Scotland’s Food & Drink scene has been booming over the last few years with new products and brands popping up all over the country. We love diversity and the more choices, the better for us customers. Scotland is the land of whisky, but you would be surprised about the fact that there are over 45 artisan gin distillers. In the times where gin and whisky are the most popular drinks, two brave friends decided to do things differently. That’s how Aelder Elixir has been born. A truly unique, sophisticated and contemporary liqueur made from elderberries.
Created by the team behind Buck and Birch, Tom and Rupert, Aelder is handcrafted in small batches from hedgerow to elixir. First introduced during one of the dining experiences organised by them in 2012, it has proven to be extremely popular with diners requesting bottles to take home.
The dark, rich fruit of the Elder is complimented by a host of wild Scottish botanicals and spices and blended with Scottish whisky to fully enliven the flavour of the foraged berries. The end result is a liqueur that is rich, smooth and complex with a beautifully warming finish.
We’ve been invited to an event hosted at Quay Commons in Leith to sample Aelder Elixir paired with 4 canapes prepared by Rupert Waites, head chef and chief forager at the Buck and Birch.
We were greeted by Tom and offered a glass of Aelder Royale which was amazing. Intense, fruity flavours of the liqueur combined with sparkly prosecco set us in a mood for the rest of the evening.
Canapes were served from the centrepiece; slices of fermented smoked aged venison with a dandelion bud caper.
Our first cocktail of the evening was the Negroni, which we made to our taste. I really liked the fact part of the event where we learned how to pair Aelder with food and how to use it in well known classic cocktails. My Negroni was very strong and had rich intense flavour.
The canape for the cocktail was a seaweed oatcake, Belhaven smoked trout served with crowdie and pickled wild garlic flower buds which was the perfect pairing for the cocktail.
The main course was braised venison shoulder with pickled wild mushrooms, rolled cabbage venison jus and oxalis root.
Dessert was fun to watch. Who does not like to play with dry ice?! Sweet and satisfying sorbet with rosehip syrup was served with crunched hazelnut.
To finish the event, we were treated to the most suitable drink for cold November nights – hot chocolate with petit fours.
Aelder is certainly very unique and interesting product. After a numerous wild flavours experiments, they managed to come up with a complex, nourish and intense liqueur that is nothing like you’ve ever tasted before. Tom and Rupert focused on showcasing the best of forgotten ingredients and brought them back to the modern life.
Aelder can just as easily be enjoyed neat in front of a roaring fire as it can be sipped in a sparkling cocktail bathed in the summer sun. Drunk neat it is an easy sipper from a warm glass on a cold night. As elderberries are rich in antioxidants, it’s even been said that a nip of Aelder before bedtime will keep colds at bay. One more reason to drink to health, happiness and the wondrous wild.
15ml Aelder topped up with Champagne or Prosecco for an indulgent aperitif
Wild Aelder Bramble
25ml Botanist Gin, 25ml Aelder Elixir, 10ml Seabuckthorn juice, 10ml Rosehip syrup, mixed over crushed ice
100ml crab apple wine, 25ml Aelder Elixir, 10ml Seabuckthorn. Heat ingredients in a pan and serve hot
Where you can buy Aelder:
- Royal Mile Whiskies
- Haddington Wine and Whiskies
- Archerfield Walled Garden
- Vino Wines
- Cranachan & Crowdie
- Lockett Brothers
- Carrington Mouses Larder
- The Gravity Bottle Shop
- Valhalla’s Goat
- The Good Spirit Company
- The Store. Belhaven Fruit Farm
- Belhaven Smokehouse
- Laurence Smith and Son
- Relish Deli
- McMillans of Malton (York)
- Whirly Wine (London)
- Henderson Wines
- Balgove Larder
- Gloagburn Farm Shop
- Aberdeen Whisky Shop
- Hammerton Store
- Inverurie Whisky Shop
- Glendoick Foodhall
- Whisky & Spice
- The Carnegie Whisky Cellars
Bars & Restaurants
- Edinburgh Food Studio – Edinburgh
- Norn Restaurant – Edinburgh
- Malt Whisky Society – Edinburgh
- The Kitchin – Edinburgh
- The Three Chimneys – Skye
- The Cellar Restaurant – Anstruther
- The Dogs – Edinburgh
- Ubiquitous Chip – Glasgow
- Kelvingrove Cafe – Glasgow
- Magazine Restaurant – London
- Radio Rooftop Bar – ME Hotel London
- Mandarin Oriental – London
- The Roseleaf – Edinburgh
- Creel Restaurant – Dunbar