Booze and elderflowers

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.

Far Eastern Gimlet: gin, lemon juice, homemade elderflower cordial, angostura bitters
2 oz Hendrick’s gin | 1/2 oz elderflower cordial | 1/2 oz lemon juice | dash Angostura bitters | shake | strain into a cocktail glass

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.

Bitter Elder: gin, homemade elderflower cordial, Campari, lemon juice
1 1⁄2 oz gin | 3⁄4 oz elderflower cordial | 1⁄2 oz Campari | 1⁄2 oz lemon juice | shake and strain into a cocktail glass

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.

Maximilian Affair: mezcal, homemade elderflower cordial, punt e mes, lemon juice
1 1/4 oz mezcal | 3/4 oz elderflower cordial | 1/2 oz punt e mes | 1/4 lemon juice | shake | strain into a cocktail glass | lemon zest garnish

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)…

Jungle Bird and Sunflower (Sam Ross) at the Noble Experiment
3/4 oz Plymouth gin | 3/4 oz elderflower liqueur | 3/4 oz Cointreau | 3/4 oz lemon juice | shake | strain into an absinthe-rinsed cocktail glass | lemon twist

3 thoughts on “Booze and elderflowers

    • For me these two drinks “need” a touch of citrus otherwise they would most likely be too sweet. As noted in my post, the Maximilian Affair already tasted a little sweet for me, so the acidity note from the lemon, even though it was just a small amount, was definitely welcome.
      But there is only one way to find out for sure…

  1. Pingback: Booze and elderflowers (part 2) | Tartines to Tikis

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