Sip of the Week: West End Cider House’s Elderberry Sour

Photo by Zach Berry

Located on the west side of Athens, the West End Cider House offers a perfect environment for drink enthusiasts who prefer peaceful surroundings. It offers guests an assortment of ciders and cocktails, which are made up of almost entirely local ingredients.

One such concoction is the Elderberry Sour, one of the house’s specialties. The sour is composed of Fifth Element Elderberry Brandy, lemon juice, orange-cardamom bitters and, most unexpectedly, egg white foam.

The standout ingredient is the Fifth Element Brandy. Fifth Element Spirits, which was founded two years before the West End Cider House, serves as a sister company to the bar and provides many of the components the drinks use.

The process of making the cocktail is a spectacle all its own. Once served, the Elderberry Sour is somewhat of a paradox in the best of ways. There is the distinct aroma of alcohol, but it’s never overpowering. It’s sweet, but in a natural way. It’s also one of the few drinks where the more frothy foam you have, the better.

“It really does highlight the unique things we do as a bar in Athens,” Cider House owner Deanna Schwartz says.

With drinks as distinct as the Elderberry Sour, there are plenty of reasons for Athens alcohol connoisseurs to flock to the West End Cider House.

You can purchase the Elderberry Sour at the West End Cider House located at 234 W. Washington St. in Athens. To learn more, visit