Floral flavours might be the biggest food trend of 2018 thanks to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. Last week, Kensington Palace announced the couple had ordered a lemon elderflower wedding cake from London-based pastry chef Claire Ptak for their May 19 wedding. But elderflower is more than just a royal cake flavour. I fell in love with it while mixing elderflower syrup into a G&T this winter. It added subtle flowery, yet fruity notes to my cocktail, which helped me momentarily escape from the dreariness of a grey December day. Best of all, unlike rose and lavender, elderflower’s a floral flavour that doesn’t taste like perfume.

Whether you love (or think you hate) floral flavoured food, here’s how to bake and mix drinks with elderflower.

What Is Elderflower?

Small, white elderflowers grow on elderberry bushes, which are found throughout the U.K., northern Europe as well as in parts of North America, and bloom from late May to early June. Meghan and Harry are seriously capturing British spring in their wedding cake. While elderflowers are quite pretty, most recipes, including cocktails and baked goods, call for elderflower cordial or syrup.

Where To Find Elderflower Syrup

Jamie Oliver has an easy elderflower syrup recipe, but if you don’t happen to have access to an elderberry bush, picking up store bought is fine — and super easy to find. Ikea store sells elderflower syrup for $5. There are plenty of other brands readily available in Canada, including Monin, a variety of options from the Toronto-based Cocktail Emporium (which delivers nationwide), and one made with Canadian elderflowers from Forbes

Bottle of IKEA elderflower syrup.

(Photo: Ikea)

How To Make Elderflower Cocktails

Elderflower works especially well with gin, thanks to the spirit’s botanical flavours. Splash some in a glass with gin and tonic warer. If you’re floral obsessed, try making your elderflower G&T with Dillon’s rose gin from Ontario’s Niagara region. Or, forgo the alcohol altogether and mix elderflower syrup with plain seltzer. Fever Tree and Bottlegreen make elderflower soda (available at grocery stores), which might be the easiest way to mix up your next spring-inspired bevy. Of course, there’s also St. Germain,which is a French elderflower liqueur. Try it in our simple sweet, yet spicy cocktail.

Cooking And Baking With Elderflower Syrup

Think of elderflower syrup as you would rosewater — a little goes a long way. In many cake and pastry recipes, elderflower is used to enhanced whipped cream or buttercream. Like liqueurs, elderflower cordial or syrup can also be poured over a cake to infuse it with flavour.

Try it in place of rosewater in our Chantilly cream recipe (it pairs well with crepes). Yotam Ottolenghi — the king of cooking with flowers — has plenty of sweet and savoury elderflower recipes to choose from and Jamie Oliver even has a elderflower, lemon and pistachio cake recipe, if you want a real taste of the royal wedding.

Filed under: meghan-markle