After making a cordial from wild elderflowers, for my first drink I decided to make a Far Eastern Gimlet. It’s a very simple cocktail based on the classic Gimlet where Rose’s lime juice is replaced with lemon juice and elderflower cordial, plus a dash of Angostura bitters (another well-known bartender ketchup…! I know, I know…). Originally the drink was created at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, and it was later tweaked by Maks Pazuniak (including the dash of bitters). It has a typical Gimlet profile with a subtle elderflower flavor. It’s nice but may be a little too simple. It’s not quite unforgettable, but if you are a Gimlet fan you will like this version for sure. Trying different gins would be a good idea since the flavor is already subtle, although I would stay with a gin that is juniper-light.
Looking for something a little more complex, I went with the Bitter Elder which combines Campari and elderflower. That one was really nice because the elderflower seemed to have a mellowing effect on the Campari. So in the end you got a nice grapefruit & flower aroma. Great fun drink.
I also tried Misty Kalkofen’s Maximilian Affair. With mezcal as the base and a touch of punt e mes & lemon juice, this one tastes of smoke and flowers. A very approachable drink, a tad on the sweet side. I think this is a drink that even non-mezcal initiated would enjoy.
Last but not least, I want to make sure to try a Sunflower. This creation by Sam Ross is a beautiful Corpse Reviver No. 2 variation that replaces Lillet with elderflower. It will be fun to try it again with the cordial. Here it is as made by Sam himself a little over a year ago (on the right)…