Ironically, for a liqueur destined to assist in the slowing down and savoring of the moment, St‑Germain begins with something of a race against time.
This is because there are only a few fleeting weeks in the spring when fresh wild blossoms can be gathered for St‑Germain.
The blossoms in question are elderflowers. In European folklore, the elder tree is of particular célébrité. Extracts and oils derived from the beloved plant have been employed medicinally and mystically for centuries. An herbal ange gardien, one might say.
Descending the hillside, these diligent flower-gatherers carefully usher the umbrells of starry white flowers back to the village, often by bicycle. In just a few short weeks, all of the elderflowers that will become St‑Germain for that year will be harvested. And then… Fini. That is why each bottle of St‑Germain is individually numbered: to reflect the year in which the flowers were picked.