Elderflower Cocktails

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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.


However, where fruit is concerned, 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.

Back in 2006 I helped formulate and launch the world's first elderflower liqueur, St-Germain Elderflower liqueur and as I received the first samples, many months before we finally launched the product, I believe I was the first to use what has become known as 'bartender's ketchup' in cocktails. Due to the copious samples and the liqueur's promotion being my job at the time, I also have probably created more cocktails using elderflower liqueur than anyone else - I've 33 on this website. I'm quite proud of a number of them and follows what I consider to be my best elderflower cocktails, followed by some great recipes from others.

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Difford's best elderflower cocktails


Daisy Cutter
Dried Meadow Flower
Elder Aviator
Elder Sour
Elderflower Manhattan
Elderflower Spritz
Hi-Life Spritz
In-Seine
Left Bank Martini
Pyramid Punch
Rose-Hyp Cocktail
Saúco Margarita
The Stig

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Other recommended elderflower cocktails


Amber Room #2
With: Gin, dry vermouth, elderflower and orange bitters.
We say: Created in 2007 by Stephan Berg, Munich, Germany.

Caneflower Cocktail
With: Cachaça, Aperol and elderflower liqueur.
We say: Created by Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Portland, Oregon, USA.

Don Daisy
With: White rum, elderflower liqueur, dry vermouth, lemon juice, sugar and egg white.
We say: Created in 2008 by James Tait.

Eighteen '97
With: Kumquats, grappa, elderflower liqueur, sugar and a thin layer of red wine floated over the drink.
We say: Created in 2008 by Raffaello Dante at Salvatore's Fifty, London, England.

Elderflower Martini #2
With: Bison grass vodka, vodka, elderflower liqueur and dry vermouth.
We say: Dry but not bone dry with aromatic hints of grass and elderflower.

Elderflower Mojito
With: Mint leaves, white rum, elderflower liqueur and lime juice.
We say: This enduring classic benefits from a splash of elderflower.

English Martini
With: Rosemary sprig, gin and elderflower liqueur.
We say: Adapted from a drink discovered in 2003 at MJU, Millennium Hotel, London, England.

Esmeralda Cocktail
With: Cachaça, Islay malt whisky, elderflower liqueur, lime juice and sugar.
We say: Adapted from a recipe by Ben Sandrof at Drink Boston, USA.

Glenn's Bride
With: Bourbon, elderflower liqueur, Angostura bitters and Rose water.
We say: This serious, bourbon based cocktail ranks alongside the Sazerac in its aromatic complexity.

Jalisco Flower
With: Tequila, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice and champagne.
We say: Created in 2008 by Vincenzo Marianella at Doheny, Los Angeles, USA.

Miss Moonshine
With: Poitín, Lillet Blanc, gentaine liqueur, elderflower liqueur, rosemary syrup and orange bitters.
We say: Created in 2014 by Louis Lebaillif at Hawksmoor Air Street, London, England.

Palomino Flor
With: Celery juice, white rum, bianco vermouth, fino sherry and elderflower liqueur.
We say: A subtle vegetal note comes from the celery in this unusual aperitif cocktail.

Periscope
With: Gin, elderflower liqueur, lemon juice, lime juice and egg white.
We say: Created by Matt Gee at Milk & Honey, New York City, USA.

Pernelle
With: Vodka, elderflower liqueur, poire william eau de vie, lemon juice and soda water.
We say: This long clear drink has a grassy, alpine aroma and a fresh pine finish.

Twinkle
With: Vodka, elderflower liqueur and champagne.
We say: Created in 2002 by Tony Conigliaro at The Lonsdale, London, England.

Wisecrack Fizz
With: Pisco, elderflower liqueur, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and soda water.
We say: Created in 2007 by Matt Gee at Milk & Honey, New York City, USA.

Zuzu's Petals
With: Bison grass vodka, gentaine liqueur, elderflower liqueur, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, sugar syrup and celery bitters.
We say: Bittersweet with fragrant bison grass vodka and fruity maraschino cherry flavours supported by bitter gentian, rich elderflower and lime juice.

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