Recipes

How to make Elderberry Syrup | A Natural Immune Booster

This is a great recipe for homemade Elderberry syrup! This amazing antioxidant-rich syrup is used to help treat colds and flu and can help boost your immune system to prevent illness. I like to add herbs and spices to the syrup to add even more medicinal benefits.  

how to make elderberry syrup

Tips for Making Elderberry Syrup

Before jumping into making the classic elderberry syrup recipe below, there are a few common questions I’d like to address:

Should I use fresh or dried elderberries?

You can use fresh or dried elderberries for making syrup. I often use dried in the winter months and fresh during the elderberry season (usually the end of August, here in Minnesota) and store year-round. If using fresh berries, use twice the amount of dried berries your recipe recommends.

dried Elderberries

(This post may contain affiliate links which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

What makes the elderberry syrup shelf stable?

As we covered above, syrups that are shelf-stable, meaning that they are able to sit out at room temperature for a long period of time without spoiling, require more sugar, alcohol, or a combination of the two. You're going to have to add something to discourage the development of bacteria and mold. To make this syrup more family-friendly, my recipe uses less sugar and no alcohol and is intended to be kept in the refrigerator. However, if you want a more shelf-stable syrup, you can add ¼ cup of lemon juice and can a pint for 25 min in a hot water bath.

canning elderberry syrup

Is elderberry syrup safe for babies?

Honey acts as a natural preservative as well as a sweetener (and has other healthful properties besides), so it’s my preferred choice for my herbal syrups, but it is not recommended for children less than one-year-old. This is because of a rare condition called infantile botulism—sounds scary, and you don’t want it! So if you’re planning to share your syrup with a very little one, you would need to substitute either agave nectar or maple syrup for the honey, and again, keep it in the refrigerator.

honey in elderberry syrup

What should I cook my elderberry syrup in?

When preparing your syrup, be sure to use a ceramic, glass, or other non-reactive pan that won’t off-gas. Pans with synthetic nonstick coatings release some nasty stuff when heated, so avoid them when making syrup.

stock pot for elderberry syrup

What kind of water should I use to make elderberry syrup? 

Remember that your finished herbal product is only as good as the ingredients you start with, and that includes water. The water you include should be filtered water, depending upon where you live and what you have access to.

fresh elderberries

Can I add other things to my elderberry syrup?

I think one of the things that beginners often struggle with when they're just learning how to make herbal products for their home is being too rigid in how they do things. There’s not just one way to make spaghetti sauce—every chef has their own recipe, each with its own little tweaks of this or that—and the same principle applies here. So be creative with your syrups! You can add vanilla (I love a slice of vanilla bean in mine), cardamom tastes really good . . . just give yourself permission to play with the flavor. All those improvisations add extra goodness anyway!

elderberry ingredients

Classic Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Makes about 3 cups of syrup
Active Time: 1 hour

immune boosting elderberry syrup

Ingredients 

Directions

  1. Combine berries and herbs with cold water in a pot, I like using my big dutch oven and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer 45 minutes.
  3. The goal here is to decrease the liquid by half. So we should be left with 2 cups of liquid after we strain the berries.
  4. Strain berries and herbs through a fine strainer. Discard used herbs in compost.
  5. Once the liquid has cooled to just above room temperature, add honey and stir to incorporate.
  6. If canning, add your ¼ cup of lemon juice now.
  7. Bottle in a sterilized glass jar.
  8. If canning in pint jars, hot water bath them for 25 minutes.

Tip:

This recipe is easy to multiply if you’d like to make a big batch to store, freeze or give as gifts (glass bottles- I love these!). My family enjoys a teaspoon for adults and ½ tsp. for the kids right out of the fridge, just about every day during the sniffle season.

elderberry bottles

To use:

Use 1 tablespoon of elderberry syrup every 2 hours at the first sign of a cold.  Reduce the serving size to 1 teaspoon for children under 12. Children under 2 can be given ½ teaspoon safely.   Elderberry antioxidants enter the bloodstream rapidly and are excreted within 2 hours of eating, so it is safe to take elderberries often. Read more about the amazing little elderberry here.

syrups for the immune system

Benefits

Here are just some of the benefits of elderberries.  To see their full benefits check out the elderberry here.

  • Antiviral
  • Antitumor
  • Decongestant
  • Antibacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-diabetic
  • Helps with weight loss
  • Antidepressant
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Antioxidant

elderberry pin

Printable Recipe:

immune boosting syrup

Elderberry Syrup

This is a simple Elderberry Syrup recipe!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Drinks

Equipment

  • dutch oven
  • fine mesh strainer

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Cup Filtered water
  • 2 Cups Fresh Elderberries or 1 Cup of Dried Elderberries
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground ginger or a handful of fresh chopped ginger
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 8 whole Cloves
  • 1 Cup Local honey
  • ¼ Cup Lemon Juice (if you are canning this Elderberry Syrup)

Instructions
 

  • Combine berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer 45 minutes. The goal here is to decrease the liquid by half. So we should be left with 2 cups of liquid after we strain the berries.
  • Strain berries and spices through a fine strainer. Discard used berries and spices.
  • Once the liquid has cooled to just above room temperature, add honey and stir to incorporate.
  • If canning, stir in your ¼ cup of lemon juice, now.
  • Bottle in a sterilized glass jar. You can keep this in the refrigerator for 2-3 months or freeze this in a freezer safe container.
  • If canning in pint jars, hot water bath them for 25 minutes.

Notes

elderberry syrup recipe
Keyword elderberry syrup recipe, immune booster

LOVE the taste of GINGER?

Other lovely drinks with using ginger.

ginger, lemon, honey tea

Hello, I’m Emily. I’m so glad you’re here! Join me and my family as we find beauty in our everyday life on the farm, hearty recipes, and a handmade home. Find more about me and our story here.

Cheers!

hearty sol signature

Affiliate Disclosure & Content Disclaimer

This post may contain affiliate links from a paid sponsor, Amazon or other program. When you use these links to make a purchase I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This allows me to continue creating the content that you love. The content in this article is created for information only and based on my research and/or opinion. 

Emily T.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




DAILY INSPIRATION ON THE GRAM @hearty.sol

it's hip to be square!