Making Elderberry Syrup

   Keeping your family healthy and adding lots of vitamins and improving immunity isn't really rocket science.  Not when you have some great resources for products, blends, and recipes.  Elderberry Syrup is a really simple syrup to make.  You can keep it basic and just steep your dried berries for a few hours or get a little fancy.  My elderberry syrup has a ton of products blended for immunity boosting, supporting, and overall vitamin C packed winter goodness.  You can do it too!  The process can be a bit messy  when you get into large quantities but just for home steeping you can do it.  
           I've made elderberry syrup for ages.  But when I started making it in large batches everyone wanted some, so be prepared for family and friends to want some too!  I  order pretty bottles and add labels but you don't have to do that.  A syrup is basic.  An acidic berry or fruit, sugar & honey, immunity boosting herbs and flavorings (aka herbal goodness).  You can simmer it down until it is a very thick syrup or do what I do now and add tons of herbs, lemon juice and spices to make it taste even better and avoid the all day simmer.   Here's what you need:
  • dried elderberries (or pick your own if you live near a damp bank and have the big elderberry bushes)
  • natural sugar
  • raw honey
  • quality spices--like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove (I use them whole and ground--whatever you have is fine)
  • lemon or lemon juice not from concentrate
  • bag of Cold & Flu Tea
  • large pot
  • mason jars or boston rounds with caps
  • strainer
  • big spoon
  • funnel
  • gloves
  • apron


           Elderberries used to be cheap, not any more.  Simple demand is making them skyrocket in price.  My suggestion is buy them in the summer or spring when demand is low.  You should not pay more than $55 for 1 lb bag.  They used to be $20 a bag.  No more.  bummer.  If you are making just a couple bottles you only need 4-6 oz, but it is cheaper to buy larger quantities and they store nicely.  
  1. empty berries into large pot
  2. pour filtered water over berries (about four times the volume of the berries)
  3. turn heat to high
  4. bring to boil for 5 minutes
  5. turn pot to simmer or low
  6. wait 30 minutes and add spices and herbs & some sugar (I added about 1 1/2 cups sugar to the large pot)
  7. simmer at least 2 hours or with or without lid (without will create a thick syrup)
  8. simmer to desired thickness.  2 - 3 hours is sufficient
  9. Allow to cool slightly & add honey then a cup of lemon juice for this large pot ( you may do this before or after you strain but I think it's easier before you strain but up to you). You can add an entire jar of raw honey.  It will thicken it and add all sorts of health benefits.  
  10. strain in the sink using your berry strainer---it's really messy so wear your rubber gloves and an apron.
  11. jar in mason jars or boston rounds.  Label and date.  Refrigerate.


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