Scottish pop-up dining duo launch wild elderberry elixir Aelder

An exciting new small batch liquor made from wild foraged elderberries has been released by the team behind pop-up dining experience The Buck and Birch. 

Published 25th Nov 2016
Updated 9 th Aug 2023

The duo behind the new drink say that the wild elderberries – which are packed full of antioxidants and vitamin C – have been married with a blended Scotch whisky and brought to life by a host of wild Scottish botanicals to The Buck and Birch secret recipe.

First created by Rupert Waites, head chef and chief forager at The Buck and Birch, and refined over the seasons along with his creative partner Thomas Chisholm, Aelder was debuted at their first dining experience in 2012 and proved an instant hit with diners.

Rupert, who says that the drink has a "smooth, rich and complex taste with a beautifully warming finish", believes the main ingredient, the elderberry, offers a sweeter, altogether more indulgent flavour that lends itself well to a warming winter tipple.

Rupert explains: "Elderberries are one of the most neglected native fruits, but they are versatile and delicious. We found they complemented our style of cooking beautifully and were particularly well suited to our game dishes.

"We had a period of experimentation and decided to take the berries off the plate and into a glass and Aelder was born."

The chef also adds that the rich and fruity drink is very versatile and can be enjoyed neat in front of a roaring fire, paired with cheese for a sophisticated finish to dinner, or topped up with prosecco for an elegant addition to cocktail hour.

Presented in a sleek black earthenware bottle, with a nod to traditional Scottish flagons, Thomas Chisolm says the packaging was designed to make Aelder the "perfect gift for Christmas, Hogmanay or a dinner party invitation".

• Priced at £24.99 (plus P & P) for 500ml, Aedler is available from whisky specialists

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