3/4 cup dried elderberries (or 2 cups fresh elderberries)
3 cups water
1 cup raw honey (I use Irish Ridge honey of course!)
- Bring elderberries and water to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes on medium-low. As the original recipe states, you are trying to reduce your volume by about 1/3, so don't hold back on the bubbling. I stir the boiling mixture a few times during the 30 minute period.
- Remove from heat and mash the elderberries with a potato masher. Wait a few minutes to cool the liquid a few degrees before the next step.
- Strain the mash/liquid through a filter (see below for filter details) into a glass bowl. Then, using clean tongs, press against the ball of mash in the filter to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Cool to 100F. I cool the liquid this low so that it remains below maximum hive temperatures, which means that the raw honey won't be compromised when you mix it in.
- Mix in raw honey. Note that I often mix in completely crystallized/solid raw honey and it does dissolve, even at 100F. But it will take some extra stirring.
- Store in the fridge in glass jars. I use pint sized mason jars.
- For the filtering step, I use a nylon filter that originally came with a honey bucket that I ordered online a few years ago (see picture at the bottom of this post). I like it because it is reusable (unlike cheesecloth) and easy to clean, with no chance of cotton fibers getting into the syrup.
- I've stored this syrup in the fridge with no issues from November to February (3 months). That's the longest I've needed to store it before it was all used up! But I do take precautions to keep it clean, like no double-dipping of spoons and no drinking directly from the jar, etc.
- I eat about 1 Tbsp per day whenever I feel run down, as a preventative (placebo or otherwise). When I get sick, I eat maybe 3 Tbsp/day. But of course, I NEVER get sick because of my magical elderberry syrup, right? right?
- I usually double or even triple the recipe when I make it.
- Yes, this will stink up your entire house (good stink if you like the smell of elderberries; bad stink if you do not).
- Don't be a fool and store the syrup under a canning lid that was previously used to store fridge pickles. Unless, unlike me, you like your syrup with a faint taste/smell of garlic, vinegar, and celery seeds.
- Elderberry bushes are not hard to grow and make really pretty shrubs. If you live in the northeastern US, I recommend Nourse Farms as a supplier of elderberry plants that should fruit about 2-3 years after planting.