Tips for Making Elderberry Syrup

Last year I posted how I made elderberry syrup and over the winter I was able to test and try out a few new ways of making elderberry syrup that make it more palatable and medicinally potent.
What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup dried elderberries (or one cup fresh)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups water boiling water
  • optional ingredients; 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp rose hips (vit C), vodka or brandy
  • (mountain rose herbs also recommends grated ginger, a cinnamon stick in their video, all of which have warming properties that would be beneficial especially when you’re already sick -though some do not care for the taste)

1. Take a 1/2 cup of dried elderberries,

Dried elderberries

2. Pour boiling water over berries (and rose hips if you are using) and let steep for 20 to 30 minutes.

Simmering elderberries

3. Strain out the berries.

strained elderberries

4. and then just use the back of a spoon to squeeze out any juice left in the berries. Just don’t press to hard or you’ll get a bit of the solids.

IMG_1470

5. Place the liquid back into the pan and heat only until it begins to steam. Do not let it boil! Boiling will cause the taste to be…..off, and a bit bitter. Once the liquid has been reduced by half, let cool.

6. Add in the honey (and lemon juice if using) and stir until combined. For preservation purposes, you need to use a 1:1 ratio of liquid to sugar, and a bit more honey than liquid as honey. If you plan on consuming it within a few weeks, just sweeten to taste. (I find that between 1/2 and 3/4 cup is plenty sweet enough!) You may also add a few tablespoons of vodka or brandy to enhance flavor and preservation.

Raw Honey

7. Once thoroughly combined, just place into a storage jar and keep in the fridge!

Elderberry syrup

It will last for at least a few weeks in the fridge, though you’ll most likely want to make it only if you feel that you or a family member are coming down with the flu as this syrup acts on the virus itself and is not taken as a preventative. Though many people use as a preventative and say it works well……

If you’d rather have elderberry on hand for the adults in the family, you can also make an elderberry tincture which will keep for many, many months.

I also recommend getting dried elderberries from Mountain Rose Herbs! I’ve purchased me berries from them many times myself.

Bulk organic herbs, spices and essential oils. Sin

I am an affiliate of MRH, so thank you for any purchase you make using the banner above.

Tips for Making Elderberry Syrup
Author: 
Recipe type: Natural Health
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup dried elderberries (or one cup fresh)
  • ½ to 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups water boiling water
  • optional ingredients; 1 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp rose hips (vit C), vodka or brandy
  • (mountain rose herbs also recommends grated ginger, a cinnamon stick in their video, all of which have warming properties that would be beneficial especially when you’re already sick -though some do not care for the taste)
Method of Preparation
  1. Pour boiling water over dried berries (and rose hips if using).
  2. Let steep for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Strain out the berries, use the back of a spoon to squeeze out any juice left in the berries, being careful not to press the berries through.
  4. Place the liquid back into the pan and heat only until it begins to steam, do not let it boil.
  5. Once liquid has been reduced by half, let cool.
  6. Add in honey (and lemon juice if using) and stir until combined. For preservation purposes, use a ratio of 1:1 liquid to sugar.
  7. Add a few tablespoons of vodka or brandy to enhance flavor and preservation if desired.
  8. Place into storage jar and keep in the fridge.

elderberry1

 

*This post is linked to the Home Remedies Carnival – a great post full of easy to make remedies!

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About Donielle

Donielle is an amateur herbalist and natural momma to two littles (with another babe in heaven) after dealing with being less than fertile. She has a passion for nourishing nutrition, natural living, and spreading the word on how food truly affects our health.

Comments

  1. Oh, I beg to differ on the “preventative” part. :) My kids and I were all taking elderberry syrup daily. My husband wasn’t. We got sick. The kids were over it fully in a week, maybe less. I’m still coughing a little but was mostly better in a week. My husband’s been sick for THREE weeks now…coughing constantly. We suspect whooping cough, as it’s going around here. Although he’s the only one who’s had “real” full symptoms — I had many symptoms (the cough, headache), the kids? Nearly nothing. Minor coughing. Elderberry was the major difference between my husband and the rest of us, because we were all eating well. So it definitely had some effect!

  2. Question: following this recipe, what is the suggested daily dosage? And, is it okay to take it all at once, or more effective if taken in smaller doses morning and evening?
    Thanks!

    donielle Reply:

    @Dani, Most people take a Tbsp or so per day, split into 2 doses. half of that for kids.

  3. I’m just making this and I didn’t really follow your directions on sugar? Can you clarify please? Thanks!!

    Donielle Reply:

    @shelley, I normally add the honey in after the elderberry liquid is cooled in order to retain the beneficial RAW part of the honey. if you use a different sugar you can add it at any time.

  4. I just made this recipe and used 1/2 c honey and its super sweet. I think I would like to use less next time, but am curious if that would make it less beneficial.

    donielle Reply:

    @Angie, The honey is basically used as a preservative – the more honey the longer it keeps. If you plan on using it within a week, maybe two, you can put in honey to taste. :-)

  5. Can you freeze this and still retain all the benefits?

    donielle Reply:

    @Sofia, I don’t see why not, though I think I’d freeze it without the honey and add that in later.

    Though with the honey, this should last for quite some time. Many keep it for a month or more, and I’ve never had it go bad.

  6. I have seen it mentioned on other websites to let the berries soak in the water (in the fridge) for 24-48 hours. Do you see any benefit to the longer soak time vs. the 30min simmer?

    donielle Reply:

    @Thea, The hot water pulls out the medicinal parts of the herb – and you keep it just hot enough to steam – not quite a simmer.

    If you just let them steep in room temp water, it will take longer. I have no idea why you’d steep them in the fridge, it won’t go bad in just a day or two. :-) Plus, with cold water it would take forever, if at all. The hot water helps to break down the cellular walls.

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Trackbacks

  1. […] lemon juice, rose hips, cinnamon, and/or other herbs can also add to the medicinal benefits of the elderberry syrup. Mel has a Bachelors Degree in […]

  2. […] favorite tutorial for making the syrup is from Donielle of Naturally Knocked Up. Here’s another option for using fresh berries to […]

  3. […] key). This Vietnamese chicken soup (Pho Ga) also kicks butt.  Next on my list is to concoct some elderberry syrup, which is widely recognized to have amazing flu-fighting […]