Elderberry Syrup is one of my go-to remedies that I like to make in time for “flu season.” It is a natural antiviral and can easily be incorporated into foods we eat daily like oatmeals, cereals, on pancakes or waffles, or toast. If you’re like me – you might even opt to take it by the tablespoon 🙂
Elderberry Syrup Recipe
Makes about 3 cups of syrup without alcohol, 4 cups with alcohol.
Processing Time: 1 hour
Here’s What You’ll Need
2 cups dried organic elderberries
4 cups cold water (distilled, purified, or spring water)
2-3 tsp. organic dried ginger root (dried is a little bit more “hot” in Chinese medicine terms than fresh)
2 organic cinnamon sticks
1 cup raw, local honey (or organic maple syrup for an infant-friendly recipe); double the amount of sweetener to increase shelf life
1 cup organic vodka or brandy (optional to increase shelf life)
- Combine elderberries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it steep for 1 hour.
- Strain the berries and herbs using a funnel overlaid with doubled cheesecloth or undyed cotton muslin bag and squeeze out liquid (careful, liquid will likely still be hot!). Discard used herbs in compost and let them nourish your garden.
- Once liquid has cooled to just above room temperature, add honey or maple syrup and stir to incorporate.
- If using vodka or brandy, add here and stir until well combined.
- Bottle in sterilized glass and keep stored in the refrigerator.
Be sure to add honey in a ratio that is at least half of the total volume of liquid after it has simmered. This amount can change slightly and you want to make sure you have enough preservative (honey) so that your syrup won’t spoil. (Example: If you are left with 2 cups of elderberry decoction, you will want to add at least 1 cup of honey.)
I like to take a teaspoon or two each day as a preventative from October through March (and sometimes April depending on how hard or harsh the Winter has been). You can find more of my seasonal recipes, here. And if you’re interested in learning how to support yourself as we move through the seasons, check out my book – Everyday Chinese Medicine: Healing Remedies for Immunity, Vitality, and Optimal Health!