I love cookbooks! Cooking and creating in the kitchen is my bliss. My approach to herbal medicine-making tends to be inspired by decades of kitchen experiments. While a simple elderberry syrup is quite functional and elderberries are delicious on their own, I couldn’t help but fiddle around until I’d crafted my own version of a classic elderberry syrup—full of extra herbal goodness and spicy flavor.
Elderberries are used this time of year to support healthy immune system functioning.* This syrup is wonderful when sipped at the first sign of sniffles, but it is also amazing as a pancake or waffle syrup or used in place of a simple syrup in a delicious cocktail, like this Elderberry Champagne Sparkler recipe. I like to pour about ¼ cup in a tall glass or Mason jar and fill with ginger ale or club soda for a refreshing beverage too!
Classic Elderberry Syrup
4 cups cold water
2 cups organic dried Elderberries
1 organic cinnamon stick
1 tsp fresh grated organic ginger root or organic dried ginger root
raw local honey (or organic agave syrup for a vegan recipe)
To make the syrup, combine the berries and herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Strain the berries and herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Bottle in sterilized glass.
Elderberry Syrup Cockaigne
1 cup dried, organic Elderberries (or 2 cups fresh elderberries)
1 teaspoon organic whole Cloves
1 teaspoon organic Ginger (powder or root) or 2 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon dried organic dried Orange Peel or ¼ cup fresh orange peel
1 Tablespoon dried organic dried Bitter Orange Peel
1 Tablespoon organic dried Wild Cherry Bark
1 Tablespoon organic dried Rosehips
10 whole organic Cardamom Pods
4-5 cups water
Put all these ingredients into a large sauce pan and heat on medium-high heat to boiling. Once the mixture boils, turn the heat down and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Pour the mixture through a sieve into a large Pyrex pitcher or glass bowl. The sieve will catch all the berries and bits of unground herbs. Press down with the back of a wooden spoon on the berries just to make sure you get all the juice out of them.
Now add 2 cups local, raw, organic honey and stir into the juice mixture while it is still warm, but not too hot. You can now pour this into a jar and keep it in the fridge, or even can it in a hot water bath. This makes about 5 cups of syrup, enough to fill a quart jar and have a little left to use fresh and warm on morning pancakes! It should keep well for several months in the fridge (if it lasts that long!)
(The name is homage to one of my go-to cookbooks, The Joy of Cooking where the extra-special recipes have the moniker “Cockaigne” added. The word comes from a middle-English fable meaning “luxurious and idle paradise;” or abundance!) Feel free to add other delicious herbs to the recipe such as organic Vanilla Beans, Hibiscus, Allspice, Star Anise, and more!
Berry Rooty Syrup Recipe
Here's another one of our favorite elderberry syrup recipes called Berry Rooty Syrup featuring adaptogenic herbs and Echinacea Root to support your natural immune system health.* I love to have a variety of elderberry syrups with a range of medicinal properties on-hand throughout fall and winter. Enjoy your experimentations!
DISCLAIMER: For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
AUTHOR: Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator. A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched five adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.