St. Germain was the first liqueur made from elderflowers, and the young company that produced it immediately blew up the bank. Elderflower liqueur quickly grew in popularity and, especially among bartenders, it rose to the status of “salt and pepper” as a cocktail flavoring. As you might expect, other liquor manufacturers launched their own similar versions as soon as possible. Lucas Bols is one of Europe’s largest liquor manufacturers. Especially in the Baltic countries, Bols is the most prominent foreign liquor brand. Bols’s range of liqueurs is quite comprehensive and several of their liqueurs have been reviewed in this blog as well. Bols elderflower liqueur is made from rectified spirit, sugar, water and an extract made from elder flowers, the recipe of which Bols keeps to itself. According to the manufacturer’s own announcement, nothing else has been added to the liqueur, which means that as much space as possible has been left for the aroma of black elderberry flowers. A 50 cl bottle cost a little less than 10 euros in Latvia.
As far as I know, I haven’t tasted any product made from elder flowers before, so I can’t compare the aroma or its strength to other products. Bols liqueur has a strong parfym aroma. The floral smell is dominant and there is nothing else noticeable. The taste is very clean, honeyed and floral, just as you can already expect from the smell. The liqueur is suitably sweet, it’s very easy to sip neat. The perfume aroma is quite strong and is also quite dominant in cocktails, so you should only use it just in small quantities. Perhaps the most popular cocktail made with elderflower liqueur is the spritz, where the liqueur is mixed with sparkling wine and sparkling water. Personally, I wasn’t very enthusiastic about the elderflower aroma and it was quite difficult to use in drinks. Still a nice experiment and Bols’ version certainly stong enough for those who want to add flower aroma to cocktails.