When a bit of wellness support is in order, many folks reach for a bottle of their favorite Mountain Rose Herbs syrup or elixir. There’s a lot of plant goodness, history, and love packed into each bottle of the botanical-infused syrups and elixirs that are handcrafted by our team in Eugene, Oregon, and we’d like to offer you a peek behind the scenes of how we mix up each magical bottle!
Syrups vs. Elixirs
First, the basics: what’s the difference between a syrup and an elixir? A syrup contains an herbal decoction (a tea made by simmering herbs) and/or an herbal alcohol extract (otherwise known as a “tincture”), which is then sweetened with a base of honey. Our elixirs are similar, but with two differences: slightly more alcohol, and the addition of chocolate! The evaporation time for elixirs is generally shorter than for syrups, and we add fair trade, organic cacao powder to our raw, local honey base for a rich, sippable treat. Both elixirs and syrups are fun and delicious ways to incorporate healthful herbs into your wellness toolkit.
Concocting Our Remedy Repertoire
Our master elixir-mixer, Shay, guides our organic botanicals along their journey from plant to potion. First introduced to this sweet form of herbalism by her mother—the original formulator of our syrup, elixir, and tincture recipes—Shay has been crafting these quaffable creations for over a decade. Each of our syrups and elixirs has a slightly different formulation process, but they all follow the same basic steps. First, the herbal infusion and extract blend is heated to evaporate off much of the alcohol (though the finished product does still contain some alcohol). Once cooled, the liquid is strained to remove herb matter, then sweetened. This mixture then undergoes a second heating for safety reasons before being bottled and sent out to our potion-loving customers.
Shay oversees our crew’s crafting of each tasty treat, monitoring each step in the process to ensure consistency, safety, and quality. While these many checks make for a rigorous process, Shay’s work is not without its consolations. Specifically, she finds the quality control steps in organoleptic testing—evaluating finished mixtures for proper appearance, consistency, aroma, and of course, flavor— to be particularly gratifying.
Making Herbal Potions at Home
While we’re tight-lipped about the exact formulas for the herbal potions available on our virtual store shelves, we love providing our readers and customers with inspiration for crafting sweet remedies at home! In addition to our popular basic elderberry syrup recipe post (with helpful pointers from holistic physician, Dr. Tieraona Low Dog) here’s a fun elderberry syrup variation you can make in your own home kitchen!
Elderberry Rooty Syrup Recipe
- 3 cups cold water
- 3/4 cup organic elderberries
- 1/4 cup organic schisandra berries
- 1/4 cup organic eleuthero root
- 1/4 cup organic echinacea purpurea root
- 1 organic sweet cinnamon stick
- 3/4 cup raw, local honey
- 5 oz. brandy (optional)
- Combine water, berries, and herbs in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool to about room temperature.
- Mash up berries to extract as much of their juices into the liquid mixture as possible.
- Filter liquid through cheesecloth into a saucepan and squeeze strained herbs to extract all that juicy goodness.
- Add honey to your liquid mixture and gently heat for a few minutes while stirring until well combined (do NOT boil!).
- Stir in brandy (if desired) and pour into a sterilized glass jar or bottle.
- Label and keep refrigerated for up to 6 months (watch for changes in smell, taste, or consistency…mixtures without brandy will not last as long as those with it).
Want Help Choosing the Right Plant Potion for Your Needs?
You might also enjoy:
- Homemade Hawthorn Berry Elixir for Heart Health
- Elderberry Syrup Overnight Oats
- How to Make Herbal Syrups