Bless You Cocktail Recipe

Rich, tart elderberry syrup and sumac are the perfect foils to the sweet Bendictine in this carbonated cocktail.

| October 2017

  • What better addition to your cocktail than the wild-foraged ingredients in your homemade soda?
    Photo by Keller + Keller Photography
  • "The Wildcrafted Cocktail: Make Your Own Foraged Syrups, Bitters, Infusions, and Garnishes" by Ellen Zachos.
    Photo courtesy Storey Publishing

Artisanal cocktails have never been more popular, and those carefully crafted beverages have begun to shine a spotlight on their vibrant, specialty ingredients. With The Wildcrafted Cocktail, Ellen Zachos teaches readers how to incorporate common foraged flowers, berries and roots into their own, one-of-a-kind mixed drinks. There are 45 homemade cocktail recipes in this beautiful, full-color book, alongside 50 simple recipes for bitters, syrups, garnishes — anything you might need to make these drinks your own. Bring a natural, delicious twist to your glass!

Bless You Cocktail Recipe

Elderflowers are all the rage these days. I get it. They’re delicate and pretty and have a seductive flavor. But what about the elderberries? It’s almost as if people have forgotten all about the bold fruit that follows those delicate blooms.

Maybe it’s because the flavor of raw elderberries is slightly to extremely awful. Thankfully, someone figured out that the application of heat and the addition of sugar makes for a beautiful dark purple/blue syrup with a sweet, deep, fruity flavor. Some say the taste is similar to that of blackberries, but I think they’re fooled by the color. Elderberries have their own worthy flavor.

Benedictine is an herbal liqueur whose main ingredients are angelica, hyssop, and lemon balm. Is it any wonder a forager would be drawn to its complex, plant-based flavors? It’s a very sweet liqueur, so I only use it in small doses. Here it adds a subtle herbal background to the more assertive elderberry. Plus, it inspired the cocktail’s name.

To make one drink:


• 2 ounces vodka
• 1 ounce elderberry syrup
• 1 teaspoon Benedictine
• 2 ounces sumac soda (recipe below)

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