I absolutely love, love, LOVE Elderberries! I discovered them about a few years back, but didn't really start working with them till about two winters ago. I made a syrup for my children, and it was the shit! Yes, I'm so serious people. Not one cold, it stopped every sniffle, relieved every cough, and stopped every tender throat right in its dang tracks! It was so phenomenal that I keep it in stock all year long, because it's also great for sinuses, stomach ailments, and repairs the body on a DNA level. Yup, it's so dope! Let's jump right in the swing of things, shall we!
Certainly you could only use elderberry for this recipe, but it's my recommendation that you use at least one other herb to help round out your syrup. Here is a list of additional herbs that could be used in your recipe. Now like I said, you don’t have to add all of these or any, it’s all up to you. Of course there are more herbs you could use, but these are my favorite to use, and I hope you try some of them out.
- Elderberry—helps relieve allergies & sinuses infections, cold & flu symptoms, bladder infections, constipation, act as an immune booster.
- Cinnamon—calms belly & nerves.
- Ginger—reduces muscle pain/soreness, aids circulation, reduces nausea.
- Chamomile—soothes stomach, promotes sleep, reduces stress.
- Orange Peel—anti-allergen, anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system.
- Rose Petals—treats sore throat, relieves headaches, mild sedative, anti-inflammatory.
- Rose Hips—anti-inflammatory, soothes stomach, heart healthy
- Raw Honey—sweetener, anti-microbial, anti-bacterial
I use a mix of dried & fresh herbs mostly, but you can totally use one or the other. I’ll fill my herbs to about 3/4 of the jar (75 percent-ish), loosely packed. Next I’ll add the brandy, filling it to the top, labeling it with the contents & date, and then throwing it in the back of my closet. You want to keep in a cool dark space, where it's going to be undisturbed, but you also have to remember to shake it. I'll usually have a post-it up somewhere to help me out.
So here is the recipe that I give my friends and family as a foundation or base for their syrup:
- 1 1/4 Cup Elderberry dried
- 2 Tbsp Ginger fresh & minced
- 1 Tbsp Orange Peel fresh
- 3-4 Cinnamon Sticks
- 1/4 Cup Rose Hips dried
- 3 Cups Brandy 100 proof (80 proof or better)
Add elderberries, ginger, cinnamon, rose hips, about a tbsp honey, and the orange peel to a quart-sized glass jar (32oz). Add brandy, and fill the jar. Put the lid on tightly and label the container. *A good rule of thumb is to always put the label on the container, and not the top. You're going to take that lid off often and you don't want to mix it with another lid. Set aside in a cool, dark place for about six weeks. Remember to do your best to shake the container everyday, or every time you walk past it *post-it*.
At any point after the six weeks, you can strain the contents of the jar through multiple layers of cheesecloth, or a fine strainer over a large bowl. Once the liquid has been drained out, the remaining solids should be tossed.
For every cup of liquid retained, add about 1/2 cup of honey (more or less honey according to preference) the honey is what adds thickness. Some humans, like children, don’t like theirs too thick FYI. To ensure you have the perfect consistency for you and yours, add the honey little by little, tablespoon by tablespoon. Be sure to mix thoroughly to fully incorporate the honey into the cough syrup mixture.
When finished, use a funnel to pour the syrup into a bottle for storage. Remember to label! Stored in the fridge, your elderberry syrup is good for about six months.