A bright, floral and bubbly gin drink, the Fleur de Paradis comes from New York City bartending vet Kenta Goto. A lightly botanical gin, a floral liqueur, a mix of citrus juices and some bubbly wine all come together to evoke a paradise flower, the South African flower from which the drink gets its name. Though the cocktail is a little busy with seven ingredients, they’re fairly common ones that can find their way into other drinks.
The Fleur de Paradis starts with Plymouth gin, a moderately priced dry gin that is well respected by bartenders for its nuanced botanicals. While it bears many similarities to London dry gins like Tanqueray, Beefeater or Bombay Sapphire, there are a few differences. Plymouth gin is less juniper-forward and also includes botanicals such as coriander, cardamom and angelica root, all of which give it an earthier tone. This distinction is important to the Fleur de Paradis, as swapping the gin for a more traditional London dry style will cause it to be a touch more bitter.
St-Germain elderflower liqueur gives the drink most of its sweetness (which is enhanced with some simple syrup) as well as lovely overtones of white flowers. It pairs lovingly with the gin and grapefruit juice in the Fleur de Paradis, as well as the Champagne that finishes it. Like with many other cocktails that call for Champagne—like the Mimosa or French 75—that part is flexible. Goto uses Perrier-Jouët, a pricey and celebrated Champagne label, but if you’re not looking to splurge, another dry sparkling wine can fill in. However, stick to a white sparkling wine—using a sparkling rosé will change the color of the drink from its namesake’s signature golden-orange hue.
To complete the floral image and give the drink a touch of extra color, Goto garnishes it with an edible pansy, though it’s not a required step.
- 2 ounces Plymouth gin
- 3/4 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
- 1/2 ounce grapefruit juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/4 ounce simple syrup
- 1 dash orange bitters
- Perrier-Jouët Champagne, chilled, to top
- Garnish: edible pansy
Add the Plymouth gin, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, lime juice, simple syrup and orange bitters into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Double-strain into a coupe glass.
Top with the Champagne.
Garnish with an edible pansy if desired.