Drinks Recipes

How to make a Wallflower cocktail

Using locally made sloe gin, the Wallflower cocktail is a crowd-pleaser thanks to its characteristic sour-sweetness.
Two stemed glasses with Wallflower cocktail in them wth cucumber and purple flower garnish

Wallflower cocktail

Will Horner

Sloes – the small, astringent drupes used by the British to flavour gin for centuries – aren’t found in very many places. Curiously, Tasmania just so happens to be one of them. Native to Europe, as well as pockets of western Asia and northwest Africa, the plummy fruits were first planted on the Apple Isle more than 150 years ago. Today, they grow wild in hedgerows across the state’s north and have given rise to a handful of internationally awarded local sloe gins.

“Sloe gin is booming in Tasmania at the moment,” says Nathan Silk, bar manager at The Story Bar, the handsomely appointed cocktail lounge inside the schmick Macq01 Hotel on Hobart’s waterfront. “It’s a go-to for us behind the bar due to its versatility. Whether in a cool spring Spritz, a warmed mulled Sour or simply on the rocks, it fits into many drinks perfectly.”

In this Wallflower cocktail recipe, Silk builds on sloe gin’s singular sour-sweetness by adding red vermouth for spice and orange liqueur for brightness. Muddled cucumbers, meanwhile, lend some coolness to the mix, while a splash of elderflower cordial makes for a delicate top note. It’s the perfect solution, in other words, for hard-to-please drinkers who don’t like their cocktails too sweet, too sour, too bitter or too boozy.

Three sloe gins to try

McHenry Sloe Gin

The McHenry team steeps foraged berries in the distillery’s Classic Dry Gin for 18 months, resulting in hi-res colour and flavour.

$99.90 for 700ml


Dasher + Fisher Sloe Gin

A gentle tug of fruity tannin and a dusting of spice lend even more depth to this already rich and full-bodied liqueur.

$90 for 500ml


Spring Bay Sloe Gin

Lighter, more fruit forward and fresh-feeling than most, with a righteous tart/sweet ratio that hits the bullseye.

$90 for 500ml




The Story Bar’s Wallflower

1.Chill a coupe glass. In a cocktail shaker, muddle three slices of cucumber and add 30ml sloe gin, 20ml sweet vermouth, 15ml triple sec, 15ml elderflower cordial, 5ml lemon juice and two dashes of orange bitters. Fill the shaker with ice, shake vigorously until well chilled and double strain into the coupe. Garnish with a slice of cucumber and an edible flower.

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