Made with tart juice and sweet St. Germain elderflower liquor, the Forbidden Flower Sour is a potent and refreshing pomegranate bourbon cocktail, ideal for relaxing after a long day.
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An Elderflower & Pomegranate Bourbon Cocktail
With winter turning to spring, I find myself dreaming of drinks full of bright colors and even brighter flavors. Seasonal citrus is amazing (I’ll never turn down a Blood Orange Old Fashioned), but warm weather demands fresh fruit flavors. As I eagerly await berry season to show up, I’ll satisfy my cravings with this simple Elderflower & Pomegranate Bourbon Cocktail, which I’ve dubbed the Forbidden Flower Sour. Tart, sweet, and just a bit floral, this refreshing drink will remind you of spring in your favorite garden. I can’t promise that the Forbidden Flower Sour will give you great knowledge, but after a stressful day a few sips may help you discover your own personal Eden.
Jump to Recipe
Why the Forbidden Flower Sour?
First, the Pomegranate:
There is a lot of debate as to the identity of the original Forbidden Fruit found in the Garden of Eden. While the notion of the apple has reigned through the art and folklore of Europe and the Americas, many Biblical scholars claim a more probable culprit to be the pomegranate. Not only would it have been native to the Middle and Near Eastern environments of early Christian writers, the name also has Latin roots translating to “Seeded Apple”. Needless to say, I learned this bit of information as a religious studies undergrad, and it’s stuck with me since. But better yet, if you wanted to hide great knowledge, what better way than in a notoriously obnoxious to crack open fruit like a pomegranate?
Second, the Elderflower Liquor:
There is something about St. Germain Elderflower Liquor that just makes cocktails feel more decadent. Perhaps its the French name or the gorgeous bottle and branding, but in any case, I love the sweet and lightly floral taste of this lovely golden liquor. Best yet, it’s not very expensive. You can easily add a splash to a lot of cocktails for a bit of class and European mystique.
And third, the sour:
“Sours” are a traditional family of mixed drinks with a history that can be documented as early as the mid-19th century. Whiskey Sours, Margaritas, and Sidecars are all part of this big, old family, identified by their simple construction: a base liquor, lemon or lime juice, and a sweetener of some kind.
The Forbidden Flower Sour is a pomegranate-infused take on the classic flavor combinations. The tart, antioxidant-rich fruit juice is sweetened with homemade Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup, covering the liquor+lemon+sweetener requirements of its family. A dash of bitters and a splash of decadent elderflower liquor elevate the drink to something unique, precious, and just a bit audacious.
Indulge in a Forbidden Flower Sour after a long day at work or make up a batch to sip with friends by doubling, tripling or quadrupling the recipe to make it into a punch. The fresh fruit flavors of this elderflower and pomegranate bourbon cocktail are sure to get you through until summer.
The Forbidden Flower Sour – An Elderflower & Pomegranate Bourbon Cocktail
- 1.5 ounces bourbon
- 3 ounces pomegranate juice
- 1/2 ounces St. Germain Elderflower Liquor
- 1/2 ounces Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup (recipe below)
- 3 dashes Peychaud’s Bitters
- Ice cubes as desired
- Candied lemon peels and pomegranate arils for garnish (optional)
Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup (makes approximately 1.5 cups syrup)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 lemon
Make the Meyer Lemon Simple Syrup:
- Remove the zest from the lemon with a vegetable peeler in long strips, leaving the white pith behind. Juice the lemon into a small bowl.
- Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture starts to simmer, add the lemon peels and lemon juice to the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, uncovered, until the syrup has reduced and thickened slightly.
- Remove saucepan from heat and allow to cool. Transfer the syrup to an airtight jar or bottle, reserving the now-candied lemon peels with the syrup for later use as a garnish. Simple syrup will keep in the fridge for 4-6 weeks.
Mix the Forbidden Flower Sour:
- Combine the bourbon, pomegranate juice, elderflower liquor, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with 2-3 ice cubes. Shake vigorously, until chilled. Strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with pomegranate arils and candied lemon peels from the simple syrup, if desired.
8 thoughts on “The Forbidden Flower Sour | An Elderflower & Pomegranate Bourbon Cocktail”
Bourbon and elderflower are two of my favorite cocktail flavors but I’d never thought of combining them. Definitely going to make these for my next at-home date night dinner.
I admit – the combination only came about because both happened to be on my counter from other recipes the night before! I wasn’t sure how it would work out, but I should have known – I love bourbon with everything. 😉
You had me at “sour” – one of my favorite types of cocktail! The combo of citrus and elderflower is a delicious classic, but I haven’t had it with pomegranate before. Looking forward to trying this and reporting back!
Please let me know! I’m such a sucker for all sour-style drinks myself (especially the Sidecar).
Wow this drink looks stunning! And boy am I a sucker for food history! But the cocktail name might be my favorite part! Adding this to my bucket list.
Thank you so much Charity! I think you and I are on the same page on all counts. 🙂
Tart and sour are my favorite aspects in a good cocktail…this looks amazing. PS where did you get those glasses? I am in love with them!
Thank you Brynn! I actually picked them up at my local Big Lots at $5 for the pair- the brand is TMD Holdings. I’m glad you like them! They are a little more thick than I like for photography, but I think this worked out okay. 🙂