Elderflower Liqueur: What it is, how to use it and the BEST Elderflower Cocktail Recipes

by | Dec 5, 2019 | All, Elderflower Liqueur, Tips

If you’ve ever surfed a cocktail menu and wondered what the heck elderflower is, this guide to Elderflower Liqueur is for you. We’ll explain what it is, how you can use it and give you some of the BEST Elderflower Cocktail Recipes around!! 

Bottles of elderflower liqueur

If you’re a longtime Garnish with Lemon reader, you know we love our cocktails, especially our elderflower liqueur cocktail recipes. The number of cocktails we have that contain elderflower liqueur is in the double digits and growing.

(Can you say obsessed much?).

We LOVE it but we get that not everyone has jumped on the elderflower bandwagon yet.

So if you’ve never tried elderflower liqueur or if you’re new around here, check out our primer below on Elderflower Liqueur: What it is, how to use it and the BEST Elderflower Cocktail Recipes.

What is elderflower liqueur?

Elderflower liqueur is made from the small, white flowers of the elderflower bush. These blossoms are often handpicked and the liqueur is made with no preservatives or stabilizers (which means it really should be used in about 6 months for best flavor).

Note: Elderflower liqueur is NOT the same as elderflower syrup or elderflower cordial. Both the syrup and cordial are do not contain any alcohol.

You’ll often find it called for in baking recipes (Megan and Harry enjoyed the flavor of elderflowers made from cordial in their wedding cake!) and in non-alcoholic cocktails to impart that unique elderflower flavor.

You can buy bottles of elderflower cordial in stores and online. Interested in making your own non-alcoholic elderflower cordial? BBC Good Food has a well-reviewed recipe. 

What does elderflower liqueur taste like?

Don’t worry; even though elderflower liqueur is made from flowers, it doesn’t taste like you are drinking your grandma’s perfume! Rather the liqueur has a delicate floral flavor that is more nuanced than you’d expect.

Since elderflower liqueur is rather sweet, you can easily use it to replace other sweeteners in your cocktail recipes like simple syrup, agave and maple syrup.

Bottles of different brands of elderflower liqueur with gold jigger

The best brand of elderflower liqueur

Picking the “best” brand of elderflower liqueur is almost impossible because people’s taste buds are so different. Prices vary greatly, so budget is a consideration, too.

Luckily there are solid options available at all price points.

St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur is probably the best known brand, and it’s definitely one of our favorites in cocktail recipes where elderflower is a primary flavor like a martini.

We’re also big fans of Drillaud Elderflower Liqueur because it tastes similar to St. Germain but is nearly half the price! I suggest trying a handful of different brands to find a personal favorite.

The bottom line is you can easily use a less expensive brand in elderflower cocktail recipes that have other ingredients with strong flavors (think sangria).

A cocktail shaker pouring an elderflower liqueur cocktail into a coupe glass.

How do I use elderflower liqueur?

Elderflower liqueur is extremely versatile and mixes well with wine and other spirits. Use it to give your drink that little something “extra”; we guarantee it will elevate a good cocktail to great status in a hurry.

You can drink elderflower liqueur on the rocks, add it to sparkling water, sparkling wine or white wine, and – our favorite way to use it – in COCKTAILS!

Best elderflower cocktail recipes

Looking for some of the best elderflower cocktail recipes out there? We’ve got ‘em! Check out our favorites below and don’t forget to stop back as we’ll be adding more elderflower cocktail recipes as we create them.

Collage picture of two elderflower cocktails that use elderflower liqueur as an ingredient.

Craving more cocktail inspiration? Check out all of our cocktail recipes HERE

The BEST Elderflower Cocktail Recipes

Elderflower liqueur pairs well with a variety of different spirits. Check out these delicious Elderflower Cocktail recipes. You're sure to find something that tickles your tastebuds!

What is the best elderflower liqueur?

There are tasty elderflower liqueur options available at a variety of price points from $10-$35. Our favorite brands are Drillaud and St.-Germain. 

How to make an Elderflower Martini?

Mix elderflower liqueur with vodka, gin and homemade sweet & sour.

What cocktails can you make with Elderflower Liqueur?

Elderflower Sangria, Elderflower Gin and Tonic, Elderflower French 75, Elderflower Margaritas, Elderflower Mojitos 

What spirits mix well with Elderflower Liqueur?

Bourbon, vodka, gin, sparkling wine, tequila

Curious about elderflower liqueur, what it is and how to use it? Read our handy guide and get our best elderflower cocktail recipes too! 

We're the creative juices behind Garnish with Lemon. In the past 8 years, millions of people have sipped & snacked on our recipes. Need easy, delicious party food and drinks for your next shindig? You’ve come to the right place.

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About Anna

Hi, I’m Anna, a former corporate communications nerd turned food fanatic. Turns out I like cooking for others A LOT more than explaining HR policies to them. C’mon over!


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