Sunflower Cocktail Recipe

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Sunflower Nutrition Facts





Alcohol %:20

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 Sunflower cocktail is a delightful concoction that was first created in the early 20th century. It's a favorite among those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour flavors, with a hint of floral undertones. The cocktail is named after the sunflower due to its bright, sunny color which is achieved by the combination of its ingredients.

  • Who would like it?
    • If you're a fan of citrusy cocktails with a hint of sweetness, this is a perfect choice for you.

How Sunflower Tastes?

The Sunflower cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and floral notes. The citrusy tang of the lemon juice is beautifully balanced by the sweetness of the elderflower liqueur, while the gin adds a refreshing kick. The taste is light, refreshing, and pleasantly sweet.

Interesting facts about Sunflower

  • The Sunflower cocktail is named after the sunflower due to its bright, sunny color.
  • It was first created in the early 20th century.
  • The cocktail is a favorite among those who enjoy a balance of sweet and sour flavors.


A few good options for Sunflower are:

  • Brockmans
  • Silent Pool Gin
  • Hendrick's Gin

Learn everything on which Gin to choose


Gin acts as the backbone of the cocktail with its complex botanicals providing depth and character. The 2 oz serving is just right – not overpowering, but enough to make its presence felt. Without gin, you lose the soul of the cocktail, but if you're in a pinch, vodka can step in, albeit for a more neutral flavor profile.

Emma Rose

Elderflower Liqueur

Elderflower liqueur brings a sweet, floral note that is both exquisite and refreshing. 1 oz is the sweet spot to balance gin's robustness. No elderflower liqueur? You'll miss out on the sunflower's namesake charm; however, a dash of St. Germain could do the trick, adding similar floral elegance.

Alex Green

Lemon Juice

The zesty 1 oz of lemon juice cuts through the sweetness and adds a necessary citrus punch. Lemon juice brightens the drink, and forgetting it would leave the cocktail flat and overly sweet. In its absence, lime juice might work but expect a sharper, more tart drink.

Mary Mitkina

Simple Syrup

0.5 oz of simple syrup provides just enough sweetness to harmonize the cocktail. Too much and it's cavity-inducing; too little and the tang overpowers. Honey syrup could be an alternative if you're after a richer, more earthy sweetness.

Emma Rose


Top up with champagne and watch your cocktail effervesce with elegance. The champagne crowns the cocktail with bubbly gusto. Without it, you have a flat-tasting Sunflower; with too much, it becomes a boozy sparkler. Prosecco is a fine stand-in for a slightly sweeter fizz.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Sunflower Drink

  • Fill a shaker with ice.
  • Add 2 oz of gin, 1 oz of elderflower liqueur, 1 oz of lemon juice, and 0.5 oz of simple syrup.
  • Shake well until chilled.
  • Strain into a champagne flute.
  • Top up with champagne.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to shake the cocktail well to ensure all the ingredients are well combined.
  • Use fresh lemon juice for the best taste.
  • Chill your champagne flute before pouring the cocktail to keep it cold longer.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese board: A selection of soft cheeses like brie offers a creamy counterpart to the cocktail's crispness.
  • Sushi: The delicate flavors of sushi, especially nigiri or a light roll, will complement the delicate elderflower notes.

Main Courses

  • Grilled fish: Choose lighter fish like tilapia or cod to resonate with the cocktail's bright and citrusy profile.


  • Lemon tart: The tartness of the dessert will mirror the zesty lemon within the cocktail.
  • Fruit sorbet: Opt for flavors like peach or raspberry to complement the floral notes of the elderflower.

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What you could change in Sunflower

  • You can substitute the elderflower liqueur with St. Germain if you prefer a more floral taste.
  • If you don't have champagne, you can use any sparkling wine.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Sunflower Spritz

  • Replace champagne with Aperol
  • Reduce simple syrup to 0.25 oz
  • This twist adds an Italian flair with a bittersweet kick from the Aperol, while the reduced syrup ensures the drink doesn't veer into overly sweet territory. Expect a vibrant color and a herbaceous note.

Sunset Sunflower

  • Mix in 0.5 oz of cranberry juice
  • Garnish with an orange slice
  • The cranberry juice adds a tart contrast and a blush hue, while an orange slice garnish brings a different citrus twist to the nose and palate, making this variant a duskier, more complex sipper.

Herbal Sunflower

  • Add a sprig of rosemary to the shaker
  • Use honey syrup instead of simple sugar
  • Infuse the cocktail with an aromatic rosemary hint, and the honey syrup offers a more nuanced sweetness. This variation feels more rustic and grounded, with a fragrant herbal presence.

In case you forgot basics how to make Sunflower

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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 Sunflower

Why is the cocktail called Sunflower?

The cocktail is called Sunflower due to its bright, sunny color which is achieved by the combination of its ingredients.

What is the best occasion to serve the Sunflower cocktail?

The Sunflower cocktail is a great choice for summertime gatherings or brunches due to its light, refreshing taste and beautiful presentation.

Can I use lime juice instead of lemon juice for this cocktail?

While lime juice can be used, it will alter the taste of the cocktail. The recipe calls for lemon juice to create the proper balance of sweet and sour flavors.

I don't drink alcohol. Can I make a non-alcoholic version of the Sunflower?

Yes, you can substitute the gin for a non-alcoholic gin, omit the elderflower liqueur or replace it with elderflower cordial, use lemonade instead of lemon juice and syrup, and use sparkling water instead of champagne.

Can I serve the Sunflower cocktail on the rocks?

Although traditionally the Sunflower cocktail is served in a champagne flute, you can serve it on the rocks. Just ensure that the glass is chilled to keep the cocktail cold longer.

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