When St-Germain elderflower liqueur debuted in 2007, it was a smash hit. Suddenly, the tiny white flower commonly found in the U.K. and France – which has been making a strong showing in European cordials since the Victorian era – became an essential cocktail ingredient. With even more elderflower liqueurs available today, we’re accustomed to seeing elderflower in Champagne cocktails, but local bartenders have found new ways to highlight its delicate floral flavor.
Social on Patton
The Cocchi Fizz at Social on Patton in Springfield, Missouri, is, in a word, chuggable. That’s what the restaurant’s former bar manager Doug Riddle (who has since moved on to Team Taco) was going for in this low-ABV cocktail. He used Cocchi Bianco (a Moscato fortified with spices and fruit zest) for the base, then added St. Elder elderflower liqueur, Builder’s gin and fresh lemon juice, plus a splash of soda and a lemon twist. “It doesn’t take much [elderflower] to really influence a drink,” he says.
Social on Patton, 314 S. Patton Ave., Springfield, Missouri, 417.368.0778, socialonpatton.com
At Herbie’s in Clayton, Missouri, head bartender Amanda Wilgus Manns wanted to incorporate elderflower in a strong, boozy spin on the classic Sazerac. For the South City Cocktail, she combines Woodford Reserve Bourbon, simple syrup, Giffard Wild Elderflower liqueur and a couple dashes of Fee's Plum Bitters for a sophisticated drink. Manns uses elderflower to add softer qualities to a cocktail with a strong backbone. “The thing that makes the Giffard elderflower liqueur special is that it’s made in small batches using hand-picked ingredients,” she says. “You get more flavors than just the elderflower – there’s lychee, honeysuckle and rose.”
Herbie's, 8100 Maryland Ave., Clayton, Missouri, 314.769.9595, herbies.com
Nomads Coffee and Cocktails
Andrew Park wanted Nomads Coffee and Cocktails in Kansas City to cater his guests' wanderlust, and everything from the photos of Mount Everest and Alaska to the adventure books lining shelves in his hybrid coffee shop-bar is meant to inspire. It’s his drink list that will really take you places, though. The Bohemian – a mix of J. Rieger & Co.’s Midwestern Dry Gin, Giffard Wild Elderflower liqueur and grapefruit juice – is soft, fresh and lightly floral. “Elderflower can be such a powerful ingredient when you keep it simple,” Park says. “There are so many subtle notes, and you can do a lot with a little. I think it works really well with gin, because it can play off the botanical elements, and the citrus in the Bohemian is just a natural complement.”
Nomads Coffee and Cocktails, 1804 W. 39th St., Kansas City, Missouri, nomadskc.com