The Fortune Teller Cocktail

Fortune Teller Cocktail

This is a cocktail that I stumbled upon creating sometime last summer.  Having bought a fancy cocktail book for a friend’s birthday and subsequently thumbing through it, I happened upon a recipe for a cocktail featuring gin, St Germain (an expensive but delicious elderflower liqueur), and grapefruit zest.  We made it, and the cocktail was incredible.  But ooh-wee, it is a potent assembly, and while the flavors scream for summer, the sippability of it combined with its predilection to warm up quickly on a hot summer day drove me to adjust, tweak, and tone down/amp up this cocktail to a more accessible format. I have found that in most recipes calling for St Germain, other types of elderflower syrups can be used.  I have gotten a fancy Italian one at the food importer downtown Seattle, and then happened upon elderflower syrup at none other than Ikea.  And it was only $4.99 instead of $35 plus the relevant local taxes.  So for all purposes, I stick with elderflower syrup instead of elderflower liqueur. But this cocktail is also incredible with the St Germain, so by all means if that’s your jam (also easier to find at any liquor store vs a trip to Ikea or a fancy food importer), go with the St Germain. Also, this cocktail is pretty easy to mix up and prep ahead of time and then just assemble as people ask for them.

mise assembly


The Fortune Teller (makes 1)


  • 2 oz gin
  • 1/2 oz elderflower syrup or liqueur
  • large wide strip of grapefruit zest
  • 2 segments grapefruit
  • seltzer


  • Combine gin and elderflower over ice.  Stir.
  • Strain into an old-fashioned glass over crushed ice
  • Top with seltzer and garnish with grapefruit zest and segments



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