20 best Elderflower liqueur cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

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Elderflower liqueurs are delicately flavoured, aromatic and floral; they mix brilliantly with pretty much every spirit, both white and brown, even combining well with the strong flavours of mezcal, peated whisky and pisco.

Elderflower tends to mix better with light-coloured fruits such as pear, apple and white grapes. Strong berry flavours such as raspberry, blackberry and blackcurrant can overwhelm elderflower liqueurs with only its honeyed sweetness contributing to such drinks, its floral flavours smothered by these dark fruits. That said, the Courtside (see below) proves that even berry fruits can be sympathetic.

Follows 20 tasty cocktails made with elderflower liqueur, a few are my own but most are by others. As always, please click on the cocktail name or image to view the full recipe etc.

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Left Bank Martini
With: Gin, elderflower liqueur, white wine and dry vermouth.
We say: Aromatic, floral and delicate.

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With: Absinthe, dry gin, triple sec, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice.
We say: A riff on a Corpse Reviver No. 2 by Sam Ross.

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Devils' Soul
With: Rye whiskey, mezcal, amaro, aperitivo, and elderflower liqueur.
We say: Smoky, bittersweet, floral and herbal.

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Love on Sale
With: Unaged rye spirit, elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth, maraschino liqueur and lemon juice.
We say: Spiritous and fresh - if you like Natural Daiquiris then perhaps try this.

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Old Friend
With: Gin, pink grapefruit juice, Campari and elderflower liqueur.
We say: Tart, dry and lightly bitter, but with just enough underlying sweetness to stroke the palate. Brilliant as an aperitif on a hot summer's evening.

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Pyramid Punch
With: Clove, pisco, elderflower liqueur, pineapple juice and grapefruit juice.
We say: Tangy, fruity and packed with flavour. Clove spice, fragrant floral pisco and elderflower with a hint of sweet pineapple and sour grapefruit.

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With: Vodka, elderflower liqueur, Aperol, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and egg white.
We say: A delicious trio of flavours meets in harmony. Tart ruby grapefruit and lemon, subtle bitterness and rich elderflower.

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Sweet Liberty's Sherry Cobbler
With: Fino sherry, pink grapefruit juice, elderflower liqueur, pineapple juice, and honey syrup.
We say: Fino sherry's minerality sits beautifully with subtle pineapple and elderflower.

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The Stig
With: Calvados, pisco, elderflower liqueur and white wine.
We say: Whiter than white yet mysterious.

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Maximilian Affair
With: Mezcal, elderflower liqueur, full-bodied vermouth, and lemon juice.
We say: Mezcal leads, underpinned by floral elderflower, rich herbal vermouth and sour lemon.

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With: Ripe strawberries, raspberries, vodka, elderflower liqueur, apple juice, lime juice, sugar syrup and soda.
We say: Easy drinking, fruity, refreshing and lightly sweet. Bring on the summer's afternoon.

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Floral Daiquiri
With: Crème de violette, blueberries, light rum, lime juice, lavender sugar syrup and elderflower liqueur.
We say: A floral riff on a classic Daiquiri with a hint of berry fruitiness and a lavender pink hue courtesy of a blueberry threesome.

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Irish Maid
With: Cucumber, Irish whiskey, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and sugar syrup
We say: Fresh, juicy cucumber and elderflower with Irish whiskey and zesty lemon.

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Saúco Margarita
With: Reposado tequila, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and daiquiri bitters.
We say: Floral elderflower combines wonderfully with herbaceous tequila and citrusy lime.

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Crowbar Hotel
With: Habanero-infused bourbon, elderflower liqueur, pine grapefruit juice.
We say: A riff on Philip Spee's 2007 Beverly Hills Hotel Cocktail.

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Comte de Sureau
With: Gin, elderflower liqueur, and Campari.
We say: Generous sprays of oils from both orange and lemon zest twists are crucial to the fine balance of this bittersweet aperitivo

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With: Absinthe, bourbon, elderflower liqueur and cognac.
We say: Elderflower liqueur mellows and boosts floral notes in the cognac while the merest dash of absinthe dries and adds a robust hint of aniseed.

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Elderflower Martini No.2
With: Bison grass vodka, vodka, elderflower liqueur, and dry vermouth.
We say: Dry but not bone dry, with aromatic grassy hints of elderflower.

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Oh Snap!
With: Sugar snap peas (mangetout), gin, maraschino liqueur, elderflower liqueur, and lemon juice.
We say: A floral Aviation-style cocktail made green by muddled peas.

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Rose-Hyp Martini
With: Dry Gin, elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth, and rose petal liqueur.
We say: Dry (but far from bone dry), aromatic and floral.

More elderflower cocktails

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