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What Does Elderflower Liqueur Taste Like? Floral Delight

What Does Elderflower Liqueur Taste Like

Elderflower liqueur, particularly St-Germain, sparked a global elderflower trend since it was launched in 2007. Many companies have started producing elderflower liqueurs everywhere, and it has now become a staple in cocktails or a refreshing spritz.  

Its sweetness can cut through even a strong liquor like whiskey, making it a versatile liqueur that I always have in my cabinet. 

So, what does elderflower liqueur taste like? Here’s my quick review. 

What Does Elderflower Liqueur Taste Like?

Bottle of Elderflower Liqueur

Elderflower liqueur has a captivating taste and a harmonious blend of floral, sweet, and subtly fruity notes. It can easily be used in cocktail recipes and goes well with ingredients like lemon juice, gin, vodka, tequila, or other alcoholic beverages.

“Elderflower cocktails are absolutely delightful to drink, perfect for any occasion, and a fantastic change from the ordinary.” – Colleen Graham, Mixologist and Author

It was introduced by Rob Cooper in 2007, inspired by drinks mixed with elderflower syrup he had in London, and quickly gained the title of “bartender’s ketchup” [1]

You can make a homemade elderflower liqueur with fresh elderflowers, sugar, and vodka. These flowers come from elderberry bushes (Sambucus Nigra), which also grow berries and are traditionally used as herbal remedies for colds and sore throats.

Read: What Does St. Germain Taste Like?

Elderflower Liqueur’s Tasting Profile

Pouring Elderflower Liqueuron a Glass


My first sip of the elderflower liqueur (St-Germain) always starts with floral notes and some citrusy hints. It tastes of pears, grapefruit, and passion fruit flavors, making it a versatile addition to cocktail recipes.

It reminds me of elderflower syrup, which can also add sweetness to any cocktail recipe with its honey flavor.


Similar to the palate, the St-Germain liqueur has a pleasant and delicate aroma of elderflower blossoms. Although I could smell some vanilla hints, it is not overwhelming, so it’s not an issue whenever I use it for my cocktails.


In appearance, St-Germain elderflower liqueur often showcases a pale, golden hue. This liqueur can have a darker color, depending on how it was made. 

For instance, my St. Germain Elderflower liqueur has a honey-like appearance, while my bottle of Fiorente has a clear, pale golden appearance. 

Read: What’s A Botanical Drink?


The elderflower liqueur ends with a light but lingering sweet flavor. I could still taste the sweet floral flavor with pears, passion fruit, and citrus notes after drinking.

What It Tastes Like When

Elderflower Liqueur

Drunk Straight

Elderflower liqueur is something I prefer to drink with drinks like a bubbly pour of prosecco or Champagne, lime juice, gin, tequila, or other beverages. 

But it can also be an excellent choice for those who appreciate a sweet aperitif or a digestif. It has a thick and syrupy texture with a floral and sweet flavor when I drink it straight. 

Mixed In Cocktails

My favorite cocktail recipe here is the Elderflower cocktail. It’s less than three minutes of prep time, with simple ingredients like lemon juice, soda water, Champagne, and lemon garnish. 

You can craft cocktail drinks with a strong alcoholic beverage like gin or vodka using this liqueur.

For better tastes, you can rim your glass with sugar or use a sprig of rosemary when making other cocktails like St. Germain Spritz.

Read: Top Non-Alcoholic Botanical Drinks


Aside from using elderflower liqueur like St-Germain for mixed drinks, you can pour it over ice and have a simple yet elegant drink to savor. 

“French Alps’ elderflower liqueur, crafted from white elderflowers, transformed mixology with its floral and fruity essence, contributing to the success of both established and craft brands.” – Liquor Laboratory

Like St-Germain liqueur, it’s a fragrant sipper with a floral flavor and sweet taste, perfect for warm summer evenings.


What is elderflower liqueur good in?

Elderflower liqueur is good in refreshing cocktails, like in a French Pear cocktail recipe with pears, vodka, and Champagne ingredients. Or you can make a White Cosmo cocktail with vodka, cranberry, and lemon juice.
It will also be suitable to mix with gin, bubbly Champagne, or sparkling wine.

What is the difference between St. Germain liqueur and elderflower liqueur?

There is no difference between St. Germain liqueur and elderflower liqueur. Simply put, St. Germain liqueur is a renowned and high-quality elderflower liqueur.

Does elderflower liqueur go bad?

Yes, elderflower liqueur, like St-Germain, can go bad, unlike distilled spirits with higher alcohol content. It contains sugar that can go bad and alcohol that acts as a preservative. An open bottle of liqueur can only stay fresh for up to 18 months [2]. Do a taste test before using an old bottle of elderflower liqueur. 

How is elderflower liqueur used?

Elderflower liqueur is a versatile ingredient in cocktails and mixed drinks. It can be used to add a floral and sweet dimension to various cocktails, such as the popular Elderflower Martini or the classic Hugo cocktail. It also pairs well with sparkling wine, gin, vodka, and other spirits.

Can elderflower liqueur be consumed neat?

Yes, elderflower liqueur can be enjoyed on its own, either chilled or at room temperature. Its floral and sweet flavor makes it pleasant to sip on its own as a digestif or aperitif.

Is elderflower liqueur gluten-free?

Most elderflower liqueurs are gluten-free since they are made from elderflower blossoms, neutral spirits, and sugar. However, it’s essential to check the label of the specific brand to ensure that there are no added ingredients containing gluten.

How long does elderflower liqueur last once opened?

Like most liqueurs, elderflower liqueur can last for a long time if stored properly. It’s best to keep it sealed tightly and stored in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight. Once opened, it can retain its quality for several months to a year, depending on the brand and storage conditions.

Are there non-alcoholic versions of elderflower liqueur?

While traditional elderflower liqueur contains alcohol, there are non-alcoholic syrups and concentrates available that capture the flavor of elderflower. These can be used as substitutes in cocktails or mixed with sparkling water for a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage.

In Conclusion

Elderflower liqueurs, like St-Germain, are relatively new in the spirits and alcoholic beverages scene, but it has already been an essential addition to any cocktail recipe. It is light, approachable, and versatile to use and drink any way you want. 

It was introduced in 2007 by Rob Cooper, born to a family who have been a part of the liquor business for generations.

It was made of fresh flowers from an elderberry plant, picked at the end of spring. This elderberry was traditionally used as a medicinal remedy when cooked.

Although this bottle could be an excellent sipper, some prefer mixing it with gin, whiskey, or lemon juice. 


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