Elderflower Soda Tasting – Mixer Companion 14

One of the most British flavours around is Elderflower; I even had a journalist for a Brazilian newspaper contact me recently regarding its use in British soft drinks. For decades, this came in the form of Elderflower Wine, but, over time, Elderflower Cordial became more popular and, once it grew fashionable to mix this with still or sparkling water, companies started bringing out a ready-to-drink carbonated version. The two companies that started this were Bottlegreen and Belvoir, both in the late 1980s.


1) M&S Apple & Elderflower
This is a lovely golden colour and is packaged in a bottle with a champagne cork and cage. There are some apple notes, followed by floral elderflower. Not too sweet, it’s sufficiently tart and dry thanks to the apple, but very fizzy. A nice non-alcoholic alternative to provide when having champagne.
7, 6
.

2) Tesco Sparkling Spring Water with a hint of Elderflower & Lemon
Very fizzy. Quite light and not too sweet, this has a slight chemical floral flavour to it, a bit like furniture polish, but not necessarily in a bad way. Moderately refreshing, with a floral finish.
6, 6

Bottlegreen
A bit musky, with a nice nose of elderflower to start, but this fades into more of a watery flavour; there’s still some elderflower there, but it’s a bit disappointing when it comes to the taste and needs more flavour. Also, we thought this was a bit on the gassy side, with a medium-to-high fizz. Bitter finish.
5, 4

Tesco Finest White Grape & Elderflower Spritz
This has a medium level of fizz. The grape notes make it a bit syrupy to start, but then some musky floral from the elderflower appears, accompanied by some tartness. The finish is dry and slightly sour. We thought this was quite fresh, but would be better with some ice to take the edge off of it.
6, 5

ss
The wild card, this variety is still. It’s quite sweet, but there’s a good balance between the apple and elderflower flavours. There is also a note of sweet liquorice towards the end. This is very easy to drink, if a touch sweet; best not to have too big a glass at breakfast.
6, 5

Belvoir
This has a sweet, jammy elderflower nose. To taste, it has a medium level of fizz and is musky, sweet and floral, with a citrus tang at the end. Quite good, we found this to be refreshing and neither too sweet nor too fizzy. Good balance.
8, 7

Marks & Spencer French Sparkling Elderflower Soda
Very highly fizzy and very floral, this isn’t too sweet; it’s more dry then anything. Also, the floral notes seem to be more like rose than elderflower, giving a distinct impression of Turkish Delight. The taste seems short-lived, but, after a short absence, the flavour of fizzy floral sweets (Refreshers, Parma Violets) pops back up again, before disappearing, leaving a clean finish.
7, 7

Waitrose Elderflower
Very pleasant, this was full of floral notes with both tartness and sweetness. It was fresh and very easy to drink. Frankly, this was superb and exceptionally refreshing.
8, 8

The Results

1st
Waitrose Elderflower

2nd
Belvoir

3rd
Marks & Spencer French Sparkling Elderflower Soda

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About DTS

partial to a martini? to a smoke-hazed gin joint & a perfect tipple poured with the style, swank & skill of a true aficionado? …then pull up your stool to the bar, prepare to stock up your cocktail cabinet & get ready to drink it all in as we introduce you to a stitch in times’ resident barman… David T. Smith is a drinks enthusiast currently residing in the U.K. a long-time fan of tasting & exploring various types of alcohol, he has a fascination for vintage spirits and cocktails, in particular their heritage & origins; this was strengthened last year when he presented a talk and accompanying monograph on the Martini. it was as a result of his research of this topic that he was introduced to drinks paraphernalia, & he is now the happy owner of a colourful collection of bottles, books, and gadgets from a wide range of eras… an avid believer in the validity and variety of personal opinion, particularly in the subjective area of tasting, he enjoys hosting tasting sessions for friends, constantly challenging them to find their own favourite tipple. in addition to all of this, he is also interested in economics, three-piece suits, board games & keeping alive the art of engaging in enjoyable conversation with a good glass of port whilst surrounded by pipe smoke… www.summerfruitcup.com Thanks to Analiebe for writing this rather flattering blurb for me.

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