It seems that just about half of everyone I know is either sick right now or just getting over something, so I thought it would be a good time to share my method of making elderberry syrup. Elderberries are used in many natural remedies for cold and flu, and it’s much easier on the pocketbook to make it homemade. Plus, you can tailor the flavor to your liking!
Avoid this recipe if you have an allergy or hypersensitivity to elder or honeysuckle plants.
Yield: 1 quart jar (about 3 cups finished)
- 1/2 cup dried organic elderberries, or 1 cup if using fresh or frozen berries
- 4 cups water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp. ground ginger, or 1-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled (optional)
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves (optional)
- Once finished: 1 cup raw honey (or maple syrup, see “side notes”)
In a medium pot, bring the elderberries, cinnamon stick, ginger, optional ingredients (if you desire) and water to a boil, then reduce to a medium-high simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool until lukewarm. Then strain through a fine mesh sieve. Reserve the strained liquid in a bowl or measuring cup.
Use the back of a spoon to press down on the berries to extract as much liquid as possible. Once cooled, stir in the honey until dissolved, and store in a clean canning jar with lid securely tightened on.
Store in the refrigerator and use within 6 months.
To use the elderberry syrup, adults can take 1 tablespoon of it daily or up to three times a day when feeling under the weather. Or stir a tablespoon into teas or other beverages.
In place of honey, you can substitute 3/4 cup pure maple syrup. That can be stirred in once the solids have been strained from the syrup. You don’t need to wait until the liquid cools as directed for adding raw honey.
Other ingredients to consider adding are cardamom pods; herbs such as mint, rosemary or thyme; or lemon juice.
This recipe has been adapted from WECK Home Preserving with permission from Skyhorse Publishing, Inc.