Elderflower liqueur is a sweet, floral honey-like cordial that has hints of botanicals and a flavor similar to tropical lychee. Just a skosh will add aromatic flavors to any number of cocktails. This elderflower drink with a 2-ingredient honey syrup and sparkling wine would make light, sophisticated Easter drinks or a special Mother’s Day cocktail. Sparkling Elderflower Prosecco cocktail tastes like Spring in a champagne flute.
Elderflower is a plant Native to North America, but is also grown elsewhere throughout the world. Though elderflowers and their berries have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties , elderflower leaves, twigs and roots are toxic and could lead to a buildup of poisonous cynanide in the body and should be avoided.
Recently, elderflower has become more of a mainstream ingredient with multiple international brands on the market as well as state-side growers creating products from their tiny berries read more here, the most popular being syrups and liquors.
For elderflower drinks, a little goes a long way
Elderflower liqueur can be a little too floral and potent on its own, consequently, mixing it with a few other ingredients will mediate the flavor and bring out the beauty of the drink without making you feel like you’re drinking perfume. You’ll taste the botanicals in this sparkling elderflower prosecco cocktail, but they don’t dominate.
Why use honey syrup?
I use a simple honey syrup to enhance the sweetness. The difference between straight honey and honey syrup is simply the viscosity and how easily it blends with the elderflower drink. Honey would naturally sink to the bottom of the glass, however, honey syrup is thinner, looser and mixes more easily with other ingredients in this elderflower drink.
Making honey syrup
- Mix equal parts of honey and syrup in a small saucepan (I used about 1/4 cup of each).
- Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the mixture is completely blended.
- Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Types of elderflower liqueur
There are several different brands and price points for elderflower liqueur. St. Germain is one of the better known varieties, but I found Cote Jolie for almost 1/2 the price at my liquor store. I decided on this one because I couldn’t find it in the small airline sized bottles and this elderflower drink only needs a quarter of an ounce for each cocktail.
Ingredients for sparkling elderflower prosecco cocktail
- Elderflower Liqueur
- Fresh Lemon Juice
- Honey Syrup
- Garnish (optional)
Tips for mixing elderflower prosecco cocktails
- It’s best to chill each component before mixing the cocktail – because the drink isn’t shaken with ice to get it cold (because you don’t shake prosecco).
- If you’re making these cocktails for a crowd (i.e. for Easter drinks or Mother’s Day cocktails) you can can combine the honey, lemon juice and elderflower liqueur in a jar and refrigerate it with a bottle or two of unopened prosecco, then mix the drinks just before serving (I’ve given instructions in the recipe card below).
- No need to use an expensive champagne for these Easter drinks, an $8-$12 bottle will suffice. Save your Veuve Cliquot to sip straight.
Elderflower drinks are ideal for Easter
These floral, bubbly cocktails make perfect Easter drinks while the kids are hunting for eggs. Not overly boozy and, therefore, perfectly acceptable to sip before noon.
or as a Mothers Day cocktail
If you can’t pry the idea of standard mimosas out of your head for Easter, then definitely serve these floral drinks for the ladies in your life on Mother’s Day. Spruce it up with an organic edible flower for a Mother’s Day cocktail fit for the queen that she is!
Like this sparkling elderflower prosecco cocktail? Try these brunch drinks:
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Sparkling Elderflower Prosecco Cocktail
FOR HONEY SYRUP
- 1 part honey
- 1 part water
- 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur such as St. Germaine or Côte Jolie
- 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/4 ounce honey syrup or more to taste
- 4 ounces chilled prosecco or other sparkling wine
FOR A CROWD (makes 12 cocktails)
- 6 ounces elderflower liqueur
- 3 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 3 ounces honey syrup
- 2 750 ml bottles prosecco
FOR THE HONEY SYRUP
- Mix equal parts honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer until the honey is completely dissolved, stirring occasionally. Set aside to cool to room temperature for about half an hour.
TO ASSEMBLE THE DRINK
- Add the elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and cooled honey syrup to a champagne flute. Top with chilled sparkling wine. Garnish with a strawberry, raspberry or thin lemon slice. Serve.
FOR A CROWD:
- Combine the elderflower liqueur, lemon juice and honey syrup in a glass jar or storage container and mix well.
- Refrigerate the elderflower syrup and prosecco several hours or overnight until well chilled.
- To serve fill each champagne flutes with 1 ounce of elderflower syrup and top with 4 ounces of prosecco. Serve.