DIY St-Germain Liqueur For Less Than $10

I love St-Germain liqueur: Its cool, pale green colour makes for some pretty looking cocktails, and there’s something about that floral fragrance that just says, “summer is here.”  The only thing I don’t like about it is the price: $50 Canadian for a single – albeit very attractive – bottle is prohibitive.

I came across a great article about summer cocktails to make with St-Germain, and I asked myself, “how can a cocktail-loving penny pincher make this work?” Enter IKEA. How appropriate is it that the company synonymous with assemble-it-yourself furniture would be able to furnish me with the main DIY liqueur ingredient?

All you need is a charcoal filter and some overproof alcohol

All you need is a charcoal filter and some inexpensive neutral alcohol

IKEA sells an elderflower concentrate syrup; mixed with a neutral alcohol, you have your St-Germain liqueur. Here’s how to make a $50 bottle for less than half the retail price. Neutral alcohol refers to an unflavoured alcohol, like vodka, or 94% overproof alcool.

Here’s what you need:

  1. A bottle of “DRYCK FLÄDER,” elderberry blossom syrup
  2. 1 cup (25o ml) of a neutral alcohol of your choice (I used Global brand 94% alcohol, which needed to be diluted a bit)
  3. Brita filter, or any choice of charcoal-based water filter
  4. An attractive bottle

The directions on the bottle say that the ratio should be 6:1, so I poured 2/3 cup of Dryck Fläder (Elderberry blossom syrup.)

IMG_20160722_170420 (1)

Some assembly required: IKEA’s Elderberry flower syrup is part of a great DIY liqueur.

The 94% alcool was harsh – in order to mellow it out a bit, I followed instructions on how to make cheap vodka taste smoother by using a charcoal water filter.

This is some strong stuff. I'd recommend watering it down a bit. You may not

This is some strong stuff. I’d recommend watering it down a bit. You may not need to for vodka, but overproof alcohol could stand some dilution.


Overproof alcohol dribbling through filter

Overproof alcohol dribbling through filter

After running 1 cup of alcool through the Brita, I poured it in to pretty bottle, then added the syrup and shook the bottle for a bit, to mix it all up. The result:


Ta-daah! St-Germain liqueur on the cheap! Not a bad looking bottle, if I say so myself!