Elderflower Margarita Cocktail Recipe

Some flavors are instantly evocative of a certain time of year. Mention cinnamon and spice and the mind's eye will likely conjure up pictures of fall, with slices of pumpkin pie and cozy thick-knit jumpers, or perhaps a festive scene with snow on the ground and a flickering fireplace. Elderflower, on the opposite end of the spectrum (and calendar), goes hand-in-hand with the warmer seasons, perhaps unsurprisingly, as this fragrant tree is in full bloom at the beginning of summertime. 

In this recipe, Tasting Table developer Jennine Rye combines the light herbal sweetness of elderflower with the classic margarita cocktail to produce a refreshing drink that is the perfect accompaniment to lazy sunny afternoons. The small white blossoms of elderflower have a delicate floral citrus flavor and are used in a variety of sweet drinks. They are commonly made into a cordial, but these fragrant flowers can also be used to make elderflower liqueurs. A commonly used brand is St Germain, and it is this liqueur that takes the place traditionally occupied by Triple Sec in the classic Margarita recipe to give this summer cocktail a light floral twist.

Rye recommends topping the cocktail off with a sprinkling of elderflowers as a fragrant and flavorful garnish, and because you can forage them for yourself, they are both sustainable and free. Just don't forget to shake out the insects first!

Gather the ingredients for this elderflower margarita cocktail recipe

The beauty of this cocktail recipe is in its simplicity. It only calls for two liqueurs, and if you're partial to the occasional cocktail, you're likely to have a bottle of tequila in your drinks cabinet already. As well as tequila, you will also need elderflower liqueur, Rye uses St Germain, but if you have a different brand that will work equally well. You'll also want some lime, a sprig of fresh mint, ice, and an optional pinch of elderflowers as a garnish.

It is classic to rim your glass with lime and salt when serving a margarita, though this recipe doesn't call for it. If you like to rim your glasses, we recommend salt rather than sugar for this drink, as the salt will balance out the sweetness of the elderflower and the sourness of the lime.

Put ingredients in shaker

Is there anything more simple yet theatrical in the world of drinks than making a cocktail in a shaker? This simple action can make a novice feel like a seasoned bartender, but to really look like a professional you will need to know which drinks require a vigorous shake and which should only be stirred. A good rule of thumb for beginners is that drinks containing citrus or egg whites should be shaken, though in reality, it is much more complex than that. An obvious exception to this rule is anything sparkling. No matter how citrusy a Prosecco may be, don't put it in the shaker; you want the spectacle without the booze splashing all over your guests.

This cocktail uses non-carbonated ingredients including lime, so load up the shaker with the tequila and the elderflower liqueur, a squeeze of lime, and a handful of ice (about a cup), and get ready to shake. 

Shake the cocktail

Remember to put the lid securely on the shaker to keep things clean, and shake the mixture for about 10 to 12 seconds to mix all the ingredients and chill them. Any longer and the ice will start to dilute the drink and weaken the flavor. Strain the liquid into a glass. Rye recommends using either a classic Margarita glass or if you prefer a more modern and elegant look, a straight-edged coupe glass is perfect, as this drink is served without ice. 

Garnish and serve

Finally, garnish the drink before serving to give it the sophisticated, high-end appearance it deserves. A sprig of fresh mint lends an eye-catching shot of green color, as well as adding a herbal freshness to the flavor, and a wheel of lime similarly adds visual interest along with brightness and zest. If you are able to source some fresh elderflowers these delicate blooms also make a great addition to this cocktail. A few of these tiny flowers add extra floral flavor to the drink along with that heady summertime fragrance they are known for. Pull up a chair, sit back and enjoy.

Elderflower Margarita Cocktail Recipe
5 from 20 ratings
The fragrant elderflower tree is in full bloom at the beginning of summertime, making it the perfect time to try out this pretty elderflower margarita cocktail.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Elderflower margarita cocktail
Total time: 5 minutes
  • 1 ounce Tequila
  • 1 ounce St Germain
  • 1 cup ice
  • ¼ fresh lime
Optional Ingredients
  • Salt, to rim the cocktail glass
  • 1 sprig fresh mint, for garnish
  • Elderflowers, for garnish
  • 1 lime slice, for garnish
  1. Add the tequila and the St Germain to a cocktail shaker. Squeeze the wedge of lime into the shaker, and add 1 cup of ice.
  2. Place the lid on the shaker and shake it for 10 to 12 seconds.
  3. Pour the cocktail into your chosen cocktail glass, and finish off with a spring of mint, along with a slice of lime and a few elderflowers if desired.
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