st~germain and ruby red cocktail

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and I am not sharing a single chocolate creation with you. Crazy, right? I must be coming down with something.

I am totally not prepared for this rosy pink, heart-filled holiday. Normally, by the end of January, I have already bought and assembled my children’s valentines for their school parties. [Notice that I did not say, hand-crafted the kids’ valentines. I’m not that good. Never have been.] I have a long to-do list this weekend, and prime on that list is buying whatever remnants of valentines are left at Target. Poor Oliver may be stuck giving out Dora valentines, but I’m okay with that. And if there’s a lollipop attached to each valentine, then he will be too. I also plan to pick up a heart-shaped box of chocolates for each child – something my parents did for me every Valentine’s Day as I was growing up, and a tradition that I’ve carried on with Madeline and Oliver.

In celebration of this Friday before Valentine’s Day – and in celebration of the fact that tonight is date night! – let’s have a cocktail, shall we?

As a cook and a scientist, it’s incredibly fun to play around with flavors and see what works. It’s less fun to find something that doesn’t work, but that’s part of the process, so I accept it. I have no delusions that I know anything about cocktails. I do know what I like, though, and I think that is important. St~Germain elderflower liqueur has quickly risen to my list of favorite ingredients for cocktails. This cocktail is one of my favorites to make, either with vodka or gin.

For this drink, I used my beloved St~Germain and a combination of grapefruit juice and cranberry juice. The St~Germain adds a wonderful floral, sweet note that contrasts yet complements the acidic and slight bitterness of the juices. Here in Florida, we’re overrun with grapefruit this time of year, so there are certainly no shortages of the beautiful Ruby Reds to make this drink with.


Yield: 1 drink

St Germain & Ruby Red Cocktail

For a primer on how to garnish with lemon peel, read this post by Mike.


1 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 ounce gin
1 ounce Ruby Red grapefruit juice
1/2 ounce cranberry juice
lemon peel for garnish


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add the St. Germain, gin, and juices. Shake well. Strain the drink into a chilled martini glass, and garnish with lemon peel. Serve.

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17 Responses to “and then he was four”

  1. Brian @ A Thought For Food — October 4, 2010 @ 7:38 am

    Your children are precious… and you’re absolutely right. You should keep your sanity for as long as you can. I should share with you some of the birthday cakes my mom made for me as a child (a Cake Bible chocolate cake decorated with the Ghostbusters logo)… but I remember she was a bit stressed through the whole thing and would ultimately collapse from exhaustion after the event.

    Sounds like he had a memorable day… and that you did too.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:09 pm

      The cake bible chocolate cake with the Ghostbusters logo sounds fascinating, Brian! It’s crazy the things we do for our kids, and I’m certain to lose my sanity in other aspects of parenting, but I have promised myself I won’t do it over the birthday parties. It really was a great day.

  2. Amy from She Wears Many Hats — October 4, 2010 @ 7:39 am

    So sweet!

    Cute cake too – regardless who made it. ; )

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:07 pm


  3. Renee (Kudos Kitchen) — October 4, 2010 @ 8:00 am

    This post was so lovely! Congratulations to Oliver for turning 4. That’s big stuff!
    I also think the cake that the Publix made was pretty great looking too. They did a wonderful job of recreating Oliver’s party invitation in frosting. Also, bravo to you for admitting your addiction to Publix icing. I’m sure the food snobs just cringed, but I’m not one of them!
    On a side note, I love your Merry Gourmet logo. So cute!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

      Renee – I’m positive I offended all the food snobs, but I have to be honest. 🙂

  4. Wendi @ Bon Appetit Hon — October 4, 2010 @ 8:34 am

    I love birthdays that last all weekend. And if Publix cakes are anything like Safeway cakes, the frosting is some of the best stuff on earth.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

      Wendi – I think they put crack in their frosting. It’s really that addictive.

  5. Barbara @ VinoLuciStyle — October 4, 2010 @ 11:07 am

    All weekend? Consider yourself lucky he is only four; soon they will get old enough to find a way to stretch their birthday from one weekend to the other…and when mine were that age, I was equally culpable of that being the case!

    I love seeing little kids parties; they are a big reminder of the fun we had whey my kids were little. Your children are adorable and I can attest to Brian’s moms occasional angst. I did make all of my kids birthday cakes but I don’t think I had a Publix or a prayer to get a cake this cute or that would not have been the case.

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

      Barbara – I’m planning on stretching my birthday out for this entire month, so I know what you’re talking about. 😉

  6. heather — October 4, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

    You have one lucky son — looks like a great party!



  7. Azra — October 4, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    MJ, Great post! And beautiful party-I am stealing your ideas 🙂 Tiny prints card and Publix @ Jonesville for cake-thank you!
    Please send me more details on the sticker fun table-I would like to have it for Eddie’s late b-day party!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:05 pm

      Azra – I wish I could say there was something really unique about what I did, but seriously, it was nothing more than a table set up with some foam paper and foam stickers from the craft store, Michael’s. I bought a variety of stickers – things that both girls and boys would like – and they all had a great time!

  8. Nancy@acommunaltable — October 5, 2010 @ 1:23 am

    Too cute!! I loved all the kids expressions!!! What a wonderful party – craft ideas are always a hit! The best one I ever did was when my son was 8 – wanted an “army” party. We had more fun! The craft was to make large paper airplanes that they decorated with crayons and stickers and then we had a contest to see who could fly theirs the farthest!! I honestly think the kids would have been happy to do that all day long!! So glad that the party worked out so well – good job Mom!!!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:04 pm

      Thanks, Nancy! I’m always amazed when kids are drawn to crafts, but they really seem to love them, even when they seem very simple – like my very simple stickers set-up. Worked out beautifully. 🙂

  9. Maria at Fresh Eats — October 5, 2010 @ 11:19 am

    Your children are adorable and it looks like it was a grand party! Go you!!!

    • mj (merry gourmet)

      mj (merry gourmet) replied: — October 5th, 2010 @ 10:03 pm

      Thanks, Maria!

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