What flavors pair well with elderflower?

Elderflower is the flower of the European elderberry bush. It has a light, delicate, sweet flavor with hints of citrus and peach. Elderflower is used to make cordials, liqueurs, beverages, and is a popular flavor in desserts. When using elderflower, it’s best to pair it with flavors that complement rather than compete with its subtle nature.

Fruity flavors

Elderflower pairs well with other fruits that have a light, sweet flavor. Berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries make excellent partners. The tartness of the berries balances the sweet floral notes of the elderflower. Citrus flavors like lemon, grapefruit, orange, and lime also work well. The citrus adds a nice brightness and acidity. Stone fruits like peaches, apricots, and nectarines complement elderflower too. Other fruits to try are melons, apples, pears, and tropical fruits like mango, pineapple, and lychee.

Herbal flavors

Soft herbal flavors accentuate the delicate nature of elderflower. Mint, basil, lemongrass, and chamomile marry nicely with it. Lavender and rose add a floral quality that highlights the flowery notes of elderflower. Green tea, jasmine tea, and chai tea make interesting combinations by bringing out the subtle spice and citrus elements.

Botanical flavors

Elderflower pairs well with other edible blossoms like hibiscus, violets, and rose hips. Their floral sweetness complements the elderflower. Spices like cardamom, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon add warmth and enhance the fruitiness of elderflower. Vanilla bean is another excellent match, as it underscores the sweet creamy aspects.

Bubbly and alcoholic beverages

The delicate taste of elderflower works well with effervescent drinks. Elderflower champagne and elderflower spritzers are refreshing cocktails. Prosecco, cava, and other sparkling wines make nice partners. Vodka, gin, and light rum help highlight elderflower’s crispness in cocktails. Elderflower liqueurs like St. Germain are used in champagne cocktails. On the lighter side, elderflower pairs well with Belgian witbier and hefeweizen beers.

Dessert flavors

For desserts, elderflower marries well with other light, sweet ingredients. Whipped cream and ice cream allow elderflower’s flavor to shine. Vanilla, coconut, and almond extracts play up the sweet nuttiness. Fresh cheeses like mascarpone, ricotta, and cream cheese work as does tangy yogurt and sour cream. In cakes and pastries, lemon curd, passion fruit, and strawberry fillings complement an elderflower batter or frosting. Elderflower granitas, sorbets, and macarons are other popular dessert choices.

Savory flavors

While typically used in sweets, elderflower can pair with certain savory flavors. Light vinegars like champagne vinegar and rice wine vinegar create acidic balance. Elderflower’s fruitiness works with fish like halibut, trout, and tuna. Creamy cheeses like burrata, camembert, and brie make interesting combinations when topped with elderflower. For salads, pair it with delicate greens like butter lettuce, fresh herbs, and cucumbers.

Cocktail recipes with elderflower

Here are some cocktail recipes that showcase elderflower:

Elderflower spritz

  • 2 oz dry white wine
  • 1 oz elderflower liqueur like St. Germain
  • 1 oz club soda
  • Squeeze of lemon

Mix wine, St. Germain, and club soda in a wine glass over ice. Top with a squeeze of lemon. Garnish with lemon slice.

Hugo spritzer

  • 2 oz dry prosecco
  • 1 oz elderflower liqueur like St. Germain
  • 2 oz club soda
  • Mint leaf
  • Lime wedge

Combine prosecco, St. Germain, and soda in an ice-filled wine glass. Garnish with mint and lime.

Elderflower gimlet

  • 2 oz gin
  • 1⁄2 oz elderflower liqueur like St. Germain
  • 3⁄4 oz lime juice

Shake gin, St. Germain, and lime juice with ice. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lime wheel.

Elderflower cocktail

  • 11⁄2 oz vodka
  • 1⁄2 oz elderflower liqueur
  • 1⁄2 oz Lillet Blanc
  • 1⁄2 oz lemon juice
  • Lemon twist

Combine vodka, elderflower liqueur, Lillet Blanc, and lemon juice in a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon twist.

