Elderflower Lemonade


My older daughter, who is much hipper than I am, obviously, forced me to have a drink at a bar a few years ago made by the bar’s mixologist. Well, no one has to force me to drink, but I would have ordered my standard gin and tonic, but she strongly suggested I try out one of the fancy drinks. Many of the drinks were named after Mad Men characters, which was a show I’d not yet watched. (I am terribly un-hip.)

For those of you who aren’t aware of this mixology trend, it’s just about making expensive, strange drinks. Most of them I’m not interested in because I want to keep thyme in stews and soups, and out of my cocktails.

Beyond making expensive, strange fancy drinks, I don’t really know how to describe mixologists. The drinks are quite unique, which is a nice way of saying odd, and the bartenders, ahem, I mean mixologists, really slap their mint instead of muddling it. They use liqueurs like green Chartreuse, Luxardo, and creme de Violette. Oh, and some drinks are infused with bacon. Are you getting the picture?

Actually, since Oklahoma is probably ten years behind in food and drink trends, you’ve all probably already passed through the mixology concept and moved on to something new, but this just happened in my life.

So I reluctantly ordered the only drink that sounded palatable, and was pleasantly surprised. It was a little floral and herby at the same time, and I discovered the source of these flavors – St. Germain.

St. Germain is a French liqueur made from elderflower blossoms that are picked in the Alps! Therefore, it is an elderflower liqueur. It’s quite fascinating.

I'm definitely re-using this bottle!

I’m definitely re-using this bottle!

So, of course, I ordered some so I could play around with it. I’ve added it to white wine and champagne, and even made a version of a mimosa with it.

But then, in the beautiful cookbook Polpo, I come across the recipe for elderflower lemonade. I knew I had to make it.

Not only did it require St. Germain, but also ginger beer, which I’ve never tried but have always been intrigued by it. So, here’s the recipe.

Elderflower Lemonade

25 ml fresh lemon juice
15 ml St. Germain
Ginger beer

Measure the lemon juice and St. Germain, and pour it in the serving glass. germain

Add some ice, then top with the beer.


Ugh. It was terrible. I finally figured out that ginger beer is nasty. I think I’m done experimenting with ginger beer. But I will continue to play around with St. Germain.

Even when I follow recipes, I seem to be the worst bartender. Now I know I’ll never be a mixologist.

37 thoughts on “Elderflower Lemonade

  1. How fun. I’m really rather a bore when it comes to drinks. I like my whiskey on the rocks, my aged rum neat, my beer cold and wine at 54 F. The only fancy drinks I do is make lemoncello and mix it with the cheapest Spumantie (Verdi – $6/750 ml) for a summer cooler. Other than that, it’s water or mint ice tea for me. :)

  2. I don’t drink beer, so I had to laugh when you said “ginger beer is nasty” ;-)

    I am a boring person, used to like a few drinks like a dry martini, a mojito, a gin and tonic, but now I rarely have a mixed drink.

  3. I have to try this drink. I love drinks with ginger beer. :) There is a local bar that had bacon infused bourbon for an old fashioned. I resisted trying it and then I did. It was awesome. Plus there was a slice of bacon. Of course they discontinued it! Sigh.

  4. I always have a bottle of Elderflower cordial in my pantry. Gorgeous and refreshing on a hot Summer’s day. We make up big pitcher’s with sparkling mineral or soda water and lots of lemon and mint. Never tried it with ginger beer though. I’m trying to work out what it would taste like in my head.

  5. Funny you should post this as I recently had a drink with St. Germain and Vodka (along with fresh blueberries). There was one other item in this fancy drink…I wish I could remember what it was. Your drink sounds like it was really lovely. I wish I was good at mixing fancy cocktails at home, but this is definitely not my talent!

  6. This sounds delicious! I wish you could taste our delicious Australian ginger beer. I think you’d change your mind. I’ve just discovered alcoholic ginger beer made by a micro brewery in Broome called Matso’s, hot sharp and citrusy, it would be delicious with elderflower. As for whiskey, it’s a drink I have only just learned to love.

  7. Chef Mimi: You HAVE to start watching Mad Men. It is very very good and character driven. I love it so much I wish I’d never seen it so that I could do a marathon viewing of season 1 till now in one big huge swoop and I’m already sad that next season is its last.

    On topic: I am kind of a fan of the mixology trend (hanging head in shame) … reminds me of Iranians and our fruit and flower based sharbats ..

    Loved this post!

    • mad men: I am now completely up to date on all the seasons! It was so enticing I watched episode after episode. Great show.
      mixology: Nothing to be ashamed about. I, just personally, don’t want thyme or bacon in my cocktails!!! I’m old. And old fashioned!

      • I would have popped them one after the other in a sleepless binge were I in your place so no judgement at all and now I envy both the fact that you got to do a marathon and also that you knit! I’ve always wanted to and know just a little bit but it’s really not a natural skill at all … so tempted to ask you questions about Mad Men but … too bad can’t meet up in real life

  8. I don’t drink so I can’t comment on the liqueur or ginger beer, or how they would taste together, but I did laugh when you wrote “ugh” I can howevere tell you to start watching Mas Men, because its a great show. I’ve been watching it from the beginning and I love the fashion, the style, the thinking of the people back then. It’s a great show.


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