20 best Elderflower liqueur cocktails

Words by Simon Difford

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

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 tend to overwhelm elderflower with only its honeyed sweetness contributing to such drinks, its floral flavours tend to be smothered by these dark fruits.

Follows 20 tasty cocktails made with elderflower liqueur, a few my own but most created by others.

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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: 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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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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English Martini
With: Rosemary sprig, gin and elderflower liqueur.
We say: Rosemary and sweet elderflower combine wonderfully with the gin botanicals to make an interesting and approachable Martini.

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Esmeralda Cocktail
With: Blanco tequila, 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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French Spritz
With: Soda, genetian liqueur, elderflower liqueur and brut champagne.
We say: This aperitif-style cocktail perfectly fits its name. That said, fans of Italian fizz will be interested to learn how well this spritz works when made with prosecco in place of champagne.

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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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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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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 and make another sip so very desirable - a complex, bittersweet taste sensation. Brilliant as an aperitif on a hot summer's evening.

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With: Gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, lime juice and egg white.
We say: Fabulously light, almost creamy and very refreshing.

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

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