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September 11, 2013

Elderflower liqueur, orange bitters flavor bubbly cocktail

Elderflowers may not be the first things that you think of when making a Champagne cocktail. Neither is orange peel perhaps. However, these two ingredients completely transform the cocktail into a purely unique gem.

The small white elderflowers are typically used to make a sweet distilled drink called a cordial. St-Germain is the first liqueur in the world created in the artisanal French manner from these freshly handpicked blossoms. Adding St-Germain to Champagne adds a subtle floral taste.

Mixiologist Zach Wilks often substitutes a white, sparkling wine for the Champagne.

Another way to transform the cocktail is to add orange bitters and orange peel. Be careful with the bitters, as a little go a long way. And as if the cocktail was not unique enough, add an orange peel. The oils from the peel will add a subtle orange flavor to the drink.

Champagne Orange Cocktail


1 ounce St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur

2 ounces Champagne or sparkling wine

1/2 teaspoon orange bitters

1 orange peel


1. Pour the St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur into a Champagne glass. Pour in the Champagne, leaving a little room on top. Splash in the bitters.

2. Peel the orange with a vegetable peeler, avoiding the pith or white part. Curl and place into the glass. Enjoy.


Recipe courtesy of mixologist Zach Wilks,, 2013.

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