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Aperol and Elderflower Margarita

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I’ve been doing battle with the ants who invaded my kitchen for the last couple of months, and it’s made me reluctant to take on big cooking projects lately for fear of finding something I’ve labored over swarmed with so many tiny hexapods.


But I couldn’t stay away forever.

So I headed into the the easiest part of the kitchen to handle. The stretch of counter that serves as our home bar.

Tequila and limes

When the folks from Corralejo tequila asked if I’d like to develop a cocktail with their reposado to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, I jumped at the opportunity.

I’ve never been a huge tequila drinker, tending to favor whiskeys and gins and even reaching for the other agave-based spirit, mezcal, before tequila.

Aperol and Elderflower Margarita

But I can’t deny the pleasure of a well-made margarita.

They are citrusy and bright and salty with that dangerous tequila bite.

Cinco de Cuatro Margarita. A four-ingredient cocktail with Corralejo tequila, Aperol, elderflower liqueur, and lime. (Especially for fans of Arrested Development.) Blossom to Stem | Because Delicious |

Corralejo Reposado has a pale straw color and notes of vanilla, peppercorn, brine, honey, and something faintly earthy on the nose.

It’s aged in barrels made from three types of wood, American, French, and Mexican oak, which no doubt contribute to the complexity of the vanilla flavor.

Aperol and Elderflower Margarita. A twist on the traditional margarita cocktail with reposado tequila, bright pink Aperol, elderflower liqueur, and lime.

While classic margaritas are made with the lighter, unaged blanco or silver tequila varieties, reposado makes a lovely slightly less traditional choice, especially when standing up to some punchier companions.

This margarita uses four ingredients: tequila, Aperol, elderflower liqueur, and lime juice.

Aperol and Eldrflower Margarita

The bitter orangey, rhubarb flavors from the Aperol and the delicate floral sweetness from the elderflower liqueur take the place of the usual triple sec and bring with them something that feels to me like the essence of spring with all its volatility and beauty.

It’s a bright citrusy drink with a bitter edge.

(And if you like this one, you might also like an Aperol Sour.)

Aperol and Elderflower Margarita

I like to use a mix of kosher salt and sumac to coat half the rim. The sumac is what makes gives the salted rim a speckled speckled red appearance.

Sumac is a dried spice usually used in Middle Eastern cooking, but it has bright tart flavor that echoes the rhubarb notes in Aperol.

The sumac is completely optional, but it makes for a pretty presentation and adds a subtle hit of sour that I like here.

If you’re the sort of person who likes sour candy, it’s a flavor that you’ll love. (And if you’re looking for other ways to use up that sumac, you should try this blueberry sumac sherbet.)

Aperol and Elderflower Margarita

It’s a nice way to take this margarita over the top.

This is one you’ll be drinking all summer long.

Yield: 1 cocktail

Aperol and Elderflower Margarita

Aperol and Elderflower Margarita. A twist on the traditional margarita cocktail with reposado tequila, bright pink Aperol, elderflower liqueur, and lime.

This margarita replaces the traditional triple sec with a combination of bitter Aperol and floral elderflower. You can use your favorite elderflower liqueur, such as St. Germaine here. I tend to keep the less-expensive but still delicious St. Elder on hand for these purposes. I like to use a combination of kosher salt and sumac to coat the rim, and I prefer to coat only half the rim to allow for the option of sips with no salt. The sumac adds some visual interest and a subtle sour flavor, but is totally optional if you don’t have it on hand. This drink has a bitter edge to it, which is how I prefer my drinks. If you like your drinks on the sweeter side, use 3/4 ounce of both the Aperol and the elderflower liqueur.

Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute


  • 1 1/2 ounces Corralejo Reposado tequila
  • 1 ounce Aperol
  • 1/2 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice


  1. Chill a glass in the freezer. Place the kosher salt and sumac (if using) in a shallow dish and coat half the rim with the mixture (usually there’s enough condensation from the freezer to make salt adhere–if not you can moisten the glass with water or a wedge of lime). Add the tequila, Aperol, elderflower liqueur and lime juice to a cocktail shaker. Fill the shaker with ice and shake for about 30 seconds or until thoroughly chilled. Strain into the chilled and salted glass. Enjoy.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 14gProtein: 0g
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Friday 6th of May 2016

Beautiful picture! One of my favorite parts of A.D was the [illegal drug] covered [inappropriate act] dome when they were having the best party competition.


Monday 9th of May 2016

Thanks Shelley! I loved Arrested Developments mastery of the well-placed bleep/redaction/omission.


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Cinco de Mayo or cuatro, or any single day of the year -- yes please! that guacamole ingredient list is so delicious!


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Thanks Valentina!

Fuss Free Helen

Wednesday 4th of May 2016

I was introduced to Aperol in Venice where it is served a a spritz with prosecco and a slice of orange. It sounds wonderful in other cocktails. The idea hadn't occurred to me.


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Helen, I spent a year in Rome and that's where I first learned about Aperol (and the ubiquitous spritz). It's really quite versatile and I just love it's bittersweet flavor profile.

Kylee Cooks

Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Whoa. Guac WITH bacon AND blue cheese? Sounds like my kind of guacamole. YUM!


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Thanks Kylee! It is definitely full of big flavors!


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

What a delicious way to get the party started! Sounds fabulous! xo, Catherine


Wednesday 4th of May 2016

Thanks Catherine! We're all ready for the party here.