5 ways to use elderflower in cocktails

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Words: Matt Looker

From cordial to tonic, discover new ways to introduce the botanical into your cocktail with our suggested serves.

Those lucky recipients of our August Tipple Box will notice a strong elderflower theme across both drinks. 

It’s a flavour that lends light and floral spices to the mix, suggesting elegance and sophistication, as well as simply making for a really tasty tipple.

But if this month’s offering serves as a simple introduction, where should you go to further explore your new-found elderflower predilection?

Here are some other ways to introduce the botanical into your cocktails, with some suggested serves…

Elderflower Cordial

Firstly, if you find yourself with some leftover cordial, there’s a very easy way to put it to good use. Cordial can act as an effective replacement for any sweetener in your drinks and, even in small measures, can add hints of its central flavour to the overall taste.

Alternatively, you can let it take centre stage in a simple cocktail that allows room for bigger flavours, such as with the daiquiri recipe below.

Taking advantage of Norfolk Cordials’ excellent range, which includes Red Gooseberry and Elderflower and Elderflower and Cucumber, as well as Wild Elderflower, there are plenty of opportunities to bring out all of these flavours one drink at a time.

Elderflower And Cucumber Daiquiri

  • 20ml Norfolk Cordials Elderflower And Cucumber Cordial
  • 60ml White Rum
  • 25ml Lime Juice

Method: Shake all ingredients together with ice and strain into a chilled Martini glass. Garnish with more cucumber.

Elderflower Tonic

Need another easy way to include elderflower in your cocktails? There’s no easier way than simply pouring it direct from a source. Elderflower tonic is now widely available from various brands and is a neat way of giving a whole new dimension to your standard G&T.

Or you can take on something a little more complex, such as this Cucumber And Elderflower Cup, which marries together several different garden-oriented flavours into one refreshing long drink.

Cucumber And Elderflower Cup

  • 25ml Velvet Falernum
  • 25ml Cucumber-infused Gin
  • 25ml Elderflower Liqueur
  • 3 Dashes Cucumber and Lavender Bitters
  • Elderflower Tonic

Method: Stir the first four ingredients with ice, then top up with the tonic. Garnish with cucumber.

Elderflower Liqueur

As you may have noticed in the recipe above, elderflower liqueur is a common ingredient in many cocktails, with St Germain dominating the market with its statuesque Art Deco bottle.

While this is considered a classic, it is still worth shopping around and trying other elderflower liqueurs, which will all offer slightly different strengths and balances to the flavour.

A particular favourite is The Bitter Truth, with its extraordinary range of bitters and liqueurs (and own stylish design) offering a great contender with its own elderflower product. Here it has been used in The Bitter Truth’s own suggested recipe, a Miss Lynd.

Miss Lynd

  • 50ml Vodka
  • 20ml The Bitter Truth’s Elderflower Liqueur
  • 2 dashes The Bitter Truth’s Creole Bitters

Method: Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a  lemon twist.

An Elderflower Liqueur Variation

While elderflower liqueurs are a common ingredient in the world of mixology, many brands have doubled down on paired flavours. Mixing together a combination to create interesting and original products, this allows us all in turn to make interesting and original cocktails!

One such example is Sovereign Spirits, whose ‘No. 1’ liqueur of choice is a fantastic Gooseberry And Elderflower combination, used here to create a Gooseberry And Elderflower Manhattan.

Gooseberry And Elderflower Manhattan

  • 60ml Bourbon
  • 30ml Sovereign No. 1 Gooseberry And Elderflower Liqueur
  • 15ml Dry Vermouth
  • 2 Dashes Angostura Bitters

Method: Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Elderflower-infused Spirits

And finally, the big guns! 

The spirits that have fully committed to an elderflower theme and released their own infusion range featuring the flavour. While elderflower gins are not uncommon, and indeed elderflower is an often-used botanical in gins, Jelley’s Elderflower Vodka is a real star on the market, if not least because it is relatively rare to find botanical-flavoured vodkas.

It’s a truly distinctive vodka, however, and makes for fantastic cocktails. Here we have used it in Jelley’s own favourite suggested serve, a Coop De Ville.

Coop De Ville

  • 24 blueberries
  • 100ml Jelley’s Elderflower Vodka
  • 15ml Norfolk Cordial’s Wild Elderflower Cordial

Method: Muddle the blueberries with the syrup, then add the vodka and shake with ice. Fine strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with more blueberries. 

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