Herbal syrups are a great way to administer not so pleasant tasting herbs to young ones and bothered adults alike, or a great way to let your favorite herbs come to life in beverages and food dishes. Finding a nice combination of herbs can leave you with a tasty concoction perfect for many occasions and recipes! Herbal syrups make great additions to teas, desserts, bubbly beverages and cocktails, or all on their own by the spoonful.
Syrups can be prepared with sugar or honey. If prepared with honey, my preferred method, herbal syrup can be soothing and coating to the digestive tract membranes it comes into contact with, such as the throat. Besides being absolutely great for you, who doesn’t love a good honey coat when it’s cold outside? For proper preservation and a shelf stable syrup, it is recommended to use a ratio of 1:1 (tea to honey). However, you can cut back to 2:1 or 3:1. If you use less sweetener to tea parts, you will need to keep your syrup refrigerated and use quickly. You can also add some tincture to help preserve your syrup longer, as well as give an extra boost.
The best thing about syrups is that like tea or tinctures, you can formulate with any combination of herbs to create a preparation for your needs. While elderberry syrup is the most popular, I also love to have individual or combinations of ginger, thyme, elecampane, chamomile, peppermint, marshmallow root, schisandra berry, echinacea root, elder flower, hawthorn berry, holy basil, and hop flower syrups around!
How to Make Herbal Syrups
These two ingredients are good for helping with the mild mood changes we all experience from time to time. This syrup goes great drizzled on top of dessert, spooned into tea or hot toddies, or taken by the spoonful throughout the day.
- First make a very strong decoction, using 1 oz of herb per 16 oz of water. Warm over low heat, bring to a simmer, cover partially, and reduce the liquid down to half the original volume.
- When you have 8 oz of liquid, add 8 oz of honey.
- Warm the mixture over low heat, stirring well. *Do not heat above 110 degrees.*
- Optional: Add 1 part tincture or brandy to 3 parts syrup for a boost and longer shelf life.
- Pour syrup into bottles and label. Store in the refrigerator, where it will last for up to six months. You can find the cork top glass bottles that I used right HERE. They are wonderful syrup vessels!