Elderflower Cocktail

We continue our pursuit of cocktails using elderflower cordial. We bought a commercially made cordial and it’s quite concentrated: lots of sweetness and lots of flower power. One of us is a big fan of the elderflower flavour, particularly in cider; the others are just OK with it. Strangely, elderflower is not a common flavouring here on the prairies, despite that elder (Sambucus spp.) grows quite happily in this climate.

There are a few variations on the elderflower cocktail; it’s often made with gin rather than vodka, and with lemon rather than lime juice. (One variation used a whole macerated, while one pitcher-style recipe called for six lemons, pulverized in a blender.) This Sunday felt simple, though, so we opted for a stripped-down version.


  • 2 oz vodka
  • 1 oz elderflower cordial + 1 oz water (you may need to adjust depending on the strength of your cordial)
  • 1 oz lime juice
  • 4 drops Angostura bitters
  • 2 oz club soda

Shake vodka, cordial, water, and lime juice with ice; pour into glass with additional ice. Add 4 drops of bitters to drink; wash through with the club soda.

The verdict: This is lovely drink: finely balanced and very smooth. The lime stands up to the flowery sweetness without becoming abrasive. We lacked a hot, sunny patio, but this drink would make a perfect — and dangerous! — summer sipper.


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