Our Blog

How We Handcraft Our Herbal Syrups & Elixirs + DIY Elderberry Rooty Syrup Recipe

Shay inspects a completed bottle of elderberry syrup. She is in a room filled with shelves of large glass jars holding various herbal mixtures.

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.

A picture of Shay at work mixing a batch of herbal elixir in the production line of Mountain Rose Herbs. She is standing among several shelves of large glass jars, some empty, some containing herbal infusions.


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!

With a recipe in sight, a solution of elderberry syrup is poured from a large glass jug through a strainer into a measuring bowl.

Elderberry Rooty Syrup Recipe



  1. Combine water, berries, and herbs in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool to about room temperature.
  4. Mash up berries to extract as much of their juices into the liquid mixture as possible.
  5. Filter liquid through cheesecloth into a saucepan and squeeze strained herbs to extract all that juicy goodness.
  6. Add honey to your liquid mixture and gently heat for a few minutes while stirring until well combined (do NOT boil!).
  7. Stir in brandy (if desired) and pour into a sterilized glass jar or bottle.
  8. 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?

Check Out Our Guide to Herbal Syrups for Wellness


You might also enjoy:

Pinterest Pin for Elderberry Root Syrup Recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs

Topics: Inside Mountain Rose Herbs, Recipes, Herbalism


Written by Jana on April 26, 2019

Jana DiSanti is a marketing writer, editor, and strategist who holds a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in Sustainability. She has also earned a bachelor's degree in psychology and enjoys exploring techniques that help people change their everyday behaviors to make better use of our precious environmental resources. She's spent her career promoting businesses that strive to better the world, and she loves how passionately her Pacific Northwest community supports that mission! She firmly believes that rethinking our food systems is essential for worldwide human and ecological health, and she is thrilled to help support Mountain Rose Herbs in providing responsibly sourced herbal offerings to its customers. Off-work hours will find her hiking, camping, and mushroom-hunting in Oregon's wild areas, volunteering at her local farmer’s market, or cooking, gardening, and corralling chickens at home.

Our new organic line of bitter.  Get yours today!


Body Care
More Topics

Popular Posts