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, Islay 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 tend to be smothered by these dark fruits. That said, the Courtside (see below) proves that even berry fruits can be sympathetic while the Mariposa (also below) proves that elderflower liqueur is indeed "bartenders' ketchup) – it's a cocktail combining tomato and elderflower.

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 full recipe etc.

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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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Courtside
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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Daisy Cutter Martini
With: Mint, vodka, elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth and Yellow Chartreuse.
We say: Floral, minty and herbal with a dry finish.

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Devils' Soul
With: Rye whiskey, mezcal, amaro, aperitivo, and elderflower liqueur.
We say: Smoky, bittersweet, floral and herbal. Described by it's maker as being "short and evil."

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Dried Meadow Flower
With: Reposado tequila, elderflower liqueur, gentian liqueur, lemon juice and soda.
We say: Floral elderflower and tequila with a hint of bittersweet gentian and refreshing lemon.

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Elderflower Spritz (St-Germain Cocktail)
With: White wine, elderflower liqueur and soda.
We say: A long, easy drinking summer cooler.

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Ernest + Rita
With: Blanco tequla, elderflower liqueur, pink grapefruit juice, lime juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: A relatively low-alcohol, floral, grapefruit-laced and aperitivo-style Margarita.

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Esmeralda Cocktail
With: Cachaça, Islay single malt whisky, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, and sugar syrup.
We say: Cachaça, lime and elderflower with a smoky hit of Islay whisky.

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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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In-Seine
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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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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La Sang Jaune (The Yellow Blood)
With: Calvados, dry vermouth, elderflower liqueur, genetian liqueur and absinthe.
We say: Spirituous apple and rich elderflower with herbal dry vermouth and gentian complexity, finished with the merest hint of anise courtesy of a dash of absinthe.

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Left Bank Martini
With: Gin, elderflower liqueur, white wine and dry vermouth.
We say: An aromatic, dry blend. Go easy with the spray of lime zest oils - this delicate drink is easily overpowered with any more than a fine mist.

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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. The unaged rye spirit sits brilliantly with the vermouth and maraschino with the lemon enlivening the drink.

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Mariposa
With: Fresh cherry tomato, basil leaves, light white rum, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, and sugar syrup.
We say: Rum-laced with attractive savoury flavours with tangy sourness and floral elderflower.

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Peruvian Elder Sour
With: Pisco, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice.
We say: This tasty sour combines the aromatics of pisco and elderflower in an intriguing variation on the Margarita. Consider smoothing with fresh egg white.

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

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