I love a good, basic gin and tonic (with a heavy squeeze of lime, of course) but sometimes it’s good to mix things up a bit. So when I was browsing recently in Paradiset, the new organic grocery store that opened not too long ago around the corner from us, I became inspired to try a twist on this traditional drink when I spotted an elegant bottle of elderflower soda on the shelf in front of me.
If you are not familiar with elderflower, known as fläderblom in Sweden, it is a lovely, delicate and distinct flavor that comes from the flower of the elderberry plant. They grow wild all over Sweden and if you are really inspired you can pick them and make homemade elderflower saft to enjoy mixed with plain or sparkling water. “Saft” is also Swedish and is a concentrated, flavored syrup made by cooking down elderflower blooms in water with heaping amounts of sugar. But that is a bit ambitious for the task at hand. I merely purchased a bottle of elderflower soda, added ice, gin, and a generous squeeze of lemon. Finished with a twist of lemon and a sprig of mint for color this is the perfect welcome cocktail for a dinner party, or a relaxing evening for two.
The result is a lighter, more friendly version of the traditional gin and tonic that perfectly sums up a beautiful summer celebration on the balcony, patio, or favorite picnic spot. The flavor of elderflower is the essence of summer in Sweden but if elderflower soda is not available in your area, feel free to substitute a complimentary, summery soda.
Glasses of choice
Elderflower soda (or soda of choice)
Fill glasses with ice, add a squeeze of lemon, a shot of gin, and then fill with elderflower soda. Finish with lemon twists and mint sprigs.