Elderflower mojito

  • 8 mint leaves
  • 1⁄2 oz lime juice
  • 1⁄2 oz elderflower syrup
  • 11⁄2 oz white rum
  • 2 oz club soda
  • Mint sprig
  • Lime wheel

In a glass, muddle mint leaves with lime juice and elderflower syrup. Add ice, rum, and top with club soda. Garnish with mint and lime.

Elderflower cocktail syrup recipe

Making your own elderflower syrup allows you to add elderflower flavor to cocktails easily. Here is an easy recipe:


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup elderflower blossoms, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the water and sugar. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar completely. Once sugar has dissolved, remove from heat.
  2. Add elderflower blossoms and lemon juice. Let steep for 2-3 hours.
  3. Strain syrup through a fine mesh sieve into a glass jar or bottle. Discard solids.
  4. Syrup will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. Shake before using in cocktails.

Elderflower granita recipe

This easy granita highlights elderflower’s delicate flavor. Serve as a palate cleanser between courses:


  • 2 cups water
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup elderflower syrup
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice


  1. Heat water and sugar in a small saucepan until sugar dissolves. Let cool completely.
  2. Stir in elderflower syrup and lemon juice.
  3. Pour into a metal baking pan. Place in freezer 1 hour, then take out and scrape with a fork to break up ice crystals.
  4. Return to freezer, scraping every 30 minutes until completely frozen, about 3-4 hours total. Granita should have a flaky, crystalized texture.
  5. To serve, scoop granita into chilled glasses or bowls.

Elderflower and strawberry cake recipe

This simple cake lets the light floral notes of elderflower shine with sweet ripe strawberries. Perfect for spring or summer celebrations:


For cake:

  • 13⁄4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 3⁄4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3⁄4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp elderflower syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup whole milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For filling and topping:

  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup elderflower syrup
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp elderflower syrup


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan and line bottom with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Add 2 tsp elderflower syrup and beat to combine.
  4. Add flour mixture alternately with milk to butter mixture, beating just until incorporated. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top. Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cake cool completely before removing from pan.
  7. While cake cools, make filling. Toss strawberries with 2 tbsp sugar. Let sit 15 minutes until juicy. Drain any excess liquid.
  8. Fold elderflower syrup gently into macerated strawberries.
  9. Make frosting by whipping cream to soft peaks. Beat in powdered sugar and 1 tsp elderflower syrup. Fold in 1⁄4 cup macerated strawberries.
  10. To assemble, slice cake horizontally into two layers. Place bottom layer on serving plate. Top with strawberry filling. Place second layer on top. Frost top and sides of cake. Garnish with remaining strawberries.

Pairing elderflower with cheese

Elderflower’s delicate, floral sweetness pairs beautifully with soft, creamy cheeses. The lactic tang of the cheese balances the elderflower’s fruitiness. Try these cheese pairings:

Cheese Why it works
Fresh goat cheese Tangy, soft cheese is complemented by elderflower
Burrata Elderflower enhances the creamy texture
Brie Elderflower cuts through the richness
Camembert Elderflower’s acidity balances the funk
Ricotta Floral sweetness matches the mild flavor
Mascarpone Elderflower adds interest to the silky texture

Try serving elderflower-infused cocktails or desserts alongside a cheese board with soft varieties. The elderflower will make the flavors pop.


Elderflower is a versatile ingredient that pairs well with many flavors. Its light, delicate nature works best with other light ingredients that complement rather than compete with it. Bright fruits, floral botanicals, bubbly drinks, and creamy desserts allow elderflower’s sweet fruitiness to shine through. While typically used in sweets, it can also pair nicely with certain cheeses and savory components. In cocktails, elderflower liqueur adds a sweet, perfumed note. Infuse vodka or gin with elderflower for an easy custom liqueur. With its sweetly intoxicating aroma and flavor, elderflower brings a taste of spring that pairs beautifully with all kinds of dishes and drinks.

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