Nordic Summer Cocktail Recipe

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Nordic Summer Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Nordic Summer is a refreshing cocktail that was first created in the Scandinavian countries. It's a popular choice for those who enjoy a light, fruity drink with a hint of spice. The cocktail is often enjoyed during the summer months, hence the name 'Nordic Summer'.

  • It's believed to have been first created in the early 20th century.
  • The cocktail has gained popularity across the globe, particularly in countries with hot summers.
  • It's a favorite among those who enjoy fruity, refreshing cocktails.

How Nordic Summer Tastes?

The Nordic Summer is a light, refreshing cocktail with a fruity taste. It has a hint of citrus from the lemon juice, and the elderflower cordial adds a sweet, floral note. The gin gives it a slight kick, but it's not overly strong.

Interesting facts about Nordic Summer

  • The Nordic Summer is often served in a highball glass.
  • Despite its name, it can be enjoyed all year round.
  • The cocktail is vegan-friendly.


  • Gin: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Elderflower cordial: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Lemon juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Soda water: Top up
  • Ice cubes: To fill the glass
  • Lemon slice: For garnish

A few good options for Nordic Summer are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Use 2oz for the perfect balance -- just enough to make its presence known without turning the drink into a heavyweight punch. It's the backbone, shaping our 'Nordic Summer' with herbal whispers. Leave it out, and it's like trying to ride a bike without wheels -- you won't get far. Swap it for vodka, and you're in a more neutral territory without the botanical banter.

Mary Mitkina

Elderflower cordial

1oz is all it takes to bring sweet, floral notes to your glass. Imagine it's like adding a sprinkle of elf-dust, enticing and mysteriously captivating. Too much, and it would overtake the delicate dance of flavors. No cordial? It's like a summer without flowers — possible, but why miss the magic? Substitute with St-Germain for an alcoholic kick or pear syrup for a different kind of sweet flirtation.

Alex Green

Lemon juice

Squeezing in 1oz gives that zesty zing, balancing out the sweetness of elderflower, like a good debate where both sides are heard. If you leave it, the cocktail becomes a yes-man, agreeable but not quite right -- no zest, no life! A swap with lime juice could work, but it's like changing the lead singer -- the tune is similar, yet oddly new.

Emma Rose

Soda water

This is the effervescent elevator to the high floor of refreshment. Top up to taste -- it's the space between the art on the gallery wall, essential for perspective. Forget it, and the drink becomes dense, like a party with no music. Sparkling mineral water could be a posh cousin if you fancy a mineral twang.

Mary Mitkina

Ice cubes

To fill the glass, they're the unsung heroes, keeping our 'Nordic Summer' cool as a fjord. No ice and the charm melts away, like a snowman in the Sahara. Crushed ice would make for a slushier experience; it's fun but dresses down our elegant affair.

Alex Green

Lemon slice

For garnish, it's the sunshine on top, bright and inviting. It's that final touch of flair, like a smile from a charming stranger. Forget it, and the drink's like a joke without a punchline -- still good, but missing the tickle.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Nordic Summer Drink

  1. Fill a highball glass with ice cubes.
  2. Add the gin, elderflower cordial, and lemon juice to the glass.
  3. Top up with soda water.
  4. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Pro Tips

  • Use a chilled glass for a more refreshing cocktail.
  • Always use fresh lemon juice for the best taste.

Perfect Pairings


  • Gravlax: The herbal notes of the gin and the lemon's citrus bite cut through the rich, oily fish beautifully.
  • Smoked Almonds: A great crunchy companion, the smokiness of the almonds will complement the floral and citrus notes of the cocktail.
  • Cheese Platter: Opt for milder cheeses like Brie or Camembert which won't overpower the delicate elderflower.


  • Grilled Shrimp: The cocktail's crispness is a perfect match for seafood, especially when it's got a little char.
  • Chicken Salad: A light, herbaceous salad with a creamy dressing will harmonize with the Nordic Summer's refreshing qualities.


  • Lemon Sorbet: To echo the citrus in the drink and cleanse the palate.
  • Fruit Tarts: Choose ones with berries or pears for a delightful pairing with the elderflower.

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What you could change in Nordic Summer

  • You can substitute the gin with vodka for a milder taste.
  • If you don't have elderflower cordial, you can use elderflower liqueur instead.

Explore all drinks starting with N here

And of course - twists🍹

Berry Refresh Twist

  • Gin: 2oz
  • Elderflower Cordial: 1oz
  • Lemon Juice: 0.5oz
  • Fresh mixed berries: A handful
  • Fresh mint: A sprig

Muddle the berries and mint in the glass before following the standard recipe. This adds a fruity explosion and an aromatic minty backdrop, like a garden party for your senses. The berries provide a tart contrast and give the drink a blush of summer hues.

Nordic Fizz

  • Aquavit: 2oz
  • Elderflower Cordial: 1oz
  • Lemon Juice: 1oz
  • Sparkling wine: Top up

Replace soda water with sparkling wine for an effervescent nobility. The Aquavit, with its caraway and dill notes, takes you on a spirited voyage through Scandinavia. The result: a cocktail that salutes with every bubble.

Citrus Grove

  • Gin: 1oz
  • Limoncello: 1oz
  • Elderflower Cordial: 1oz
  • Grapefruit Juice: 1oz
  • Soda water: Top up

Swap out half the gin for limoncello and introduce grapefruit juice. It's like a citrus symphony with a sunny Italian disposition. More playful, with a bittersweet edge, it's summer on the Amalfi coast in a glass.

In case you forgot basics how to make Nordic Summer

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Nordic Summer

What type of gin is best for making a Nordic Summer?

A dry gin or a botanical gin tends to pair well with the fruity and floral notes of the Nordic Summer cocktail. However, the choice of gin can be adjusted according to personal preference.

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of fresh?

While bottled lemon juice can be used in a pinch, fresh lemon juice is preferred for its superior taste and aroma.

What other garnishes can be used for a Nordic Summer?

Some also garnish this cocktail with a sprig of mint or a few fresh berries for an extra touch of flavor and aesthetic appeal.

Is this cocktail typically sweet or sour?

The Nordic Summer cocktail is a balance between sweet and sour. The elderflower cordial adds a sweet and floral note, whereas the lemon juice provides a tangy sourness.

Can I make a non-alcoholic version of this drink?

Yes, the gin in this recipe can be replaced with a non-alcoholic spirit or left out entirely for a refreshing, non-alcoholic beverage.

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