The flow of a viscoelastic liquid driven by the steadily rotating bottom cover of a cylindrical cup is investigated. The flow field and the shape of the free surface are determined at the lowest significant orders of the regular domain perturbation in terms of the angular velocity of the bottom cap. The meridional field superposed on a primary azimuthal field shows a structure of multiple cells. The velocity field and the shape of the free surface are strongly effected by the cylinder aspect ratio and the elasticity of the liquid. The use of this flow configuration as a free surface rheometer to determine the first two Rivlin-Ericksen constants is shown to be promising. © 1991 Steinkopff-Verlag.