Great Cocktails: Elderflower Martini at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace

Ingredients for the Elderflower Martini (Credit: Four Seasons Gresham Palace)

Sampling regional wines, spirits and cocktails while traveling is as interesting as tasting new foods and recipes. I’ve enjoyed sipping on Pisco Sours in Peru, Tequila and Tecate in Mexico, and Kir Royales in France.

My most recent addiction: When we recently visited Budapest, I fell in love with the Signature Elderflower Martini served at the Lobby Bar at The Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace.

White-blossomed elder shrubs grow wild in many countries in central and eastern Europe including Hungary, Austria and Germany although the most famous liqueur made with them, St. Germain, hails from Dijon, France. I have grown quite fond in recent years of this sweet, citrus-y taste of this artisanal liqueur, which is a great addition to a flute of champagne or Prosecco (using a 1:5 ratio).

St. Germain (Credit: Cooper Spirits)
St. Germain (Credit: Cooper Spirits)

However, the drink at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace relies on three key local ingredients, all made from elderflowers: elderflower syrup, elderflower honey and elderflower balsamic vinegar.

Gabor Szoni making my drink
Gabor Szoni making my drink
Elderflower Martini at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace
Elderflower Martini at The Four Seasons Gresham Palace

Below is Bar Manager Gabor Szonyi’s recipe for the hotel’s Signature Elderflower Martini, which I hope to replicate if I can find the ingredients back home. If not, I’ll just have to return to the elegant Lobby Bar in Budapest.



– 5cl Grey Goose Vodka
– 2cl Homemade Elderflower Essence (or syrup)
– 2cl Fresh Lime Juice
– 1cl Elderflower Honey
– 2-3 drops of Elderflower Balsamico


Mix and shake the first four ingredients in a bar shaker and strain it into a chilled Martini Glass. Finally, pour 2-3 drops of the Balsamico on the top of the drink and serve it immediately. Enjoy!

Thanks for sharing your recipe with the readers of More Time To Travel, Gabor!

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  1. I almost had an elderberry martini last night at P.J. Clarke’s by Lincoln Center! It caught my eye because it was named Kelly (don’t ask me why). It sounded absolutely delicious but everyone else was having wine and beer so I went with the crowd. Now reading your write-up I so wish I’d tried it!

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