The Comte St. Germain’s Poison

The Comte St. Germain’s Poison

“Drink, Monsieur,” said the King.  The dark eyes were hooded once more, showing nothing.  “Or are you afraid?”

The Comte might have a number of things to his discredit, but cowardice wasn’t one of them.  His face was pale and set, but he met the King’s eyes squarely, with a slight smile.

“No, Majesty,” he said.

He took the cup from my hand and drained it, his eyes fixed on mine.  They stayed fixed, staring into my face, even as they glazed with the knowledge of death.  The White Lady may turn a man’s nature to good, or to destruction.

The Comte’s body hit the floor, writhing, and a chorus of shouts and cries rose from the hooded watchers, drowning any sound he might have made.  His heels drummed briefly, silent on the flowered carpet; his body arched, then subsided into limpness.  The snake, thoroughly disgruntled, struggled free of the disordered folds of white satin and slithered rapidly away, heading for the sanctuary of Louis’s feet.

All was pandemonium.

Diana Gabaldon, Dragonfly in Amber (Chapter 27 – An Audience with His Majesty)

The Comte St. Germain’s story is too strange to be fiction.  He is, in fact, a real-life gem, plucked straight out of the pages of history by Diana, and thrown by her into the fracas-filled adventures of Jamie’s & Claire’s time in France.

A man of many names and reputations — royal confidante, composer and musician, inventor, alchemist, occultist, immortal, charlatan – the Comte St. Germain traveled and lived all over Europe in his 70+ years.  He was the original International Man of Mystery.

Throughout it’s history, Paris has been described as a mélange curieux, a curious mixture of flavors, styles and influences.  One of its more notorious 18th C residents, the Comte could be characterized in the same way.

As could the liqueur that bears his same name.

St. Germaine's Poison

St. Germain is an artisanal liqueur made in France from handpicked elderflowers.  The flavour is subtle yet complex, and with half of the sugar of most other liqueurs, St. Germaine is never cloying. When you pair it with a common G&T, its lightly floral and honeyed sweetness perks up the gin at the same time it takes the bitter edge off the tonic, or, if you prefer, the poison of your choice.  Bitter cascara, anyone?

As with many of my Beyond the Books recipes, this one came about after a good deal of bandying about online.  I have been lucky enough to fall into a wonderful group of Outlander fans on Facebook — women who I talk type to everyday.  One friend, Lori, and I have become especially close.  She is OK’s number one recipe tester and idea bouncer off-er, all from almost 3000 miles away.

I’ve gotten to know her husband, JZ, pretty well too.  He’s not an Outlander fan, but we’ll forgive him because he concocted this delicious cocktail that I spent most of the summer enjoying.  He has christened it the Zesper, a combination of James Bond’s Vesper and the Z in his own last name.

To make it the way its creator intended, there are a couple of things you should know:  Hendricks is his gin of choice, and a lime twist, while adequate, will never equal that of a lemon.

Comte St. Germain's Poison

Admiring my glowing goblet?  It’s a souvenir Frodo glass from the Lord of the Rings.  Purchased at Burger King in 2001, it has shown a supernatural lifespan worthy of the Comte.  Miraculous, actually.

(Click on the title below for a printable version of the recipe.)

The Comte St. Germain’s Poison (Gin Zesper)

:A spirited, sophisticated cocktail made from gin, tonic, and lightly sweetened with St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur.  Poison never tasted so good.

Yield:  1 Zesper

  • Gin – 1½ oz
  • St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur – ½ to ¾ oz
  • Tonic – to taste
  • Ice
  • Lemon Twist

Pour the gin and St. Germaine over ice into your highball/old-fashioned glass of choice, top up with tonic, and add the twist.

Make a second drink for a friend, toast the Comte, and ponder the here, the now and the everlasting.

I am a professional chef, a food writer and an unabashed fan of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series.

25 Comments

  1. Kris Holtan

    Your glowing goblet is perfect

    Reply

  2. Ms. Aaron Brown

    Outlander and James Bond together–I may swoon! Great looking drink!

    Reply

    • Theresa

      I think you may be on to something, Aaron…they would work well together, I think!

      Reply

  3. Cat V

    I think I will have to try this drink very soon. Now to get my hands on some St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur. Thanks for the post and recipe :)

    Reply

  4. sunshineyness

    Aw man. I had two of those goblets until an ex-roomate (accidentally, I never hold a broken glass against anyone when it’s not in malice) broke them about 5 years ago. I still totally miss them

    Reply

    • Theresa

      That is a sad tale, Sunshineyness! I would miss our goblets if something happened to them. :D

      Reply

  5. Aly Fields

    This looks very dangerous but very fun. I love Outlander Kitchen!,

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Thanks, Aly! Visit again soon!

      Reply

  6. liquidentertainer

    Reblogged this on Liquid-E.

    Reply

  7. Alyson

    Gorgeous goblet! My liquor store does not seem to have this liqueur, but I will keep looking. Thanks as always for the creative kitchen ideas!

    Reply

    • Theresa

      You may have to ask them to order it in, Alyson.

      Reply

  8. Bri

    Very cool post, and I know we had some of those goblets many years ago! (My father-in-law works in corporate at Burger King and aquires lots of promotional goodies…I still have the life-size glass clings of the Twilight cast!) I will keep an eye out for this St. Germaine Elderflower liqueur.

    P.S. Hubs was ready to bust out the Cherry Bounce this weekend and I told him we must hold out until Hogmanay!

    Reply

    • Theresa

      I sampled the bounce, for quality control purposes, of course, last night. It was verra, verra good!

      Reply

  9. ruaTimeTraveler2

    Your displaying presentations are always the best…

    Reply

  10. denizb33

    I wish I had a Frodo glass to sip this from! Hmm, must be one on eBay…

    Reply

  11. Georgia at In Search of a Muse

    Saint Germaine is my *favorite* liqueur of all time. Try mixing it about one to four with a brut or off-dry sparkling wine. I tend to use blanc de noirs from Domaine Ste-Michelle here in WA because it’s about US$10 a bottle.

    It is absolutely celestial.

    Reply

  12. Episode 36: “I was born for you” … and whisky | The Outlander Podcast

    […] maudlin). She suggested Hank Shaw’s: How to Make Elderberry Wine. She also recommended her own Comte St Germain’s Poison, for something peppy and ‘Outlander’ related.(We will definitely have to try both. Let […]

    Reply

  13. Mary M

    Sounds good! Thanks for all the great recipes, I made Lord John’s steak and mushroom pie for last week’s on demand premiere party and it was a big hit!

    Reply

  14. Jahna

    I’d love to try this but for health reasons I’m off all alcohol for a while. But this sounds delicious!

    I admit I haven’t gone through the whole OK recipe list but can you tell me if there are drinks I can make “virgin”?

    Reply

    • Theresa

      Most of the cocktails really need booze…but how about making a shrub? You can mix it with soda for a refreshing, colonial-period beverage!

      Reply

  15. changeling

    Hmm.. may I assume this is an adult ‘sugar crash?
    happy Samhain!!!

    Reply

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