Elderberry Syrup


  • 2 C fresh elderberries or 1 C dried
  • 3 C filtered water
  • 1 C local raw honey


Removing the berries from their clusters can be a tedious process. Trust me. Here’s a tip I garnered from an old Anishinaabe medicine man: place the clusters in a ziplock bag and store in the freezer. Once frozen, just shake the bag and most of the berries will fall off the little stems. You can keep any extra elderberries in the freezer to make additional batches of the syrup as you need it.


1. Combine the berries and water in a stainless steel stockpot. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the concoction is reduced by about half.

  1. Mash the berries and then strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer.
  2. Return the juice to heat and add any additional herbs and spices you’d like – try ginger, cloves, and/or cinnamon. Simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off heat.
  3. Strain again and return to pot. Add honey and stir well until it melts. Besides contributing its own medicinal qualities, the honey acts as a preservative here. If you choose to use agave nectar or another sweetener instead, you’ll need to add alcohol as a preservative: either 3-4 ounces of brandy or 100 proof vodka. Weeeeeee!
  4. When the syrup has cooled, put it into bottles (or jars, but bottles will make for easier pouring). Label, date and store in the refrigerator.