Friday, March 07, 2014

Elderberry Elixir/syrup

My friend Alison is amazing at using up everything in the garden. When she comes over here she has a right good forage around the place and goes home with lots of goodies. She puts me to shame. A few days ago she was over feeding my chickens for me, while we were picking mum up from Auckland. She's been holding out for the eldeberries to get ready, and they were!

Anyway, yesterday we were over at Simon and Alison's and she let me taste what she'd done with them. And YUM!

So when I got home I wandered around the garden and managed to find a lot of elderflower berries. There's still loads left, but the majority of them are very high up.

I read a tip that if you freeze them first the berries come off the stalks a lot more easily, so I bunged them in the freezer over night. And it worked a treat.

I ended up with three cups.

This is what I did.

Elderberry Elixir Recipe

3 cups fresh elderberries
7 cups water
1 cup soft brown sugar
1 cup manuka honey
9 cloves
2 teaspoons ground ginger ( I didnt have any fresh ginger and this is why mine is cloudy. Well not crystal clear!)
2 teaspoons cinnamon

(There are lots and lots of recipes online. Mine is a muddle up.)

So, put the berries, water and spices into a large pan and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 45 minutes so it reduces down.

Put through a fine sieve. I then added the cup of sugar and stirred it in. I suppose you could have done this at the first stage...

Once the mixture has cooled down a bit add the cup of honey and mix well.

My syrup/elixir is quite sweet - but I like it like that! You could add less sugar.

Then bottle.

It's supposed to have all sorts of amazing qualities, and boost your immune system. I have no clue if it does or not, all I know is that it tasted really good and I wanted to finally use some of the millions of elderberries we get in the garden. 


  1. What a gorgeous colour! I've never used elderberries before but I would imagine they're high in antioxidants :)

    1. I think that's what it is - or something like that! Alisons one is this color, but also clear because she used root ginger.

  2. Wow, my dad would love this recipe! That sure sounds like old fashioned farm living and foraging to me! I love retro and hard to find recipes like these. Way to go and it looks yummy! And I have heard that it has health benefits too. Berries are good for your heart that is for sure and something to do with anti-aging properties too. Berries are full of micro nutrients. So drink up and keep this on hand for sure. It may be a secret ingredient to fighting cancer and diseases too! You just never know!

    1. I think it really is going back to nature isn't it! We've used the flowers of the elderberry before, to make cordial and champagne! But never the berries. After tasting them I'm sure you could make jam/jelly as well. and yeah!! who knows what it could do!

  3. If it taste good that is a winner. If it boost your immunity all the more so. It is real pretty, too!

  4. it is pretty isnt it. COllected a whole load more to make another batch. I'll put the sugar in at the simmering stage so I get it a bit more syrupy. And use root ginger in the hopes of getting a clearer liquid.

    1. Hooray for never-ending kitchen experiments!!!


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Laura x