Homemade Elderberry Syrup (from fresh elderberries)

For the past couple of years, we have been taking elderberry syrup during the flu season. It is supposed to lessen flu symptoms and boost the immune system, but the price of is almost $2.50 per ounce, Ouch! So early last spring, we bought a small elderberry bush from a local nursery. We brought it home and planted it in our front flowerbed.

The plant took off like a rocket! Over the summer, it grew to about 12 feet and flowered like crazy! The flowers turned into berries, and we netted the berries to keep the birds away. We harvested the berries in the late summer and put them in the freezer to be used during the winter to make our own elderberry syrup, so here we are…..

In the early fall, we (or I should say my wife Susan) dug the plant up and transplanted it to the backyard down by the woods because it was getting too big and quite invasive and sending suckers up around it. The good news is that it seemed to take in the backyard and can grow like crazy next summer.

Cook/Prep Time – about an hour

Yield – about 10 ounces of syrup


  • 1 cup fresh frozen elderberries

  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  • 1 tsp dried orange peel
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup purified water

***You can also use dried elderberries. If you do, double the amount of purified water.

Wash and rinse the elderberries and remove all stems. Add one cup of the purified water to a saucepan. Add the elderberries, cinnamon, ginger, orange peel,cloves, lemon juice and maple sugar. Turn on high until the mixture boils, then turn down and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Drain the berries and liquid into a colander and let cool. Using gloves, remove the cinnamon sticks andsmash and push all the liquid out of the berries.

Then strain the juice through a sieve or cheesecloth. Stir in the raw honey, and place in a bottle or jar. That’s it!

Take one teaspoon daily during flu season or add to hot tea or a cocktail!


Suggested music to listen to while preparing the syrup…..

The 1973 album by Elton John, “Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano Player” which features the song “Elderberry Wine” this song was also the B-Side to the single “Crocodile Rock”

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Husband, Father, Grandfather, foodie. I have worked in various capacities of food service for 50 years. Baker, cook, manager, restaurant owner, personal chef and food sales / consulting. Recently retired. I love to cook and photograph food. My other hobbies include organic gardening, fishing, bicycling, reading, music and golf.