You can taste the outdoors with this romantically floral Elderflower Rose Gimlet! It has a bouquet of elderflower, gin and rose water and tastes just like fresh flowers!
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April 2020 Update: You guys love this cocktail! I’m so glad you are trying out gins and experimenting with flavors. I updated this post with some new photos and tips for making this your favorite cocktail yet. Leave a comment and let me know how it goes for you!
November 2021 Update: I love that you still love this cocktail! I added some new links to products that can help you adjust this cocktail and make variations depending on what you have on hand. I also added some tips for choosing the best gin.
Last weekend, I just really felt like baking. I was ready to make the first pie of the season. I got out the butter and the flour and made pie crust.
I knew I wanted to make an apple pie, so I settled on the Apple Rose Pie recipe in the absolutely beautiful Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book.
Essentially, it’s a regular apple pie, but with a hint of rose petals.
And that’s what gave me an idea: A rose-flavored cocktail.
The flowers are starting to bloom and it’s beginning to really feel like spring, so why shouldn’t our cocktails bloom too?
What is a gimlet?
To see this idea to fruition, I add the fragrances of roses and elderflower to the most Mad Men-esque cocktail of all: the gimlet.
(The gimlet is Betty Draper’s drink of choice, after all!)
A classic gimlet recipe is made with one part gin and one part sweetened lime juice, often garnished with a cucumber slice.
It’s tart and herbal, and every gin drinker (or gin tinkerer) should try one.
When you add the rose water and elderflower liqueur into the mix, it gives the drink a springtime feel.
What is rose water?
To flavor this Elderflower Rose Gimlet, you’ll need rose water, which is water scented with rose petals. (I like Nielsen-Massey’s.)
Historically, rose water was used for medicinal purposes, but you can also use it for perfume and in the kitchen.
Rose water is common in Middle Eastern cooking and is often used for sweets like Turkish delight, nougat, and baklava.
A little rose water goes a long way! If you’ve ever tried making my rose white hot chocolate or love potion cocktail (a fun one for Halloween or Valentine’s Day!), you will know this to be true. If you haven’t, be warned.
The flavor can be quite strong, so if you haven’t cooked or made cocktails with rose water before, start with a very small amount and add more if you like.
You can buy rose water online, or you can often find it at specialty shops or international grocery stores.
What is Elderflower liqueur?
For this cocktail, you’ll also need St. Germain, a bright and delicate liqueur made from elderflowers to assist in the floral flavor.
Best gin for a gimlet
Don’t forget the gin, of course! She’s the star of the show.
If you aren’t a gin expert, here’s a guide to choosing a gin. I recommend one on the floral or botanical side versus the pine.
My favorite for this cocktail is Hendrick’s, but if you have a favorite of your own that you think would taste good, go for it!
How to make an elderflower gimlet
With such a short list of ingredients, making a classic gimlet really couldn’t be easier.
Making this Elderflower Rose Gimlet is just as easy!
- Fill up a cocktail shaker with ice, then add the gin, St. Germain, lime juice, simple syrup and rose water.
- Then shake it like a Polaroid picture and strain it into a chilled cocktail glass or a rocks glass filled with ice.
- Garnish with a rose petal if you’re feeling extra fancy — but it’s totally optional. (I used garden roses from our rose bush!) These edible dried rose petals are also quite pretty.
Tips for making an elderflower gimlet
If you want to try something different or don’t have sugar on hand to make simple syrup, honey simple syrup is a great alternative and tastes amazing with the flavors of lime and rose.
When it comes to the rose water, tread lightly. Some people only like a hint of roses, while others like a stronger rose flavor! You can have either with this floral gimlet.
Like I mentioned, if you haven’t tried rose water before, I suggest adding just a small amount to start and increasing to the full amount if you like.
The rosy St. Germain gimlet is the kind of cocktail to drink on those warmer spring evenings.
It’s ideal to sip with appetizers for a dinner party, even for a wedding cocktail. Or you can enjoy it for a Sunday brunch al fresco.
It’s also a lovely Valentine’s Day cocktail for those romantic evenings — bonus points if it’s served alongside a bouquet of roses.
Any way you spin it, the florals give this cocktail a romantic, classical feel. Just like spring. Enjoy it while it lasts!
P.S. Let me advise you that if you struggle with pollen allergies, this is possibly not the cocktail for you. Some people may have trouble eating and drinking florals, so bear that in mind. (Myself included!) If that’s you, you may consider using half the amount of rose water or none at all.
Elderflower Rose Gimlet
- 2 ounces gin London Dry
- 1 ½ ounce elderflower liqueur such as St. Germain
- 1 ½ ounce lime juice fresh
- ½ ounce simple syrup
- ½ teaspoon rose water
- rose petals for garnish
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