Flower Power

Surprise your valentine with an Elderflower Champagne Cocktail

A bouquet of flowers is a classic Valentine’s Day gift.

But this year, a fresh alternative to a dozen blooms is the Elderflower Champagne Cocktail at Fresco.

It’s one of eight new cocktails at the restaurant, located above the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, that’s become known for using local farmers’ market ingredients.

Since opening in May 2006, the restaurant has structured its menus to reflect what’s in season—and this approach of seaonal updates extends to cocktails, says general manager Caitlin Suemnicht.

St. Germain elderflower liqueur is the key ingredient in the drink. Lavender essence enhances the flavors, while a twist of orange complements them. The cocktail is nicely floral, but champagne prevents it from tasting too sweet and keeps the effect bubbly and light.

It’s a simple drink to mix up at home. But perhaps the best place to sip it is overlooking the lights of the city from Fresco’s sleek, sexy, window-filled dining room. It’s the only spot in town serving the unique libation, Suemnicht says.

One of a kind—the perfect message to send to your Valentine.

RECIPE: Elderflower Champagne Cocktail

In a champagne flute combine:

2 oz St. Germain elderflower liqueur
1 oz lavender cocktail essence (optional)
Top with champagne or sparkling wine

Garnish with a twist of orange.

Recipe courtesy of Fresco, 227 State St., 663-7374, frescomadison.com.

Katie Vaughn is associate editor of Madison Magazine.

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