Brunch Drinks: The Herbaliser


[Photograph: Heather Arndt Anderson]

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What's nicer in the morning than a cup of herbal tea? A cup of herbal tea with a shot of honey liqueur and elderflower cordial. You don't have to be a gray-braided apothecary hippie to appreciate herbs in the morning.

There's nothing more benign than chamomile, yet its softly floral aroma is a natural to pair with flower liqueurs like St. Germain (or Galliano), and the honey liqueur Bärenjäger provides additional sweetness and body along with really buzzy honey flavor and a nudge of booze. Adding these to a warm beverage volatilizes the herbal and floral compounds and brings much more botany to the nose than simply drinking them on ice or with sparkling wine.

For this cocktail, I made my own elderflower liqueur by infusing flowers from local elderberry bushes in vodka for a few weeks, then diluting with simple syrup to make a cordial. St.-Germain, the elderflower liqueur from France, is the natural choice for those who didn't harvest a bushel of elderflowers in the spring; if you can't find Bärenjäger you can use Drambuie.

This warm cocktail is an ideal partner to a fresh lemon-poppyseed scone.

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The Herbaliser »

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