Fancy Friends = Fancy Drinks

We were having some “fancy” friends over for dinner when we realized that we were down to only one nice crystal martini glass. (NOTE TO SELVES: MUST BUY MARTINI GLASSES.) We had plenty of champagne glasses so we decided to serve a proper drink for them. We knew our friends were gin drinkers and loved champagne. We came upon a recipe from the Chandon website called Chandon Classic Gin and Elderflower Fizz that sounded perfect. Sophisticated. Elegant. Classic.

Not being familiar with Gin, we called upon our friend, Christian Hershman, owner of State Street Eating House in Downtown Sarasota. You’ll hear more about him in the future. He’s brilliant in the kitchen and behind the bar. He made several recommendations based on our request to not be too pricey. (A common theme of Robert’s.) Christian recommended Nolet, St. Augustine, Bombay Sapphire or for being really economical Gordons. Claiming “Gordons is really good and has nice citrus notes, lighter juniper.” We ended up with Bombay. Our local liquor store didn’t have the first two suggestions and State Street Eatery wasn’t open when we were shopping. (SECOND NOTE TO SELVES: PICK UP SOME GINS FROM CHRISTIAN.)

The other ingredients for this drink are St. Germaine’s Elderflower, simple syrup, lemons, and of course, being that the recipe was found on the champagne’s website, Chandon.

Chandon Elderflower Gin Fizz

To make one, according to their website:

– 3oz Chandon Blanc de Noirs
– 1/2oz gin
– 1/3oz St. Germain
– 1/2oz lemon juice
dash of simple syrup

In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, St. Germain, lemon juice and simple syrup then shake. Strain into a flute and top with 3oz Chandon Blanc de Noris.

Following the recipe to a “t”, it basically tasted like champagne. So on the next attempt, we doubled the gin (although if we’re being really honest it was really tripled) and did just a splash of champagne. It was much better.

But after one of those, we all kind of went our separate drinking ways. One stayed with straight champagne, one went for gin with elderflower and the others went traditional with gin and tonics. Good thing we stocked up on lemons and limes. And good thing we have plenty of high ball glasses.

Here was the photo of the drink from Chandon’s website that inspired us:

What are your favorite gins? We would love to know your recommendations.



  • Andy July 30, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    I am a fan of Hendricks – it is a smoother taste and very fresh. When not available, Bombay Sapphire is my fallback. Can’t wait to try this weeks cocktail!

    • Kim & Robert July 30, 2014 at 10:09 pm

      Hendricks is great. Gin lovers should definitely go heavy on the Gin for this drink! Cheers!

  • jude July 30, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    I love St. Germain! Just a bit of that in champagne makes a simple and quite delicious champagne cocktail.

    • Kim & Robert July 30, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      Could not agree with you more! Delicious! Think we might whip some of those up right now!

  • bigD July 30, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Tanqueray is nice, but my favorite gin is vodka.

    • Kim & Robert July 30, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      What kind of vodka do you like best?

  • bigD July 30, 2014 at 10:05 pm

    The smiley emoticon got dropped…old schooling it… 😉

  • Rob Picard July 31, 2014 at 3:38 am

    I keep Bombay in the house. I occasionally like a dry gin martini dirtied with a touch of pickle juice instead of olive juice.
    What really makes the cocktail though is the three blue cheese stuffed olives!

    • Kim & Robert July 31, 2014 at 12:30 pm

      Can’t ever go wrong with the Classics. Cheers!

  • Michael Burkart August 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I too am a Bombay Sapphire fan for many years, but for real classic gin martin, I go old-school with Beefeaters. While living in Amsterdam, I discovered the forerunner of our modern day Gin ( No, contrary to popular belief, it was not found in Amsterdam’s Bull Dog Cafe/Coffee Shop) Genever. In Genever, you really get a sense of the Juniperberry origins of Gin.

    • Kim & Robert August 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm

      We like old school style! Thanks for sharing the fun fact.

  • bigD August 1, 2014 at 2:44 pm

    RE: What kind of vodka I like best? Whatever is in the glass is my favorite. ;^) Many good vodka choices depending on whether you want to mix it or drink it straight. If it’s straight, a potato-based vodka is my preference; say Luksusowa or Cold River. For mixing/general use and good bang for the buck, Svedka works. I don’t turn my nose up to Stoli and Grey Goose is reasonably priced and very good. Higher ends, like Kauffman, are great if someone else is buying. If I’m hanging with Dan Aykyroyd, Chrystal Head is on the menu. :^)

    • Kim & Robert August 1, 2014 at 3:45 pm

      Be sure to try Tito’s if you haven’t already. Tell Dan we said hi. His autographed bottle is sitting on our shelf. We’ll have to crack it open one of these days.


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