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Elderberry Syrup Recipe

Page history last edited by Dave Raftery 4 years, 11 months ago

Simple Elderberry Syrup Recipe


I spent a bit of time re-working my "Elderberry Syrup" recipe, to make it easier for

the average person to follow. The procedure itself is so simple I can't imagine why anyone

with access to a kitchen would prefer to make tincture (unless the sugar is a problem, of

course!). I've included a couple alternative methods/recipes for people with small babies (who shouldn't get honey).


Elderberry Syrup Recipe

7 cups elderberry juice

8 ¾ cups honey

3 cups 80 proof vodka


(if you're starting with dried berries, to get "juice", put 1 cup of berries in a quart jar and

pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. If they soak it up, add a bit more. Stash in the fridge

or a cool, dark place for 24-48 hours. Then strain, and squeeze every bit of liquid you can

out- you can twist the berries in a muslin towel and get most of it) You'll need three "jars" of

the stuff to get enough for 7 cups. )


Warm the elderberry juice to “hot, but not boiling” temp… between 150 and 180°F should be

plenty. Stir in the honey and stir until it’s completely dissolved and blended.

Remove from the heat, and stir in the vodka.


Pour into sterile jars or bottles (sterilize them by boiling for 5-10 minutes in boiling water,

then let drip dry upside down until filling)


Cap and LABEL. Store in a cool DARK place (or bottle in dark brown glass)


Standard dose for adults would be:

Prophylaxis (prevention) 1 tablespoon 2x a day.


If there is active flu in your office or family, double that, or take more often.

Treatment: 1-2 tablespoons every 3-4 hours

Children under 12: half the adult dose

Toddlers and infants: Talk to your doctor! But, lacking that, 1 tsp at similar intervals to the adult dose should be adequate.


There is NO way to overdose on this! Put it in juice, jello, pour it over ice cream- any way you

can get the kids to take it is fine.



If you do not want to use any alcohol in the syrup, use

7 cups elderberry juice

14 cups honey

Proceed as above, ignoring the reference to the vodka.


If you don’t want to use honey (probably best to NOT use it for babies under 1 year)

7 cups elderberry juice

11 ½ cups sugar

Linda's Original Elderberry Syrup Recipe


I take fresh (or frozen) elderberries and crush them in a stainless steel

or heavy enamelware kettle. I add a TINY bit of water (just enough to

barely cover the bottom of the kettle to keep the berries from sticking)

and heat it *gently* over *LOW* heat, stirring the whole mash up until it's

no warmer than 150°. The heat helps release the juice from the berries, but

I'm not certain of whether high heat would possible deactivate the

antiviral properties. So I'm erring on the side of caution...

I either run the whole mash through my Vitamix [Ed NOTE: NOT blender, don't want to grind the seeds up] at this point, or, if they

seem to have been quite macerated already, just pour them into a jelly bag

and let them drain. I've found that I get the most yield by putting them in

two fine mesh bags and then putting the whole thing in my cheese press and

pressing it. A cider press would work well, too. But if you don't have

anything like that, simply taking the bag of mash, and twisting it tightly

in your hands will get most of the juice out.

This is all contrary to most jelly making instructions (for those who are

wondering) because you usually end up with some of the berry pulp in the

juice. Since my goal is medicine, not "clear" jelly, I don't mind this a


Anyway, once you've got your juice, you need to add enough sugar to

preserve it. I've found that a equal ratio of sugar to juice by volume is

sufficient- IF YOU WILL ADD ALCOHOL to help preserve it for storage. If you

have an objection to any alcohol in the mix, you then need to use a 5:3

ratio of sugar to juice... this will give you a saturated syrup high enough

in sugar so it won't spoil at room temperature.

If you prefer using honey, you need to use a slightly higher ratio....

approximately 11/4 cups of honey to every cup of juice. This is because of

the water content already in the honey. Or, if you want to use pure honey

without any added alcohol, you need a 2:1 honey/juice ratio.

Anyway.... stir in the sugar or honey into the warm juice, until it's all

completely dissolved. If you've used the lower 1:1 ratio, at this point you

need to add some alcohol for preservative. I've used Blackberry Brandy

quite frequently for this... hoping to get some of the astringent and

stimulant effects of the blackberry in the mix. If you use brandy, you need

to add 3-4 ounces per pint of syrup.

If you simply want the alcohol as a preservative, you can add 3 ounces of

100 proof vodka, or about 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of 160 proof vodka per

pint of syrup. (we can't get pure grain alcohol here... if you can, you can

use 1 1/2 ounces of that instead).

Stir it gently, and decant it into STERILIZED jars or bottles. Use the same

techniques you'd use when canning jelly- except this won't be hot enough

for you to expect the seals to seal completely. As long as you sterilized

the jars and the lids before bottling it, it shouldn't be necessary for it

to seal.

LABEL IT!! You always think you'll remember what is in those jars, or when

you made it. Wanna bet!? LOL! Seriously- make sure you put the date and at

least whether or not there is anything but elderberry and sugar in there.

Store it in a cool, dark place (dark is especially important if you are

using clear glass jars).

This fall I'm going to simmer some blackberry root (and add some berries)

in one batch of elderberries. Blackberry has a nicely potent effect against

diarrhea... it was traditionally used when folks got "summer complaint"-

which was usually food poisoning.


Elderberry info on Time Bomb 2000

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