenty juicy.
Refrigerate the club soda and sparkling white: To keep our ice from rapidly melting and overly diluting the drink, try to get the club soda and sparkling wine in the refrigerator at least three hours before serving.
Use Champagne splits for small servings: An entire bottle of sparkling wine has 25 ounces, which is enough for eight servings. If you’re planning a smaller gathering, one champagne split contains 6 ounces to make two drinks.
Stir gently: Stirring too forcefully can distribute that delightful carbonation. We just need a gentle touch to combine.
If you’re serving dinner, this grilled peach pizza with herby pesto is your perfect match. Elderflower complements stone fruits nicely as well as the basil from the pesto pizza base.
For a starter, you can’t go wrong with a nice salad with a Meyer lemon vinaigrette or this whipped ricotta. The natural sweetness of the ricotta is wonderful with the elderflower, and the dip has a lemony zip to mimic the bright flavor of the drink. If you need a dessert, this honey-lavender ice cream and strawberry-ginger cheesecake both make lovely choices.
When you need an easy yet sophisticated cocktail, I hope you try this St. Germain elderflower spritz recipe. You’ll love that bubbly touch with bright citrus and floral notes — it’s your perfect cocktail for those patio nights.
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The Best St. Germain Elderflower Spritz
- Citrus juicer
- Jigger or small measuring cup
- 2 ounces St. Germain
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 ounces chilled sparkling white wine
- 1 ounce chilled club soda
- Lemon wheel or twist for garnish, optional
- In a large wine glass, add the St. Germain and lemon juice with a handful of ice.
- Top with chilled sparkling white wine.
- Pour in the chilled club soda. Gently stir to combine.
- If desired, garnish with a lemon wheel or twist. Enjoy!
- Don't substitute bottled lemon juice for freshly squeezed lemon juice. The flavor is not nearly as good.
- Serve in a chilled glass. To chill the glass, simply place it in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before serving.
- For smaller gatherings, you can pick up sparkling wine splits. One split contains 6 ounces, which is enough for two drinks.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
Amy Liu Dong says
This sure was refreshing. The lemon and elderflower are so good together. Really easy to make too! I think a pitcher of this will be great for Easter with the family in a few weeks.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
Sounds like a great way to celebrate!
This drink was delicious! I had just picked up some St. Germain for something different and came across this recipe. I'll definitely be sipping on this through spring.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
I'm so glad you bought some! It really is the perfect spring liqueur if you ask me.
So refreshing! The lemon juice was a nice addition. I love St. Germain, and that citrus zip went so well with it. Thanks for sharing with us!
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
You are so welcome!
I'm over winter and was craving a spring drink. This was just what I needed. So beautiful and loved those floral flavors.
Amanda McGrory-Dixon says
You and me both!