Elderberry Syrup

IMG_2159At the end of July the Elderberries’ beautiful dark purple fruit was hanging on the branches and it was time to make Elderberry Syrup. The birds had been also enjoying the berries, especially the mocking birds and I realized if I didn’t make my syrup that weekend; the berries would soon be gone.

 This simple recipe is what I like to use:

1 cup of ripe elderberries (don’t use the green unripe ones)

2 cups of water

1 cup of honey

Note: Other recipes call for cinnamon sticks or ginger. I like to make this basic recipe as you can always add other ingredients in later.

I carefully destemmed the elderberries and had 10 cups of berries. An abundance of fruit!  In a large pot I poured the 10 cups of berries and added 20 cups of water and gently simmered it for an hour with the lid off.

IMG_2162 Note: Don’t worry if the mixture looks watery, some of the liquid will evaporate off.

I occasionally stirred and pressed the berries against the side of the pot with a slotted spoon to squeeze out as much juice as possible. When I was done simmering, I strained all the berries out as the seeds are not edible. The rich purple liquid smelled wonderful and I was excited to have this delicious Elderberry elixir.

When the juice cooled down but was still hot; I added 10 cups of local Graham tulip poplar honey.  I stirred the honey into the liquid till it was completely dissolved in the warm juice and then poured it into canning jars.  The syrup is amazingly sweet and stays preserved up to 6 months in the refrigerator.

You can enjoy this syrup with hot water as a tea. Or enjoy it cold by adding seltzer and making a wonderful spritzer.  I also enjoy a teaspoon a day starting in the Fall to boost my immune system.

These pictures show the elderberry bush behind me which is now 7 years old. I have a gutter by the bush which gives it ample water which it loves. Enjoy!

Elderberry copy