My Sister’s Elderberry Syrup

It makes me happy to think of people I love when I’m making certain recipes or using certain spoons or filling certain bowls.  I remember the person who passed on the recipe, or gifted the spoon, or handed down the mixing bowl.  Lately, I’ve been thinking about certain people a lot, given what’s going on in my kitchen.  I like this.

I was running low on elderberry syrup (it’s great for boosting immunity) so, yesterday, I got out the ingredients to make some.  You can find lots of recipes online but I use one that my sister passed on to me a few years ago.  As part of her Christmas gift one year, she gave me a little kit with everything I needed to make elderberry syrup.  It was one of my favorite gifts that year.  And the gift keeps on giving because I can buy the ingredients and whip up new batches anytime I like. The whole teach a man (or woman) to fish thing.

Now I have a jar of elderberry syrup in the refrigerator.  And a happy heart, having felt connected to my sister in the measuring and stirring.

Maybe you’d like to make some elderberry syrup too??

Here’s what you need:
4 cups water
1 cup dried elderberries (I like to order mine from Mountain Rose Herbs, but buy where you like)
1 tsp dried ginger (or feel free to use fresh ginger that’s grated or minced)
6 whole cloves (you’ll see 7 in the photo above) (sometimes I like to live on the edge)
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cup honey

Here’s what you do first:
Bring all ingredients (except honey!!!) to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, stirring every once in a while.  After about 30 minutes, liquid will have reduced by about half.  Remove from heat and let it cool (keep in mind that it’ll be easier to stir in the honey if the syrup is still a bit warm; you just don’t want it hot for the next step).

Here’s what you do next:
Pour mixture into a bowl through a strainer that’s lined with a double layer of unbleached cheesecloth. Remove cinnamon sticks.  Mash the berries a bit with a spoon.  Then gather corners of cheesecloth and twist/squeeze to get most of the juice into your bowl (this part’s messy).  Discard berries in the trash.  My sister assures me that asking your kitchen sink disposal to take care of this is not a good idea, ahem.  You can wash the cheesecloth and save it for reuse.  You’ll need to wash your purple hands for reuse too.

Stir in honey and pour your syrup into a clean, glass jar.  Store in refrigerator.
Mason jars are great, but last year I bought a nice amber one like this.  The jury’s still out but I think I might actually prefer the wide mouth of a mason jar.

Adults – 1 tablespoon ||  Children – 1 teaspoon
Take once daily as a preventative, every 2-3 hours during illness.

If you make this, maybe you’ll think warm thoughts of me.
I’d like that.


Sending a little love your way, m


P.S. Those links above are not affiliate links.  I’m just sharing them because I like the company and maybe you will too.

P.P.S. I did a search on making elderberry syrup and saw a version that uses an instant pot.  I know people are busy, but seriously, some things aren’t meant to be done in a jiffy.  Use the stovetop, friends.  While it’s simmering, read a book, sip some tea, talk to a friend or loved one.  Please don’t make this in an instant.


16 thoughts on “My Sister’s Elderberry Syrup

  1. Thanks for sharing this. I need to make some–I treated myself to the Autumn Treasure Box from LuSa Organics and one of the goodies was some elderberry syrup (or maybe tincture? I don’t remember), which is almost all gone now as we have been fighting off germs of one sort or another since early November, and I’ve kept thinking “it can’t be that hard to make, I need to just do it.”

    And I do the same when making recipes or using cooking utensils that have been gifted or passed down to me. This Christmas I made our traditional borscht and also the fudge and cookie recipes my mom used to make when I was a kid, and it was just the best–it all tasted just how I remembered, which was just what I needed.

    1. Sounds like perfect timing for you to find this, Helena. It’s very easy to make!!!

      And I love what you shared about your recent cooking/baking. It’s really wonderful, isn’t it? xo

  2. I had to come here and check this recipe. It’s really easy, I should try it, not sure where I can get the Elderberries here in Canada. I treasure each recipe and utensil given to me and I think about the giver when using them. They are treasures to keep close by. Have a great week my friend!

    1. Elizabeth, try a natural foods store or Amazon. I did a quick search and I do see some (you’ll have to compare prices, but it’s there). And treasures indeed! xo


  3. I feel so famous now! Sometimes when I’m living on the edge or just in the mood for a different taste, I add some star anise or (my new favorite tweak) a few whole allspice berries. I love that you love making this, too!

  4. Oh, this sounds lovely, the whole process. I know what you mean about cooking using recipes passed on from loved ones. There is something about the stirring of memories and ingredients that makes the final product taste that much more satisfying. Thank you for sharing the recipe, Michelle. I will be sure to try it. xo

    1. I really enjoy making this, every single time. I’m happy to know you’ll give this a try, Grace!

      “the stirring of memories and ingredients”…I like that so much. Yes. xo


  5. Thank you so much I’ve been wanting to make my own And I will certainly think of you fondly with my daily dose of wellness and YOU ♥️

    Sent from my iPhone


    1. Oh, how awesome to learn that way of cooking! I’m jealous!
      And I love that you always send mental thanks when cooking her way…that’s just what I mean. xo

      Thanks so much regarding the photo, Fraggle!
      And maybe give this a try…I usually take it by the spoonful but you could also add it to tea.


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