It’s that time of year again! Time to replenish our stock of Elderberry syrup. Seasonal threats are looming and aside from our regular essential oil protocols, we soothe sore throats, coughs, and boost our immune systems with this luscious, silky, maroon elixir! Every year I recommend it to friends, sometimes to strangers even, and every year I get asked for the recipe so I thought it was a good time to share it here … finally!
I’ve been making this recipe for nine years. I found myself spending a small fortune on store bought Elderberry syrup which would disappear before our eyes when shared among the three of us (at that time). Additionally, nine years ago Elderberry syrup wasn’t as readily available locally to me and the nearest natural food store was a good 45 minute drive from us, which made replenishing our supply tricky.
It dawned on me that surely there could be a way to make my own Elderberry syrup at home, so I researched and googled and found a great tutorial from Mountain Rose Herbs, gathered supplies and dove in! We haven’t look back since and my kids have grown up with this remedy, asking for it regularly and getting excited when they see me pulling out all the ingredients.
Nowadays you can order organic Elderberries from Amazon and other retailers such as Mountain Rose Herbs easily. The other ingredients are also fairly simple to source, and I buy mine in bulk and keep my pantry stocked with them. Cloves, cinnamon sticks, and honey are always in the pantry. And fresh ginger is easy to pick up at most grocery stores.
Below is my personal recipe that is a large batch. It will yield four (4) cups of syrup. You can always half the recipe to match your specific needs.
1 cup dried organic Elderberries
2 cinnamon sticks
2 Tbs grated fresh Ginger
2 cup honey (raw & local ideally, but use what you have or can get)
4 cups of water
In a medium sized saucepan, combine Elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer on medium heat for about five minutes. Turn down heat, cover and allow to simmer until liquid is reduced by half. About 15-20 minutes. But keep an eye on it to ensure you don’t lose too much liquid. If that should happen though, simply add more water and allow time to reduce again.
Once you have your reduction. Strain over a measuring cup or bowl. I strain mine into a 4 cup measuring cup and that way I know I have the two (2) cups of liquid that I need. Really strain and squeeze out the liquid out of those Elderberries! Don’t let any of that goodness go to waste! You are only using the strained liquid for this syrup.
Add the two (2) cups of honey to your strained Elderberry reduction. Slowly stir to combine. Transfer to a jar or bottle for easy use. Allow syrup to cool and then store in refrigerator.
Shelf life is quite long, or it has been at our house. Since I store it in the fridge we have used ours for several months without any trouble, but if you would like to use yours faster then a smaller batch might work well for you.
As soon as the syrup is made and while it is still warm, everyone in our family takes a dose. The warmth of the syrup soothes throats.
Regular “dosing” is about a tablespoon per person as needed.
Children under the age of 1 should NOT consume honey. However an alternative would be to use maple syrup or even a corn syrup as a substitute. You can reserve some liquid from the original reduction and mix with maple syrup or corn syrup instead.
Obviously, Elderberry syrup or this recipe is not meant to treat or cure disease. I am not a doctor. But I know that when my family isn’t feeling well due to colds or other respiratory illness, we find a warming comfort and soothing of symptoms when adding Elderberry syrup to our winter self care routines.
Nourishing our bodies with real foods has made such a difference in our home. We still get caught by illnesses here and there, but being able to reach for natural remedies that support our immune system makes all the difference.
There has also always been something very soothing for me, as someone who finds such peace and calm in the kitchen, to be able to continue traditions like these in my own family and feel empowered by the knowledge of old recipes that in their own way also nourish the soul.
Happy Winter dear friends! Stay warm!
Warmly and With Love,
P.S. Here is the original Mountain Rose Herbs video that I got my start with!