The bottle:Bols Elderflower Liqueur, $18
The back story: The Dutch spirits giant Bols isn’t pretending to break new ground with this floral-flavored liqueur. If anything, it admits it’s playing the role of copycat, but that itself may be the story. St-Germain, launched in 2007, was the first elderflower liqueur to gain widespread attention, both for its signature taste (it became an instant hit with the mixology crowd) and one-of-a-kind packaging (like a perfume bottle writ large). But for all that St-Germain has going for it — the brand became so popular that it was sold to Bacardi in 2013 for an undisclosed sum — it doesn’t come cheap: A bottle sells for close to $40. Enter Bols, the liqueur producer that has something of a bottom-shelf reputation in the U.S., but that has also been trying to become known as an innovator (it recently launched a yogurt liqueur). The brand saw the burgeoning elderflower category as “an opportunity,” according to marketing director Jaron Berkhemer, particularly since it could come in at a cost about half that of St-Germain. “It’s a pricing game,” says Berkhemer. At the same time, the brand felt it could offer a different take on elderflower. St-Germain has an exotically fruity taste — think lychees — but Bols wanted a more, well, flowery profile for its elderflower liqueur. “We’re not trying to knock off St-Germain,” Berkhemer insists.
What we think about it: As much as we love St-Germain and its ability to transform a cocktail, we rarely think of posies when we taste it. But Bols Elderflower has that nice, from-the-field quality — a bit like daisies in a glass. It’s also far less viscous than St-Germain, so it can actually work more as a stand-alone sip — albeit a still somewhat sweet one.
How to enjoy it: Yes, you could enjoy your Bols Elderflower on its own, but this is a liqueur made for mixing. The Bols team suggests any number of elderflower-based cocktails, from a Heart-Stopper (with tequila and a dash of bitters) to an Elderflower Collins (with gin, lemon juice and soda). But if you want to keep it simple, just mix Bols Elderflower with your favorite sparkling wine — a perfect cocktail for brunch.
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View more information: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/a-bottle-of-daisies-in-a-glass-for-18-2014-04-04