Spring Thyme: Alcohol-Free Herb and Elderflower Cooler

Fresh, floral, and herbaceous, this alcohol-free herb and elderflower cooler tastes like the essence of spring.

It’s simply made by muddling rosemary and thyme in freshly squeezed lemon juice and elderflower cordial before dropping in some ice and topping with soda water.

The pungent herbal aroma is balanced by the tart lemon and lightly sweetened syrup.  This is a delicate and refreshing mocktail with enough flavor complexity to retain your interest through to the last drop.

Serves 1
Preparation time: 5 mins


  • ½ oz. (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice (approx. ½ lemon)
  • ¾ oz. (22.5 ml) elderflower cordial
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • ½ sprig of rosemary
  • 6 oz. (180 ml) soda water or sparkling water
  • Wheel of lemon to garnish


  • Jigger or measuring spoons
  • Citrus juicer
  • Muddler
  • Highball glass


  1. In a highball glass, gently muddle the thyme and rosemary with the lemon juice and elderflower cordial.
  2. Fill the glass with ice and top with soda water.
  3. Use a cocktail spoon to gently mix the ingredients together.
  4. Garnish with a wheel of lemon.

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Alcohol-Free Herb and Elderflower Cooler FAQ

Can I use other types of herb besides thyme and rosemary?
Yes, you can experiment with other herbs, but keep in mind that it will affect the overall taste of the drink.

Is there a recommended brand for the elderflower cordial?
You can use any brand of elderflower cordial that you like.  Some popular brands include Belvoir Fruit Farms, Bottlegreen, and Fentimans.

Can I substitute soda water with sparkling water or tonic water?
Yes, you can substitute the soda water with sparkling water or tonic water.  To allow the ingredients of the mocktail to properly shine, it’s recommended that you use unflavored sparkling water for this recipe.  Tonic water will change the character of the drink: the strong quinine flavor will make the mocktail richer in flavor – but will be tasty in its own right.

How can I adjust the sweetness of the drink?
You can adjust the sweetness of the drink by adding more or less elderflower cordial.  Bear in mind that this will impact the strength of elderflower flavor too.  If you don’t want a more floral drink, you can add another sweetener of your choice instead.  Simple syrup, agave syrup, sugar, or honey could all work well.

Can I make this drink in advance?
It’s not recommended to muddle the herbs until you are ready to serve the drink.  If you’d like to get ahead, you could prepare the lemon juice in advance and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 days until you are ready to mix the mocktail.

Can I use a different type of glass to serve this drink?
This recipe recommends a highball glass to serve the drink.  However, you could use a stemmed gin and tonic glass, or large tumbler instead.

Can I use dried herbs instead of fresh?
Fresh herbs will provide the best flavor, but in a pinch, you could use dried rosemary and thyme as a substitute.  Start by muddling a small amount (¼ teaspoon combined), sample and then adjust to your taste.

Is there a particular type of lemon juice that is recommended for this recipe?
It’s recommended that you use freshly squeezed lemon juice instead of bottled.

Can I use a blender instead of a muddler?
No.  It is not advised to use a blender, as it will over-process the herbs and affect the taste and texture of the drink.  Using a muddler or wooden spoon to gently crush the herbs is the best way to extract their aromatic oils.

Can I make a larger batch of this drink for a party or gathering?
Yes, you can scale up the ingredients in this recipe to make a larger batch for a party.  Use a pitcher or punch bowl to mix the ingredients, and serve in glasses filled with ice and garnished with a lemon slice.

Can I use a different type of garnish instead of lemon?
Yes, you can use any type of garnish that you like.  A fresh sprig of rosemary could also work well alongside or instead of the lemon.

Did you make this?  Tag me @mightymocktail or use the hashtag #mightymocktail!

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