Alie & Georgia: Don’t Be Intimidated by Elderflower Liqueur — Here’s How to Use It

08/07/2014 at 12:07 PM ET

Alie & Georgia Elderflower Cocktail
Getty; Courtesy Alie & Georgia

Alie Ward and Georgia Hardstark, a.k.a. Alie & Georgia, host Cooking Channel food-travel series Tripping Out with Alie & Georgia. Visit every Thursday for their playful spins on celebrity recipes, cocktails, entertaining ideas—and, of course, lots of laughs!

Making cocktails at home can be intimidating when your go-to bar order is a glass of vodka flavored with anything to make it not taste like vodka. Which makes all those pretty liqueurs at the store the equivalent of staring at a chalkboard covered in string theory equations (assuming you’re not a string theorist, that is).

We’re here to help you get past your fear of boozy bottles of syrupy liqueur, by teaching you what to do with one that’s basically a beautiful bottle of magical unicorn tears, aka elderflower liqueur. Just an ounce or two of this sweet, floral liqueur boosts your bland at-home cocktails and transforms them into sophisticated, tasty libations, just like you’d get in a fancy cocktail bar.

And if you don’t feel like shelling out for the liqueur, Ikea also carries a non-alcoholic elderflower syrup that can you can use instead. It’s also great for making mocktails!

Elderflower Sage Cocktail
Makes 1 cocktail

2 oz vodka
1 oz elderflower liqueur (try St. Germain)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
½ oz sage simple syrup (recipe below)
dash bitters

1. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, add all the ingredients and shake well, until chilled and frothy.

2. Pour into a glass (we like a coupe, martini glass or a tall glass filled with ice) and garnish with elderflowers (if you can find them!) or fresh sage leaf.

3. Toast to learning the cocktail equivalent of string theory.

Sage Simple Syrup
Makes a generous ½ cup
Simmer ½ cup of water with ½ cup of granulated sugar and 2 sage leaves over low/medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Set aside and let cool for an hour, then discard the sage leaves and store simple syrup in a jar for up to one week in the fridge.

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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