I have had an elderberry tree in my garden for a few years now and the berries are ripe. So it’s time to make elderberry juice and elderberry syrup.
Nature gives us what we need when we need it. For example, the elderberry tree has ripe berries in the fall, when we can use extra resistance. And these berries are high in vitamins and have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Ideal to give your resistance a boost.
Now you may think “I am going to pick a bunch of elderberries and eat them up.” I always do this with the blackberries in my garden, but unfortunately, that doesn’t work with the elderberries, because these have to be cooked first as they can upset your body.
You may know the elderberry syrup from the health food store and even in the supermarket, they have it. If you have a cold or flu you can take a spoonful of syrup.
But you can also make it yourself. Use only the ripe black elderberries for this. You throw away the rotten, green or red berries. I have taken my ladder because otherwise, I would not touch the top berries and there were too little berries below. Eventually, I had – if I had removed the stalks – 360 grams of berries. I have left a few more so that the birds can also eat.
To make it extra healthy, I thought “what is also good when you get a cold?” And that is why I also add ginger, thyme, cinnamon, and cloves in the recipe below. Nice and warm winter flavors.
You can boil the berries with a little water and make a juice out of it, but since the taste of the juice is quite strong, and to preserve it longer, it is usually made into syrup.
Elderberry juice – recipe
- 360 grams of elderberries
- 250 ml of water
- grated ginger (approx. 1 tsp)
- sprigs of thyme
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- Pick the elderberries and zip them off the twigs. Wash the berries.
- Put the elderberries together with the other ingredients in a pan and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils you can lower the heat. Let it simmer for 20-30 minutes. You will notice that the berries have sprung.
- Now we are going to separate the pulp from the liquid. That can be done in different ways. You can use a cheesecloth for this, a fine-meshed sieve, … I used the Chufamix for this. This is actually intended to make plant-based milk, but it also worked for elderberry juice.
This is good for around 250 ml of juice.
Elderberry syrup recipe
Elderberry syrup with sugar
- 250 ml elderberry juice
- 125 g sugar
- Heat the elderberry juice to just below the boiling point. Add the sugar and mix everything well so that the sugar is melted.
Elderberry syrup without sugar
- 250 ml elderberry juice
- 80 ml maple syrup
- Heat the elderberry juice to just below the boiling point. Add the maple syrup and mix well.
You can vary to your heart’s content with this recipe. Use less water during cooking (just a bottom) to have a thicker juice, use (more) sugar to make it more syrupy. Skip all herbs or use much more for a brighter taste. Make it less sweet or sweeter. Everything is possible 😉
I use a little more water while cooking because I wanted a little more quantity and I didn’t get more berries. For the way I use it (in a drink) this doesn’t really matter. But if you really want to use it as a syrup, for example on a pancake, then you better use less water when cooking and let it thicken with the sugar.
To use it the next days, you can put it in the fridge. If you want to stock up, you can pour the hot juice or syrup into sterilized pots. Or you can also keep it in the freezer.
How to use elderberry syrup
- Eat it with a tablespoon when you begin to feel a cold
- Put some syrup in a gin and tonic or vegan cava
- In sparkling water as a soft drink
- Under your breakfast, if you eat oatmeal with vegetable milk or yogurt
- If you make thicker syrup, on pancakes, ice cream, …
- Under a fruit salad
Do you make your elderberry syrup or juice yourself? Let me know if you prefer it thicker or thinner and if you also use extra herbs. Are you going to make this for the first time, then let me know for sure what you think of it.